When we are given a new project (or are soliciting a client), there are many documents that must be created along the way. Business case, statement of work, project charter, requirements and communication documents, project & risk plan, change management, project review document just to name a few.
All of these are important to the project life cycle, but there is one that stands out the most to me, and that is the project charter. And I am not talking a one page charter but a detailed, robust document that will outline the business need, the deliverables, checkpoints, risk plan, identities of stakeholder(s), project champion and team members, funding source, milestones, implementation and delivery of the final product. Without these (and other) items identified up front and agreed upon by the vendor and the client, projects can go off the rails like a crazy train (yes, I was listening to a little Ozzy this morning to get me going!)
We have all worked on projects where the scope was not clear, the deliverables were fuzzy (increase productivity on my sales team, build me a new enterprise server), the stakeholders were not identified clearly, or worse, did not sign off on the charter. Many PMs lean toward the type A personality (I know that I do); we like to be in control, to know specifics, to have a clearly identified path to move forward. Without this, the project may get completed, but may not meet all deliverables or be over budget. And, for a project manager, this is truly a nightmare.
Each project is different; each company has a different approach to project management and what tools/processes they utilize. Whatever documents you may use, it is critical to have project documents filled out completely, correctly and to have the stakeholder(s) agreement and sign off. Remember that old saying, garbage in, garbage out.
Aspen is committed to designing efficient projects that follow strict project management guidelines and practices. To find out more about our project design or to explore some of our completed projects visit us here.