This is the first in a series of posts (explained here) on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). I am blogging my way through it in preparation for my Project Management Professional (PMP) exam.
Initiating Process Group
Develop Project Charter
The project kicks off with a process called Develop Project Charter. This develops a document that formally authorizes the project and gives the PM authority to use organizational resources.
The key benefit is that we get a well-defined project start, a formal record, and a way for senior management to formally commit to the project. For external projects, a contract takes the place of a charter.
A PM is assigned as early as possible — preferably while the charter is being developed and always before planning starts. The charter should be written by the sponsor. Projects are initiated by those external to the project e.g. sponsor or PMO.
Inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs (ITTO) to the Develop Project Charter process start with the project statement of work (SOW). This is a narrative description of the products, services or results expected of the project. The SOW draws on the business need, the product scope description and the organization’s strategic plan.
Other inputs include agreements, which can be contracts SLAs, etc.; enterprise environmental factors (EEFs from now on); and organizational process assets (OPA).
Tools and techniques used to develop the project charter include expert judgment and facilitation techniques. The former can come from stakeholders, consultants, elsewhere in the company, industry groups, etc.
The sole output from this process is the project charter itself. It is still very early in the process, but the charter should have summary and high-level information.
This should include things like the project’s purpose, measurable project objectives, high-level requirements, assumptions and constraints, high-level risks, project approval requirements and a stakeholder list amongst other things.
This process (13.1 in the PMBOK) identifies anyone who could impact or be impacted by the project. Perceptions count, too. If they think they will be affected, then they are stakeholders.
By project, we mean anything at all related to the work in hand e.g. decisions, outcomes, activities, etc.
It is critical to identify and analyze stakeholders early in the project — hence its inclusion in the Initiating Process Group.
Inputs include the project charter just completed; procurement documents since outside contractors or suppliers are key stakeholders; EEFs and OPAs.
Tools and techniques include meetings and expert judgment. They also includes stakeholder analysis, which is a systematic technique used to identify, and then classify, stakeholders according to roles, expectations, interest and influence on the project.
There are a number of ways to classify stakeholders but the easiest is probably to draw a 2×2 grid of Power v Interest.
To ensure as comprehensive a list of stakeholders is drawn up, expert judgment can come from senior management, already identified stakeholders, subject matter experts, PMs who have worked on similar projects, etc. Meetings can also be useful.
The output from the Identify Stakeholder process is the stakeholder register. This has identification data such as name, position, locations, project role and contact details; assessment information like main requirements and expectations, potential influence, phase with the most interest; and stakeholder classification such as supporter/neutral/against, internal/external, etc.
The register is updated and consulted regularly as stakeholders change or get identified throughout the project.