Innotech Project Management
Innotech offers Project Management services for customers wishing to integrate different products or elements into their facilities. We have a proven track record of managing numerous trades to accomplish a set of goals. From large capital projects to small facility improvements, Innotech has the experience to manage your project from Initiating and planning to closure.
The following will give a brief overview of the project management process and the stages associated with each category.
Each project is unique and therefore requires a careful assessment of what approach to use.
Although the traditional Phased Approach works well in most circumstances, we offer several different approaches to project management.
- Lean Project
- Iterative and Incremental
- Critical Chain
- Product Based
- Process Based
- Benefits Realization
- Earned Value
Traditionally (depending on what project management methodology is being used), project management includes many elements: four to five project management process groups, and a control system. Regardless of the methodology or terminology used, the same basic project management processes or stages of development will be used.
- Production or execution
- Monitoring and Controlling
The initiating processes determine the nature and scope of the project. The key project controls needed here are an understanding of the business environment and making sure that all necessary controls are incorporated into the project.
The initiating stage includes a plan that encompasses the following areas. These areas are recorded in a series of documents called Project Initiation documents. Project Initiation documents are a series of planned documents used to create order for the duration of the project.
- Project proposal documents (idea behind project, overall goal, duration)
- Work breakdown structure (roles and responsibilities, daily tasks, exceptions)
- Project scope (project direction and track)
- Tentative project schedule (milestones, important dates, deadlines)
- Analyzing the business needs and requirements in measurable goals
- Reviewing of the current operations
- Financial analysis of the costs and benefits, including a budget
- Stakeholder analysis, including users and support personnel for the project
- Project charter including costs, tasks, deliverables, and schedules
- SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the project
After the initiation stage, the project is planned to an appropriate level of detail. The main purpose is to plan time, cost and resources adequately to estimate the work needed and to effectively manage risk during project execution.
- Determining how to plan (e.g. by level of detail)
- Developing the scope statement
- Selecting the planning team
- Identifying deliverables and creating the work breakdown structure
- Identifying the activities needed to complete those deliverables and networking the activities in their logical sequence
- Estimating the resource requirements for the activities
- Estimating time and cost for activities
- Developing the schedule
- Developing the budget
- Risk planning
- Developing quality assurance measures
- Gaining formal approval to begin work
Additional we recommend processes, such as planning for communications and for scope management, identifying roles and responsibilities, determining what to purchase for the project and holding a kick-off meeting.
For new product development projects, conceptual design of the operation of the final product may be performed concurrent with the project planning activities, and may help to inform the planning team when identifying deliverables and planning activities.
While executing we must know what are the planned terms that need to be executed. The execution/implementation phase ensures that the project management plan's deliverables are executed accordingly. This phase involves proper allocation, co-ordination and management of human resources and any other resources such as material and budgets. The output of this phase are the project deliverables.
- Documenting everything within a project is key to being successful. To maintain budget, scope, effectiveness and pace a project must have physical documents pertaining to each specific task. With correct documentation, it is easy to see whether a projects requirement has been met. To go along with that, documentation provides information regarding what has already been completed for that project. Documentation throughout a project provides a paper trail for anyone who needs to go back and reference the work in the past. In most cases, documentation is the most successful way to monitor and control the specific phases of a project. With the correct documentation, a project’s success can be tracked and observed as the project goes on. If performed correctly documentation can be the backbone to a project’s success.
Monitoring and Controlling
Monitoring and controlling are those processes performed to observe project execution so that potential problems are identified in a timely manner and corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to control the execution of the project. The key benefit is that project performance is observed and measured regularly to identify variances from the project management plan.
Monitoring and controlling includes:
- Measuring the ongoing project activities ('where we are')
- Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, scope, etc.) against the project management plan and the project performance baseline (where we should be)
- Identifying corrective actions to address issues and risks properly (How can we get on track again)
- Influencing the factors that could circumvent integrated change control so only approved changes are implemented
In multi-phase projects, the monitoring and control process also provides us feedback between project phases, to implement corrective or preventive actions to bring the project into compliance with the project management plan.
Project maintenance is an ongoing process, and it includes:
- Continuing support of end-users
- Correction of errors
- Updates to the product over time
In this stage, auditors review to how effectively and quickly user problems are resolved.
Over the course of any construction project, the work scope may change. Change is a normal and expected part of the construction process. Changes can be the result of necessary design modifications, differing site conditions, material availability, contractor-requested changes, value engineering and impacts from third parties, to name a few. Beyond executing the change in the field, the change normally needs to be documented to show what was constructed. This is referred to as change management. Hence, the owner usually requires a final record to show all changes or, more specifically, any change that modifies the tangible portions of the finished work. The record is made on the contract documents – usually, but not necessarily limited to, the design drawings. The product of this effort is what the industry terms as-built drawings, or more simply, "as built." The requirement for providing them is a norm in construction contracts. Construction document management is a highly important task undertaken with the aid an online or desktop software system, or maintained through physical documentation. The increasing legality pertaining to the construction industries maintenance of correct documentation has caused the increase in the need for document management systems.
When changes are introduced to the project, the viability of the project must be re-assessed. It is important not to lose sight of the initial goals and targets of the projects. When the changes accumulate, the forecasted result may not justify the original proposed investment in the project. Successful project management identifies these components, and tracks and monitors progress to stay within time and budget frames already outlined at the commencement of the project.
Closing includes the formal acceptance of the project and the ending thereof. Administrative activities include the archiving of the files and documenting lessons learned.
This phase consists of:
- Contract closure: Complete and settle each contract (including the resolution of any open items) and close each contract applicable to the project or project phase.
- Project close: Finalize all activities across all the process groups to formally close the project or a project phase
Also included in this phase is the Post Implementation Review. This is a vital phase of the project for the project team to learn from experiences and apply to future projects. Normally a Post Implementation Review consists of looking at things that went well and analyzing things that went badly on the project to come up with lessons learned.
Project controlling and project control systems
Project controlling (also known as Cost Engineering) should be established as an independent function in project management. It implements verification and controlling function during the processing of a project to reinforce the defined performance and formal goals. The tasks of project controlling are also:
- The creation of infrastructure for the supply of the right information and its update
- The establishment of a way to communicate disparities of project parameters
- The development of project information technology based on an intranet or the determination of a project key performance indicator system (KPI)
- Divergence analyses and generation of proposals for potential project regulations
- The establishment of methods to accomplish an appropriate project structure, project workflow organization, project control and governance
- Creation of transparency among the project parameters
Fulfillment and implementation of these tasks can be achieved by applying specific methods and instruments of project controlling. The following methods of project controlling can be applied:
- Investment analysis
- Cost–benefit analysis
- Value benefit analysis
- Expert surveys
- Simulation calculations
- Risk-profile analysis
- Surcharge calculations
- Milestone trend analysis
- Cost trend analysis
Project control is that element of a project that keeps it on track, on-time and within budget. Project control begins early in the project with planning and ends late in the project with post-implementation review, having a thorough involvement of each step in the process. Projects may be audited or reviewed while the project is in progress. Formal audits are generally risk or compliance-based and management will direct the objectives of the audit. An examination may include a comparison of approved project management processes with how the project is being managed. Each project should be assessed for the appropriate level of control needed: too much control is too time consuming, too little control is very risky. If project control is not implemented correctly, the cost to the business should be clarified in terms of errors and fixes.
Control systems are needed for cost, risk, quality, communication, time, change, procurement, and human resources. In addition, auditors should consider how important the projects are to the financial statements, how reliant the stakeholders are on controls, and how many controls exist. Auditors should review the development process and procedures for how they are implemented. The process of development and the quality of the final product may also be assessed if needed or requested. A business may want the auditing firm to be involved throughout the process to catch problems earlier on so that they can be fixed more easily. An auditor can serve as a controls consultant as part of the development team or as an independent auditor as part of an audit.
Businesses sometimes use formal systems development processes. These help assure systems are developed successfully. A formal process is more effective in creating strong controls, and auditors should review this process to confirm that it is well designed and is followed in practice. A good formal systems development plan outlines:
- A strategy to align development with the organization's broader objectives
- Standards for new systems
- Project management policies for timing and budgeting
- Procedures describing the process
- Evaluation of quality of change