Project Management Plan

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Enterprise Performance Life Cycle (EPLC) is a framework to enhance Information Technology (IT) governance through rigorous application of sound investment and project management principles, and industry best practices. The EPLC provides the context for the governance process and describes interdependencies between its project management, investment management, and capital planning components. The EPLC framework establishes an environment in which HHS IT investments and projects consistently achieve successful outcomes that align with Department and Operating Division goals and objectives.

Project Management Institute (PMI) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) defines a project management plan (PMP) as a formal approved document that defines the overall plan for how the project will be executed, monitored and controlled.

The PMP may be a single detailed document or composed of one or more subsidiary planning documents. These additional planning documents provide guidance and direction for specific management, planning, and control activities such as schedule, cost, risk, staffing, change control, communications, quality, procurement, deployment, etc. Each of the subsidiary planning documents should be detailed to the extent required by the specific project.

A PMP is essential for defining how project integration management will be executed when situations arise where individual processes interact. For example, estimating cost involves not only the cost management process but also integration of planning, time, risk, scope etc.

The PMBOK defines project integration management as the processes and activities needed to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities.

In the context of project management, integration includes characteristics of unification and consolidation actions necessary for project completion. Project integration management also involves making trade-offs among competing objectives and alternatives. Integration, in the context of managing a project, is making choices about where to concentrate resources and effort on any given day, anticipating potential issues, dealing with these issues before they become critical, and coordinating work. A properly developed PMP outlines how these activities will be conducted, taking into consideration any effect they may have on each other and other management processes and/or activities. As the project environment changes, updates in the form of change requests should reflect any changes to the PMP and/or its subsidiary plans.

Benefits of creating a PMP include:

Developing the Project Management Plan
The process of developing a PMP is primarily concerned with the actions necessary to define, integrate, and coordinate all subsidiary planning documents into a single PMP. The PMP is usually drafted by the Project Manager in collaboration with the project team.

A good PMP is not necessarily lengthy. A PMP can be very short and still have great value. The content of the PMP will vary depending upon the complexity of the project. The size of and time invested to develop a PMP should be balanced with the size and complexity of the project. Large, more complex projects justify a significant effort in developing a comprehensive PMP and may even justify the creation of separate subsidiary management plans for some sections of the PMP. If this were the case, the subsidiary plan would be referenced in the appropriate section of the PMP.

The PMP is the main planning document for a project and describes how major aspects of the project will be managed. The PMP is a living document that should be updated continually throughout the project.

Either directly or by reference to other documents, the PMP should address the following:
Project and Product Overview – Describe how areas of the project will be managed. This section should be tailored to fit the particular needs of any project. This section should provide enough information that an executive reading only this portion of the PMP would have a high-level understanding of the project. Typically, this description should answer who, what, when and where in a concise manner. It should also state the estimated project duration, budget, and identify key project characteristics and alignment that will assist in project prioritization and IT investment planning.

Project Charter – Provide a summary of the approved project charter. Provide a reference to the approved Project Charter. Elaborate on any sections within the Project Charter that need further detail contained within the PMP.

Scope Management – Describe how the project scope will be defined, developed, and verified and how the work breakdown structure will be created and defined, and provides guidance on how the project scope will be managed and controlled by the project management team.

Schedule/Time Management – Describe who will be responsible for the schedule and how it will be managed. How frequently will it be updated, how will variances be addressed, and what will be considered an unacceptable variance. Schedule management is the process of ensuring that the project schedule is baselined, maintained, and managed accordingly.

Cost/Budget Management – Describe how cost and cost variances will be managed. This section summarizes the cost and effort estimates of the project, documents any known factors that may increase those estimates, and defines how they will be measured throughout the project's life. Cost management is the process of ensuring that a project is completed within the approved budget and that cost variances are proactively managed throughout the project.

Quality Management – Describe the approach that will be followed to manage and ensure product quality during the project. Describe what metrics will be used to measure quality and how any necessary quality corrections will be implemented. Quality is defined as the totality of features and characteristic of a product that bears on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. Quality management is the process of defining the strategy and methods the project will deploy to ensure the project's deliverables are of acceptable quality before they are delivered to the client.

Staffing Management – Describe the approach for staffing the project and how resources will be managed throughout the life of the project. Estimate the approximate number of required resources. Outline any special skills or training necessary to complete project work, security clearances that may be necessary, the vehicles that will be used to manage resources, etc.

Communications Management – Describe the approach to communicating information to project stakeholders. Outline the key internal and external stakeholders that comprise the communications audience. Define the approach that will be used to communicate with these stakeholders, including messages, messengers, vehicles, and timing.

Risk Management – Describe how risks associated with the project will be managed. Outline what risk management activities will be conducted and how they will be performed, recorded, and monitored throughout the life of the project. Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, responding to, monitoring and reporting risks.

Issue Management – Describe how issues associated with the project will be managed. Outline what issue management activities will be conducted and how they will be performed, recorded, and monitored throughout the life of the project.

Acquisition Strategy – Describe how goods and services will be procured from outside the project/organization.

Records Management – Every HHS agency must define a planned, coordinated set of policies, procedures, and activities to manage recorded information. Describe how established principles, responsibilities, and requirements for the project comply with and/or expand upon the management of HHS records. If necessary, outline essential elements including issuing updated records management policies, properly training the project team, and evaluating records management adequacy, effectiveness, and efficiency.

Compliance Related Planning – List compliance-related processes that the project must adhere to.

Best Practices

Practice Activities