Levels of Project Planning – PRINCE2 Plans

prince2-msp_spiralboundPRINCE2 Levels of Project Planning

PRINCE2 is a project management methodology that was developed in the UK. This methodology defines the type of plans that a project team should consider.

Stages in PRINCE2 are defined as time-bound periods of a project, which do not overlap in time and are referred to as Management Stages. The end of a Stage may signify a major event, such as signing a major contract.  Project Phases may overlap in time, but Stages do not.  Under PRINCE2 a Project Plan is divided into Stages and a Stage plan is detailed out prior to its commencement.

PRINCE2 defines the following levels of plans:

  • Programme Planwhich may include Project Plans or one or more portfolios of multiple projects,
  • Project Plan – this is mandatory and is updated through the duration of a project,
  • Stage Planthere are a minimum of two Stage Plans: an Initiation Stage Plan and First Stage Plan. There would usually be one Stage Plan for each Stage,
  • Exception Planwhich is at the same level and detail as a Stage Plan and replaces a Stage Plan at the request of a Project Board when a Stage is forecast to exceed tolerances (contingent time), and
  • Team Planwhich is optional and would be used on larger projects where Teams deliver Products that require detailed planning. A typical example is a contractor’s plan, which would be submitted during the bid process.

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

Create a Project Using Primavera P6 – Primavera P6 Training Sydney Melbourne Perth

isbn#9781921059575 _Oracle Primavera P6 Training manual_V8-1Creating Projects in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth Using Primavera P6

To create a project in a Primavera database, you will need the following information:

  • An EPS Node, OBS Node in the database to assign the project,
  • Project ID (a code assigned to the project) and the Project Name,
  • The Project Start Date (and perhaps the Finish Date), and
  • The Rate Type. Primavera has five rates per resource and this option enables you to select a rate as the default resources rate.

It would also be useful to know other information such as:

  • Client name, and
  • Project information such as location, project number and stakeholders.

Defining the Calendars

Before you start entering activities into your schedule, it is advisable to set up the calendars. These are used to model the working time for each activity in the project. For example, a 6-day calendar is created for those activities that will be worked for 6 days a week. The calendar should include any public holidays and any other exceptions to available working days, such as planned days off.

Primavera Software has three types of calendars:

  • Global– which may be assigned to activities and resources in any project,
  • Project– these are project-specific calendars assigned to activities, and
  • Resource– that are assigned to resources.

Project and Resource calendars may be linked to Global calendars, enabling any changes to holidays made to a Global calendar to be inherited by the associated Project and Resource calendars.

Defining the Project Breakdown Structures

A project breakdown structure (PBS) is a way of categorizing the activities of a project into numerous codes that relate to the project. The codes act as tags or attributes of each activity.

During or after the activities are added to the schedule, they are assigned their PBSs so that they may be grouped, summarized, and filtered in or out of the display.

Primavera has two principal methods of assigning a PBS to your project:

  • The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) function, which is comparable to the P3 and SureTrak WBS functions.
  • The Activity Code function that operates in a way similar to P3 and SureTrak.

Before creating a project, you should design your PBSs by asking the following questions:

  • Which phases are involved in the project (e.g., Design, Procure, Install and Test)?
  • Which disciplines are participating (e.g., Civil, Mechanical and Electrical)?
  • Which departments are involved in the project (e.g., Sales, Procurement and Installation)?
  • What work is expected to be contracted out and which contractors are to be used?
  • How many sites or areas are there in the project?

Use the responses to these and other similar questions to create the PBSs.

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

Primavera P6 Training Course Sydney – Project Planning Levels PMBOK Guide

planning and control with the pmbok guideWhen attending a Primavera P6 training course in Sydney, you will learn about the project levels as outlined in the PMBOK Guide.

Projects are often planned at a summary level and then at a later date detailed out before the work commences. Smaller projects may be scheduled in detail during project planning, but large or complex projects may require several iterations before the project plan is fully detailed out.

The main reasons for not detailing out a project early are that:

  • There may not be enough information at that stage and
  • Preparing detailed schedules wastes time, as they may be made redundant by unforeseen changes.

The following planning techniques discussed in other well-known project management books may be considered:

PMBOK® Guide

The PMBOK® Guide, which is a project management reference book published by the Project Management Institute, discusses the following techniques:

  • The Rolling Wave. This technique involves adding more detail to the schedule as the work approaches. This is often possible, as more information is known about the scope of the project as work is executed. The initial planning could be completed at a high level in the Work Breakdown Structure(WBS). As the work approaches, the planning may be completed at a WBS Component and then to a Work Package level planning.
  • The use of Sub-projects. These are useful in larger projects where more than one entity is working on the project schedule. This situation may exist when portions of projects are contracted out. A sub-project may be detailed out when the work is awarded to a contractor.
  • The use of Phases. A Phase is different from a PRINCE2 Stage, as Phases may overlap in time and Stages do not. Phases may be defined, for example, as Design, Procure and Install. These Phases may overlap, as Procurement may commence before Design is complete. The Phase development of a schedule involves the detailing out of all the associated WBS elements prior to the commencement of that Phase.
  • The PMBOK® Guide does not have strict definitions for levels of plans but assumes that this process is undertaken when decomposing the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). There are some other models available that may be used as guidelines, such as the PMI “Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures.”

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

Primavera P6 Training Course Brisbane – What is a Project Planning Cycle?

primavera_P6_V8.2 training using metrics brisbaneWhen attending a Primavera P6 training course in Brisbane you will learn about the planning cycle.

The planning cycle is an integral part of managing a project in Brisbane.  A software package such as Primavera P6 makes this activity much easier.

When the original plan is agreed to, the Baseline or Target is set.  The Baseline is a copy of the original plan and is used to compare progress of an updated schedule. Earlier versions were limited 50 baselines but this restriction has been removed in later versions.

After project planning has ended and project execution has begun, the actual progress is monitored, recorded and compared to the Baseline dates.

The progress is then reported and evaluated against the Baseline.

The plan may be changed by adding or deleting activities and adjusting Remaining Durations, Logic or Resources. A revised plan is then published as progress continues. A revised Baseline may be set if the original Baseline becomes irrelevant due to the impact of project scope changes, a change in methodology or excessive delays.

Updating a schedule assists in the management of a project by recording and displaying:

  • Progress and the impact of project scope changes and delays as the project progresses,
  • The revised completion date and final forecast of costs for the project,
  • Historical data that may be used to support extension of time claims and dispute resolution, and
  • Historical data that may be used in future projects of a similar nature.

Projects are often planned at a summary level and then at a later date detailed out before the work commences.  Smaller projects may be scheduled in detail during project planning, but large or complex projects may require several iterations before the project plan is fully detailed out.

The main reasons for not detailing out a project early are that:

  • There may not be enough information at that stage and
  • Preparing detailed schedules wastes time, as they may be made redundant by unforeseen changes.

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

Primavera P6 Training – Project Planning Metrics Using Primavera P6

primavera_P6_V8.2 training using metricsProject Planning Metrics Using Primavera P6

The components that are normally measured and controlled using planning and scheduling software:

  • Scope
  • Time
  • Resource Effort/Work (these are called Units in Primavera P6)
  • Cost

A change in any one of these components normally results in a change in one or more of the others.

Other project management functions that are not traditionally managed with planning and scheduling software but may have components reflected in the schedule include:

  • Document Management and Control,
  • Quality Management,
  • Contract Management,
  • Issue Management,
  • Risk Management,
  • Industrial Relations, and
  • Accounting.

The development of Enterprise Project Management systems has resulted in the inclusion of many of these functions in project planning and scheduling software.

Primavera P6 software includes modules for:

  • Issue Management,
  • Risk Management, and
  • Document Management.

Planning Cycle

The planning cycle is an integral part of managing a project. A software package such as Primavera makes this activity much easier.

When the original plan is agreed to, the Baseline or Target is set. The Baseline is a copy of the original plan and is used to compare progress of an updated schedule. Earlier versions were limited 50 baselines but this restriction has been removed in later versions.

After project planning has ended and project execution has begun, the actual progress is monitored, recorded and compared to the Baseline dates.

The progress is then reported and evaluated against the Baseline.

The plan may be changed by adding or deleting activities and adjusting Remaining Durations, Logic or Resources. A revised plan is then published as progress continues. A revised Baseline may be set if the original Baseline becomes irrelevant due to the impact of project scope changes, a change in methodology or excessive delays.

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.