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Qatar National Project Management – An overview

Qatar National Project Management (QNPM)

Qatar National Project Management (QNPM) is a Planning Council initiative to build and support professional project management capacity in Qatar’s public service. It began as part of a broad program to make their public service more efficient and effective. It combines international best practice with the insights of local experts who have years of project management experience. It is an evolving initiative that currently includes a framework for managing projects based on a project Lifecycle, with templates, job aids and other resources and a software tool to help you automate project management tasks and work with your team online. It offers practical advice and support for new project leads, experienced project managers, and executives interested in how a standard approach to project management can support their organization’s success.

In QNPM framework, a project lifecycle has three stages, Define, Plan, Implement, and Close.

A project is a temporary endeavour that creates a unique product, service or result. Project management is a defined body of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques for meeting project requirements. It has been proven to greatly increase the chances of achieving project success and delivering on time and on budget, and it is the most effective mechanism for achieving outcomes efficiently and effectively. It improves results by providing a structure for better information and better controls. The methods and techniques that make up project management are generic and they apply to projects of all types, regardless of size. The key elements of project management include techniques for managing a project’s scope, quality, time, cost, risk, human resources, procurement, and communications. A project lifecycle refers to the standard phases a project will move through as it moves from conception to completion. These stages are Define, Plan, Implement and Close.

1.       Define

In this phase the project manager proposes a project to senior management and stakeholders with a brief written description (the Project Definition Document). The project definition document helps support a shared understanding of what work the project will involve and what results it should achieve and is subject to approval.

Key activities are to:

Understand stakeholder interests and expectations

Establish a shared high-level understanding of the proposed project and its intended results

Seek approval from senior management to move to the Plan Phase.

Typically the deliverable for the Define Phase is the Project Definition Document. The Project Definition Document is not a Project Plan. It is much shorter, and it is designed to ensure there is enough interest in a project to justify the effort required to write a Project Plan, Schedule, and Budget. It contains the following:

  • Purpose
  • Problem/Opportunity
  • Project goal
  • Project objectives
  • Project scope
  • Key stakeholders
  • Outcomes/success criteria
  • Assumptions and constraints
  • Risks
  • Estimated cost
  • Estimated duration

A Business Case and Cost Benefit Analysis are produced instead of or in addition to a Project Definition Document when senior management needs a more detailed justification for a project. Business Cases are often required when projects:

  • Need large budgets
  • Need new funding
  • Will have a big impact on the organization, or
  • Will have a big impact on service delivery.

KEY DELIVERABLES

 Complete deliverables in the Define Phase will answer the following key questions:

  • Is this the right project?
  • What results should it achieve?
  • How will success be measured?

KEY RESOURCES

These job aids will help you complete project management deliverables in this phase.
Stakeholder Identification Checklist

Three Key Questions

Project Definition Document Preparation Guidelines

Business Case Preparation Guidelines

Quality Assurance Guide for Project Definition Documents

2.       The Plan Phase

Here the project is proposed in more detail, and an outline of a clear approach for executing the project is made.

Key activities are to:

  • Thoroughly plan the project activities, schedule, and resource requirements; and
  • Provide more detailed information to senior management for discussion and approval.

Deliverables in this phase build on the Project Definition Document and Business Case from the Define Phase.

A Project Plan will outline what work a project will do and how it will be executed, including timeline and budget information. Typically, a detailed Schedule and Budget are provided as appendices to the Project Plan.

KEY DELIVERABLES

The deliverables in the Plan Phase, when complete, should answer:

  • What activities and deliverables will be completed?
  • How long will the project take?
  • Who will do what?
  • What will the project cost?
  • How will risks and issues be managed?

KEY RESOURCES

1.How will we know when the project is complete?

The answer to this question is a list of outputs or deliverables, sometimes with measures of completeness or quality.

2. How will we know if the project has been a success?

The answer to this question names desired project results. It should not restate project outputs or deliverables; instead, it should state what impact outputs and deliverables will have on those outside the project.

3. Who gets to answer questions one and two?

The answer to this question names who the primary stakeholders are for a project.

3.       The Implement Phase

This is the phase where the work described in the Project Plan is actually done.

At the beginning of this phase, project mobilization or start up is done and it entails:

  • Securing the resources required to execute the project
  • Orientation of team members,
  • Getting started on the work plans.

Once the team is established, you control the execution of the Project Plan using techniques to manage risks, issues, changes, quality, and cost. You also manage communications, project documents, procurement, and human resources.

Key activities of the project manager are to:

  • Mobilize the team to execute the Project Plan
  • Control the execution of the Project Plan
  • Communicate with stakeholders
  • Report project status
  • Update the Project Plan, Schedule, Budget and Business Case as needed

KEY DELIVERABLES

Deliverables are divided into Project Mobilization and Project Control.

Project Mobilization Deliverables

When complete, the Project Mobilization deliverables should answer the following questions:

  • How will the team work together to manage risks, issues, and changes?
  • How will the team report status? How frequently?
  • What is the process for approving and storing project deliverables?
  • What are the expectations of the team regarding standards, methodologies, and templates?
  • How will the team communicate with stakeholders?

The key mobilization deliverables that clarify how the team will work are as follows:

The key mobilization deliverables for getting the team started and aligning stakeholders are as follows:

Project Control Deliverables

Complete Project Control deliverables answer the following questions:

  • How is project work progressing?
  • What issues, risks, and changes does the project face and how should these be managed?
  • How much is the project actually costing?
  • What results have been achieved to date?

The key project control deliverables for reporting status and maintaining project records are as follows:

KEY RESOURCES

4.       The Close Phase

This is the phase where you shut down the project in a controlled manner.

Key activities are to:

  • Demonstrate the project is complete
  • Assess the success of the project
  • Undertake administrative closeout
  • Transfer knowledge to the permanent organization
  • Support departing staff as the project ends and the team dissolves

KEY DELIVERABLES

KEY RESOURCES

QNPM Tool

The QNPM Tool is an important part of the QNPM initiative. It acts as a virtual project assistant and it includes customized and automated functions that you can use to manage workflow for issues, risks, schedules, resources, tasks, documents, and budgets. It can help you stay organized as you move through the stages of the project lifecycle.

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