Understanding Project Management Documents

October 12, 2015

There are many Project Management Documents used by Cicero's on a renovation project. We believe these are the most important ones for building owners and operators to understand: 


1. The Project Charter 

Before a renovation can begin, the team needs to know precisely what it is doing. The Charter provides: the scope statement (deliverables and boundaries), risks, assumptions, constraints, dependencies, milestone chart, budget and project organization chart. It also serves as a stabilizing force once the project is underway. As it moves forward, there is going to be a variety of opinions on what should be done. The project charter serves as a reference point for original intent and to ensure the project does not succumb to scope creep. 


2. The Project Schedule 

While the charter states what the project will do, the schedule shows how it will be done. Laid out from beginning to end, it breaks the project down into phases and then ultimately tasks. Each task is assigned duration, resource, and whether it is dependent upon a previous task or activity prior to its start. It also serves as the baseline for whether the project is on track and meeting its target dates, or if there needs to be some adjustments made to the schedule. 


3. The Project Budget 

During the planning process Cicero's estimates the cost of the resources needed to complete a renovation project. This estimated cost is converted into a budget that we manage during the project. Managing and hitting the budget is the primary key for success. 


4. The Status Report 

It's important to keep everyone informed as to how things are progressing on a project once it gets underway. There's no better way to do this than putting together a status report that contains the answers to these four questions: 

  • What has been accomplished since the last status report? 

  • What is next to be done? 

  • What stands in the way of this project being completed? 

  • Are there any special needs that must be discussed? 

The status report should always be easy to read. It's good to come up with some type of status code, for example - green, yellow, red always works well, that can quickly provide an overall status at one quick glance. 


5. The Risk Register 

The job of a Project Manager is to get the project done. However, there are potential problems that may prevent that from happening. These potential problems are known as risks. The PM needs to manage risks on a regular basis and prevent them from turning into full-blown issues that can wreak havoc on your project. There's no better place to do this than the Risk Register. This document identifies potential risks and categorizes them by probability of occurring and the severity of their impact to the project if they do occur. It also contains the response strategy that describes how risk will be managed. 

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