Library

Gain Project Agreements

Work Package

Stuff changes, people change, people change their minds, verify key project agreements often.

Overview:

  • Best practice would be to share and gain agreement or approval for the project work periodically.

  • We recommend that all business projects should have gone through the first six work packages.

  • Identify knowns vs unknowns. The more unknowns you have the more risk. Unknowns, i.e. work or deliverables that are new or haven't been done before are difficult to determine requirements, scope, schedule, etc. Flag and ask for help on the unknowns.

  • Depending on the scope of the project, and organizational needs, the approval may be formal or informal, in person or virtual.

  • Compile the project information appropriate for the audience. Provide summary information for management and general stakeholders, and detailed for core team members.

  • The further into a project you go, the more expensive changes in direction become.

  • Recognize that everything is constantly changing, technology, the business environment, customer needs, employee needs.

  • Project teams need a way to stay focused on the project's goals while monitoring the change that may impact the project.

  • The approach we recommend is; do a little work, gain agreement, do a little work, gain agreement, etc.

  • Preliminary and on-going validation should be a combination of formal and informal reviews, agreements, and approvals

Reviews:

  • Project Team

  • Daily / Weekly Stand-ups

  • Department

  • Project Steering Committee / Cross-functional

  • Customer

  • Senior Management

  • Define the purpose for each type of review & agree on the information to be presented

  • Identify the participants & establish the timing

  • Track action items and update plans, sometimes action items can end up being another project.

  • Describe the process that will be used to approve the project plan

  • List who will be involved and if it will require a formal or informal approval

  • Describe who will need to be involved in reviewing & approving on-going project progress, results, and changes.

  • Define how issues that cannot be resolved / decided by the project team will be escalated & how the project sponsor is expected to participate in removing barriers.

  • Distribute Information Prior to the Meeting

  • Define the Presentation Format

  • Present and Discuss Progress and Results

  • Encourage Two-way Dialogue, Not Just a One Way Data Dump

  • Ask For Help When Required

  • Seek Recommendations​

Gain Updated Plan Approval:

  • Ensure everyone is on the same page by gaining agreement.

  • Tailor the reviews to match your project. Small projects may be informal & electronic, large critical projects may need to be formal face to face meetings.

  • If the communication requirements have not been done prior to this, now is the time to begin.

  • Start by identifying individuals and groups that will need to receive communication along with the key messages for each group.

  • Projects create change, identify who needs to be aware of the change, i.e. who's the target audience / audiences for project communication - Consider two types of communication, project status and solution focused - Project status is about schedule, budget, teams, and resources, while solution focused communication is about what's changing, deliverables, business process, tools, behavior, etc. - On small projects communication requirements and communication plan can be combined into one step, in large projects it's helpful to separate the two - After identifying who needs to receive communication along with the key messages, define why they need the communication. - Identify why each group or individual needs to receive specific communication. - The purpose of business communication is to trigger an action, what action should the communication trigger or initiate? - Next describe how the key messages will be delivered and then when