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 Project Management Documents

Need project management documents for an information management change request and want some practical suggestions to ensure rapid change delivery?


What are documentation standards?

Information management change management projects can evolve from aProject Management Documents change request or a business case.

The change management process must either:
  • Create project documentation as part of the information management process; or
  • Ensure that all project documentation is  reviewed, and modified, if impacted by the change request.
What information management project management documents are required?

Business Case

This important document is essentially a contract between the business owner, who is paying for the project, and the IT departments, who will develop, implement and operate the solution. Approval of the business case signifies that:
  • The business owner agrees with the project approach and commits to provide the resources;
  • The IT department commits to develop the solution based on the approach, cost and schedule specified in the business case; and
  • Project planning can commence.
Project plan

Project management documents are based on a project plan which builds on the business case. This document is an agreement between the project manager, the IT owner and business owner. It provides more planning information than the business case. Approval of the project plan signifies that:
  • The project manager commits to deliver a solution, that will meet business case objectives, with the resources, management approach and schedule specified in the project plan;
  • The IT owner and business owner agree to the approach and schedule and commit to provide the resources specified in the project plan; and
  • Requirements analysis can commence.
Requirements definition

The project manager uses the requirements specification as one of the key project management documents to update the project plan and schedule. If the expected cost or schedule is substantially different than the business case cost projections, then the requirements need to be reviewed to ensure that they are really in scope.

This is one of the most critical project documentation components. If the financial projections are significantly different from the business case, then the business case may need to be updated and approved, or, the requirements may need to be “down-sized”.

When the requirements are documented and approved, the architecture and design/development team should be able to commence work without having to ask a many business related questions.

The requirements specification is an agreement between the end users, the business owner, the IT owner and the project manager. Approval of the requirements specification signifies that:
  • The end users and business owner agree that the document specifies all structure and design, data movement, security, data quality, information usage, service level and functional requirements;
  • The operations/production support team agrees that the document specifies all system, or non-functional requirements, needed to implement the solution;
  • The business owner and operations/production support owner commits to accept the solution based on the acceptance criteria specified in the requirements specification;
  • The technical lead agrees that the requirements specification provides sufficient detail to commence architecture and design;
  • The test lead agrees that the requirement specification provides sufficient detail to create quality assurance and user acceptance test cases;
  • Architecture and design can commence; and
  • Quality assurance test case preparation can commence.
Architecture and design

The architecture document is another key component of project management documents. It serves as a communications link between the architecture and design team, the requirements analysis team and the user team. This critical document is the last chance to make modifications to the project schedule and/or cost.

An approved architecture document is the basis for development work.  Any changes after this is approved have to be treated as a change request because they are not included in the approved project plan. Approval of the architecture document signifies that:
  • The business owner, IT owner, project manager and technical lead agree on the solution;
  • The IT owner commits to obtain any architecture components specified in the architecture documents; and
  • Details design specification can commence.
Design specifications documentation standards

These critical documents serve as a communications link between the design team, the development team and the integration test team. Approval of the design specifications signifies that:
  • The technical lead agrees with the technical design;
  • The requirements analysis team agrees that the design accounts for all requirements;
  • The development team commits to develop code to meet specification;
  • The integration test lead agrees that the design specification provides sufficient detail to create integration test cases;
  • Development can commence; and
  • Integration test case preparation can commence.
Unit test results

Individual developers complete unit testing and unit test results demonstrate that code performs to specification. Unit test results form part of the code review. Approval of unit test results signifies that the designer agrees that:
  • Code was developed to standards and best practices;
  • Code meets specifications; and
  • System/integration testing can commence
Test plan documentation standards

The test plan is vital component of project management documents and must be completed early in the project. It is an agreement between the business owner, the IT owner, the project manager and the technical lead. Approval of the test plan signifies that:
  • The technical lead agrees to the test approach and commits that expected results of integration test cases confirm the solution meets architecture and design specification;
  • The test team commits that expected results of quality assurance testing confirm the solution meets requirement specifications;
  • The operations/production support owner commits that expected results of non-functional testing confirm the solution meets non-functional requirement specifications; and
  • The business owner agrees to the test approach and commits that expected results of user acceptance tests confirm the solution meets business objectives stated in the business case
User acceptance test exit criteria

This document is part of the test plan and serves as formal confirmation that testing is complete. Approval of the exit criteria signifies that all stakeholders agree that the solution is ready to move to production.

Release plan

The release plan is one of the final project management documents. It serves as a communications link between the project team and the production support team. It identifies each configuration item that will move into the production environment. It also includes all of the documentation needed to maintain and operate the solution.

It is a commitment between the release manager, the IT owner and the operations/production support team. Approval of the release plan signifies:
  • The technical lead certifies that the configuration items included in the release package are the same set of configuration items that passed final acceptance test;
  • The operations/production support owner commits to provide the resources specified in the release plan;
  • The release manager commits to test the release process as specified in the release plan;
  • The operations/production support owner commits to accept the solution upon completion of release acceptance criteria;
  • The IT owner commits to provide post production support as specified in the release plan; and
  • The business owner commits to accept the solution and close the project upon completion of release acceptance criteria.
Summary…

Standard project management documents ensure effective communication among and between project team members. Each piece of documentation is designed for a specific purpose. Project documentation needs to be managed to ensure that each piece of documentation meets objectives.

Tight control of this process will reduce project time loss due to miscommunication.


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