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Requirements Traceability Matrix – RTM

Requirements Traceability Matrix – RTM
By Tom Carlos (PMP)

Defining the RTM

The Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a tool to help ensure that the project’s scope, requirements, and deliverables remain “as is” when compared to the baseline. Thus, it “traces” the deliverables by establishing a thread for each requirement- from the project’s initiation to the final implementation.

The RTM can be used during all phases of a project to:

  • Track all requirements and whether or not they are being met by the current process and design
  • Assist in the creation of the RFP, Project Plan Tasks, Deliverable Documents, and Test Scripts
  • Help ensure that all system requirements have been met during the Verification process.

The Matrix should be created at the very beginning of a project because it forms the basis of the project’s scope and incorporates the specific requirements and deliverables that will be produced.

The Matrix is considered to be bi-directional. Read the Complete Article

Start Every Project with a Detailed Description of the Project

Start Every Project with a Detailed Description of the Project
By Richard Morreale

Too many times I have seen Projects go bad because there wasn’t a common understanding at the beginning of what the Project was supposed to deliver – poor communication. People assume, even on small Projects, that everyone has a common understanding of the deliverable and too late everyone realizes that they don’t.

I suggest that the Detailed Project Definition should be completed before or at the start of the Project. In fact, ideally, this should be the initial definition used to brief the Project Manager as to what the Project is all about. What usually happens, though, is that the Project Manager will have to produce this as the first Deliverable and will get it agreed by whoever is sponsoring the Project. In addition, once this Detailed Project Definition is written and agreed, it should be used as the foundation to everything that follows. Read the Complete Article

Do You Understand Project Scope Management?

Do You Understand Project Scope Management?
By Harry Hall

Project managers have difficulty managing project scope. Many project managers encounter scope creep, but don’t know what’s happening or what to do about it. Why? Frankly, some individuals don’t grasp the core principles.

Do you understand project scope management? Test your understanding. Try this quick quiz before reading the terms below.

Let’s review key terms for managing scope.

  • Project. A project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.” Every project is temporary. It’s not perpetual. Each project has boundaries in terms of a definite beginning and ending.
  • Program. A program is “a group of related projects, subprograms, and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them separately.” The scope of a program is the sum of its related projects and program activities.

  • Product. A product is “an artifact that is produced, is quantifiable, and can be either an end item in itself or a component item.” A product may be a building, a software application, or a golf course, to name a few.

Read the Complete Article

How to Keep Your Project From Being a Runaway Train

How to Keep Your Project From Being a Runaway Train
By Harry Hall

Have you ever been handed a project with too many requirements right from the beginning?

How many times have you experienced feature creep? You know the drill – you elicit and document the requirements – you receive sign off – you continue to see changes to the requirements with no controls. Many projects experience 10, 20, 25-percent change in requirements over the life of the project.

If you are successful at avoiding too many requirements or feature creep, you may still encounter developer gold-plating. Developers love to try new things even if the features were not requested, especially when they have new tools. These experiments cause adverse impacts to the schedule, budget, and quality.

Project managers pay a big price when failing to understand and manage project scope. Projects turn into runaway trains. Let’s define some terms and look at some practical steps to get you the results you’re looking for. Read the Complete Article

The Charter Document – Scope

The Charter Document – Scope
By Robin Vysma

The charter is the document you have to do before you agree to begin a project. It might be a bound glossy publication with covers and company logos or it might be in the body of an email. What it looks like and what you call it depends on the culture of your organization and the profile of your project but what’s not negotiable is that you translate decisions and the commitments required for success into an unambiguous universally agreed record of your mandate.

Today I want to talk about the scope. In a mega-project this might be a document in its own right but mostly it can be incorporated into the charter as a section. That it is done poorly is often the reason so many projects fail.

‘Scope’ refers to the boundaries of the project, ie what’s in and what’s out. Read the Complete Article

Project Management – Define Scope

Project Management – Define Scope
By Lani Dodge, Northwest University

How big is the project? Is it as big as the world? To ease the mind of the project manager, thankfully no, it has boundaries. And, if the work goes outside of these boundaries, then it is more than likely going to become out of balance. It becomes more difficult to manage, and it will likely exceed cost, schedule, or both. Therefore, the objective of define project scope is to describe that boundary, what is within, and what is without. This allows the project manager to state: “That request is out-of-scope” when what are judged to be new requirements come to the surface. Be aware as well the difference between product scope, the features and functions of a product or service, and project scope, the work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product or service.

The project charter, stakeholder register, and the requirements document are immediate predecessors for the define scope function. Read the Complete Article

7 Scope Questions to Ask at Project Initiation

7 Scope Questions to Ask at Project Initiation
By Mark Norman

There are many scoping questions that the project manager must ask during a project. Below are a series of questions I use during project initiation:

  1. What is the objective of the project

    Preferably this should be recorded in a single sentence and reflect what your sponsor wishes to achieve. Everything you do in the project should be able to be referred back to this statement.

  2. What are the deliverables

    All projects produce something, these are the project deliverables. These need to be defined early in the project, clearly and have a measure of quality that can be used to judge their fitness for purpose.

  3. Are you solving a problem or building a solution

    This defines whether you are working to deliver a prescribed solution or working to find a way to solve a problem with, as yet, undefined deliverables. The answer to this question will drive how you allocate resources and manage the project.

Read the Complete Article

Taking the Panic Out of Project Change Management

Taking the Panic Out of Project Change Management
By Jack Howard

As a Project Manager, one of the most intimidating moments of your career is when you have to present a change request with significant budget and schedule impacts. It’s naturally uncomfortable, because you could be asking your sponsor to spend more than they expected to get something later than they wanted. However these kinds of situations don’t have to be the panic-inducing frenzy that they often seem to be. Just focus on these steps to keep the situation under control:

  • Firmly establish a baseline scope – most projects suffer from scope ambiguity, which emasculates your leverage when it comes to dealing with change. The lack of a baseline project scope puts any future change up for interpretation. Define the goals, objectives, characteristics and requirements for your project and you’ll have a foundation upon which to manage change. Continue to refine scope throughout the project and reinforce after each major deliverable that a change from the most recent deliverable will result in a change request.
Read the Complete Article

Project Scope Management

Project Scope Management
By Cora Systems

Project Scope Management

Figure 1: Project Scope Management

Today organizations are facing situations where great ideas get shelved due to their expectations. Project Managers need to be able to show others the expectations and vision project “X” will bring once completed. As you can envisage, planning is essential in the successful management of projects and this where the project scope management becomes valuable.

A scope statement is probably the most important document produced for a project however it can be over shadowed and ultimately put on the long finger leading to project creep. The project scope is developed within the initial planning stages of a project and could be looked at as being a blueprint for a project. When fully utilised the project scope details the characteristics of the project once it is completed, this also helps manage the expectations of the project stakeholders to ensure they know exactly what was agreed from the start. Read the Complete Article

How To Save a Failing Project and When To Walk Away From One?

How To Save a Failing Project and When To Walk Away From One?
By Satish Kumar

PMOs and project managers are faced with failing projects more often than they would like to and it often turns out to be a demoralizing experience for all stakeholders. Consequently, it is vital for PMOs to recognize the signs of a failing project and take corrective action before it is too late. In order to engineer a successful turnaround, PMOs and PMs need to watch for certain leading indicators of project failure.

Leading Indicators of Project Failure

Progressive scope creep: While some scope changes may be necessary, constant updates to the project scope indicates that the project sponsor and other stakeholders don’t have their business case buttoned up or the assumptions under which the project was sanctioned are no longer valid.

High rate of churn in project staff: It is normal to have long projects to have planned rotation of staff. Read the Complete Article

Recommended PM App

Recommended PM App

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