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Project Management – Invitation to Tender

Project Management – Invitation to Tender (#13 in the series Project Management Guide)
By Lasa Information Systems Team

A template for an Invitation to tender document

Background to the Project

Short section, no longer than half a page, setting out an overview of the project, similar to background section in the Project Initiation Document

Supplier response required

This is the key section that sets out what the supplier needs to respond to. It should be laid out in a clear manner that will ensure suppliers approach the ITT in a consistent way, thus facilitating ease of comparison. You may want to consider setting these out in table form, as an appendix.

Scope of the work

This section should be based on the relevant deliverables, laid out as individual bullet points. Should include any associated work such as ongoing support or training of staff. It may also include asking for the experience/views of the supplier on future development options and how this stage of the development might best be used to ensure that future needs can be accommodated. Read the Complete Article

Project Management – Product Description

Project Management – Product Description (#12 in the series Project Management Guide)
By Lasa Information Systems Team

While the Project Definition Document provides an overview of the project, it is necessary to go into more detail about the key deliverables – the things that the project will produce. A Product Description is used to do this, spelling out the purpose of the product, details of what it will consist of, and set quality criteria.

The “product” may be a tangible thing like a printed publication or a website, or it may be a less concrete entity such as a training course or some form of service.

The Product Description is a separate document from the Project Initiation Document.

The Product Description will go into more detail: for example, the Product Description for a publication will describe its content, the different sections, its format etc. The two documents have different purposes – the Product Description should be able to stand alone. Read the Complete Article

Project Management – Project Initiation Document

Project Management – Project Initiation Document (#11 in the series Project Management Guide)
By Lasa Information Systems Team

Summarise your project in one document which can be referred to when the details get confusing.

Project Initiation Document Headings

Background

  • Context
  • Origins
  • How we got where we are

Project Definition

  • Vision
  • Outcomes
  • Objectives
  • Deliverables
  • Method of approach
  • Scope
  • Constraints
  • Exclusions
  • Interfaces (how the project fits into overall organisation management – and relationships with partners)
  • Assumptions

Initial Business Case

  • Needs assessment
  • Benefits
  • Users (who)
  • Numbers
  • Marketing and access
  • Other players (voluntary and statutory)
  • Sustainability

Initial Project Plan

  • (Can use software like MS Project)
  • Assignments (tasks)
  • Timings
  • Estimated Effort (Staff time)

Budget Quality Plan

  • How products will be tested
  • (Monitoring, performance indicators)
  • Evaluation

Risks

Contingency Plan

Project organisation structure

  • (People, roles etc.)

Project Controls

  • (Running the project)

Exception Process

  • (Under what circumstances we make what changes when things go wrong – who decides.)

What the headings mean

Background

Background is a brief account of how the project got to where it is. Read the Complete Article

Project Management – The Project Brief

Project Management – The Project Brief (#10 in the series Project Management Guide)
By Lasa Information Systems Team

The Project Brief provides a way into the project and acts as a first step to producing a Project Initiation Document. This template can be used successfully as the basis of an initial brainstorming session with everyone involved or interested in the project.

The Project Brief sets an agenda for the meeting and acts as a checklist to ensure that discussion covers all the major issues. It’s helpful to issue everyone with a copy of the Brief template and encourage them to think about the issues before the meeting. It’s important to prevent the discussion getting bogged down in any one area of detail. People may struggle with the difference between outcomes and objectives for example, but you’re not aiming for perfection at this stage, just general agreement on the various elements of the project. Read the Complete Article

Project Management – Working with Suppliers

Project Management – Working with Suppliers (#9 in the series Project Management Guide)
By Lasa Information Systems Team

The most crucial step in many technical projects is to find the right supplier. Find a good company to develop your website or to set up your database and the project is well on the way to success. Pick a dud and you’re in for a nightmare.

Good project management technique really begins to pay off when it comes to choosing your supplier. The work you’ve done producing a project definition will be a big help in selecting and managing your supplier.

Invitation to tender

The starting point, whether you’re going through a major tendering process or just talking to consultants about a small piece of work will be a clear statement of what you require from a potential supplier.

This document will communicate your needs to a supplier; provide the basis of their tender, and of the contract between you. Read the Complete Article

Project Management – Controlling the project

Project Management – Controlling the project (#5 in the series Project Management Guide)
By Lasa Information Systems Team

A group of people need to take control of the project – this is the Project Board.

The Project Board

The Project Board is charged with the task of controlling the project. A PRINCE2 Project Board consists of:

  • Executive – Senior manager with overall responsibility for the project.
  • Senior User – Represents the interests of users of the deliverables – staff within an agency for example.
  • Senior Supplier – Represents the interests of those responsible for product development
  • Project Manager – Runs the project on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Project board.

This is a smaller group than many voluntary organisations would use to oversee a project.

The emphasis is on controlling the project; it is much more a working group than a talking shop. It shouldn’t be seen as a steering group representing the interests of all the stakeholders. Read the Complete Article

Project Management – Which method?

Project Management – Which method? (#3 in the series Project Management Guide)
By Lasa Information Systems Team

There are lots of different project management methodologies available, each touted by its supplier as having some special magic ingredient or suitability to your project. But when you look at the different systems it quickly becomes apparent that they are all variations on the same theme and have a lot in common.

The same basic principles apply whichever system you use. The issue isn’t so much the system you use but how well you apply it.

Many project management systems are proprietary. Project management consultants sell them as a package of services that will include training sessions and consultancy alongside documentation that will include templates and guidance notes. These packages don’t come cheap, costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds. But this approach may be a cost effective solution for larger organisations that want to set up a structure to manage a number of projects. Read the Complete Article

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