Project Management

Progressive Elaboration

Leaves Falling Fuzzy PhotoThe beauty of project management is progressive elaboration—where the project begins with a simplistic idea and is gradually updated and refined into a detailed plan of execution. This allows you as project manager to start small with the information that you know, and then build the project as more information becomes available.

  • Progressive Elaboration is a project management technique where the project plan is being continuously and constantly modified, detailed, and improved as newer and more improved (as well as more highly detailed), sets of information becomes available. In this way, the project unfolds with a series of successive iterations. Progressive elaboration is a fundamentally important step to the project management planning process as it can take a sketchy preliminary plan and refine it.
  • Organizational Process Assets (OPAs) are processes and procedures that you have on hand to use on your project and defined as any artifact, practice or knowledge that can be used to the success of the project.
    • Initiating and Planning OPAs include:
      • Guidelines, process for tailoring criteria (knowledge)
      • Organizational standards, policies, procedures (practice)
      • Project templates (artifact)
    • Executing and Monitoring (and Controlling) OPAs include:
      • Change control procedures
      • Financial control procedures
      • Issue and defect management procedures
      • Organization communication requirements
      • Work authorization procedures
      • Risk control procedures
      • Performance measurement criteria
    • Closing OPAs include:
      • Project closure guidelines and requirements
      • File lessons learned, final deliverables audits
      • Project evaluations
      • Deliverables validations
      • Acceptance criteria
    • Corporate Knowledge Base (KB) OPAs include:
      • Configuration management KBs, Version history of standards, policies, procedures
      • Historical information and lessons learned KBs
      • Issue and defect management database
      • Process measurement databases
      • Prior project files
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEFs) are conditions, not under the control of the project team, that influence, constrain or direct the project. You must learn enterprise environmental factors. Examples of EEGs include:
    • Organizational culture
    • Organizational structure and governance
    • Human resources

Further Reading

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