Documents are not only about museum and bureaucratic stuff. They are part of the company’s day-to-day, and overriding for a good project control. After all, there is no control without information. And, there is no information without record. This article lists eight indispensable documents to lead a successful project. It’s important that they are all written plainly and clearly in order not to give room to different interpretations.
Also, the list of documents may be changed according to your client’s requests, or project’s specificities.
What dictates which documents and topics must be explained in detail in each document is the complexity and dimension of each case. This is a general list, but it will help a lot with the path control.
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1. Opening statement of the project
The first document required for a transparent project management formally recognizes the project creation, and can be either a formal agreement or a commercial contract. The opening statement describes aspects concerning the contracting party and the contractor, such as:
- Project name;
- Summary description of overall goals and requirements fulfilled;
- Feasibility study;
- Products of the project (files, lectures, training, manuals, support, post-launch follow-up);
- Intermediate products (delivered at the end of each phase, with reports, updated timetables, results of tests and researches, estimates budgets from third parties, presentations);
- Sponsor, manager in charge and main employees (hired, outsourced, assigned from a department to another, employees with either exclusive or occasional dedication);
- Phases established by the delivery of products;
- Terms (preliminary schedule or timeline, with a description of major processes);
- Resources required (preliminary budget, with values ranked by phases);
- Restrictions on the use of information;
- Procedures required in case of changing the scope;
- Procedures required for the approval of products in each phase;
- Additional services.
The list is long because this is a general model for any project. You can change or remove topics. However, be aware that the more this document is complete, the lesser the chance of occurring a misunderstanding during the project.
2. Project’s management plan
It will be the project’s reference index in which all documents – both strategic planning and project execution – shall be stored. There is a good formula for making this plan, but the ideal is that you give it your personal touch.
3. Scope’s management plan
It records the project’s goals and scope in order to make it easier to deal with changes that come up along the way. Take note: The scope is sort of a briefing; a script of activities previously agreed and required to fulfill the project’s goals. It must be an easily understood document, so that all stakeholders are aligned.
4. Timetable’s management plan
It’s a compilation of the project’s phases, month by month, with the prominent tasks, the status of each one (finished, in progress, continuous or to be done), as well as the beginning and termination contract date. It’s the document that stakeholders shall want to see most. We have a complete article on how to track the time of employees here.
5. Team’s management plan
Provides a quick visualization of who is doing what in the project. It makes the project’s efficient execution easier, and must make team’s communication as transparent as possible. After all, remember that there is no project management without people management.
6. Work’s management plan
It keeps control of activities, work packages, resources, time length, costs, targets, project’s critical path, etc. It’s a key document as it is the guideline for the team’s work.
7. Quality assurance plan
It’s used to monitor the quality standard which the project’s deliveries shall comply with. It uses to include product approach testing, quality policies, quality checklists, definitions of deviation, quality metrics, levels of product defect severity, acceptance criteria and cost of poor quality.
8. Risks’ management plan
An important document, however, one of the most underestimated in project control. It’s where the project’s risks and potential solutions are reported, in addition to opportunities and plans to explore them the utmost, as soon as they come up. In this plan you can establish actions to deal with risks such as Mitigation, Acceptance, Contingency, Transference and others. With this plan the events leave the unforeseen field and the company becomes prepared to manage the project the best way.
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Transparent project control
Keeping all this documentation updated may be very hard in case you have to take note and check everything manually or create and combine spreadsheets. Instead, automate the whole project control of your company with Runrun.it. You will be able to store and split these documents, as well as monitoring the performance of each professional. Any change in priority is easily shared and you can follow up the project evolution. Try it for free: http://runrun.it