Maintaining the Project Management File

All the information discussed throughout this book should be integrated and stored as a managed document ”the project management file. All changes to this information should be recorded and, where appropriate, approved by the project sponsor and steering committee:

  • Initial business case,

  • Detailed project schedules,

  • Stakeholder agreements,

  • Stakeholder reports ,

  • Project tracking reports and summaries,

  • Project reports,

  • Project metrics,

  • Quality assurance summaries,

  • Any changes to the business case (approved by the project sponsor and steering committee), and

  • Other project management reports.

The Business Case Is the Focus of Everything

Too many traditional project management models further complicate an already complex process by adding additional concepts such as issues logs, change request logs, and risk logs.


If your project has not changed, be afraid, very afraid.

These models reflect the old-fashioned idea that change is bad and that it can be managed by a "separate" technique from project management. In eXtreme projects, these change logs quickly become unmanageable. [3]

[3] In one project being managed by a well-known consulting group, the change log and risk issues log had more than 60,000 entries. The consulting group then proposed another project (which they would run, of course) to automate the change logs. As we pointed out to the client, who would manage the changes on the project to automate changes?

In eXtreme project management, all changes are immediately reflected in the business case. In other words, the business case is a living and changing document (see Figure 17.7).

Figure 17.7. The living business case


Of course, as we have been emphasizing throughout this book, all changes to the business case are approved by the sponsor and critical stakeholders before they are accepted.

The file should be maintained so that the current business case is the first document in the file when it is opened. It would also contain a revision log as is normal for controlled documents. The business case is a public document and all team members should be able to access it.

If you maintain your business case, you'll maintain your sanity .

The P Files Episode 14: The Abusive Parent Catch-22

We were working in a major bank with a team when, a very senior manager stormed into another team's area. "You, #$@@8**, you lousy %%$@!!!. I'll get you all. ###$$@#&," and so on. We were amazed, as we had not seen such a display since political correctness became part of normal corporate life. We asked the team that had been blasted what was going on. "Oh, he's our sponsor and one of his peers has just told him that his project is way behind schedule," we were told. "Why didn't you guys tell him yourselves?" we asked, "Why did he have to find out from one of his colleagues?" Another team member answered , "Well we knew if we told him, he would just yell at us." Another team member spoke up, "Yea. And you just saw him do it."

The P Files Team Comment

This is a wonderful example of the self-fulfilling prophecy . Again and again, we have seen examples of sponsors being placed in the position of finding out too late about the status of their projects to do anything else but "kick a few heads." Great project managers ask for help quickly. We'll talk more about this in Chapter 20.

Case Study ”Changes, Changes

You assemble all the information you have gathered in your RAP session and smaller stakeholder sessions, produce a business case, and review it with Edwina, Uri, Joan, Kim, and the people at Smuthe.

Well done! Woo hoo!

The project starts and Edwina decides to include Watchout Insurance as a client group. If you hadn't read this book, you'd deal with the change on the run.

Not eXtreme project managers, though!

You assemble the stakeholders and re-RAP the project and the business case.

What emerges is that there are some small changes to Release 1 but the bigger impact is on Release 3 (which you haven't scheduled yet). The benefits of scenario planning are revealed. The big impacts are as follows :

  • Increased hardware capacity,

  • Increased costs of data capture,

  • More training effort,

  • A broader marketing campaign, and

  • Increased security requirements.

Interestingly, almost all these impacts are on Smuthe rather than your project. Edwina agrees to "ease off" further on the timeframe to allow for acquisition of new hardware and to allocate additional support for Joan in the training area.

In effect, there is no need to change your business case.

Radical Project Management
Radical Project Management
ISBN: 0130094862
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 136
Authors: Rob Thomsett

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