Project Management Training - Doing the Project Assessment
by Mo Haque, MSEE, MSEE, PMP - 2-16-2016
Updated by Nereda Haque, PMP 7-21-18
How important is it to do a project assessment? This is one of the most important questions a project manager must be able to answer. The understanding of the project is like planting the right seeds to give you the best harvest. A project manager must assess the project with relevant stakeholders. By doing a project assessment, you collect information about the desired outcome of the project.
Project assessment is an output of the process known as “Review SOW / Work order / Contract / Assignment”. Almost all projects start with some document, either it is a SOW (Statement of Work) or a contract or a work order or just an assignment. A project manager must review any of the given documents thoroughly and assess the project – understand the final deliverable of the project. The project assessment or project appraisal is also done by reviewing historical data, lessons learned and other information in order to support the feasibility of the project's product. It is imperative that you find all the assumptions, constraints, compliance requirements and project limitations from these documents. The project assessment in a broader sense includes assumptions, constraints, compliance requirements, and project limitations.
The early identification of the assumptions and constraints are the first stepping stones for the “Identify Risk” process. The constraints you identify will be very important inputs into the planning processes. The compliance requirements will enable you to plan and ensure that your plan, and thus the final project deliverables, meet the compliance. The project limitation that you identified as part of the project assessment will enable you to avoid planning errors.
All of the above project assessment attributes that you found will help you to shape your first conversation with the project sponsor. You will be able to intelligently frame your questions and seek appropriate help from the sponsor and obtain the right documents such as business case, EEF (enterprise environmental factors) and OPA (Organizational Process Assets). The project assessment will play a pivotal role in shaping the budget and schedule discussions later in the project. Your project scope will have impact due to compliance requirements and constraints that you have identified early in the project assessment.
Early assessment of the project also enables you to have proper discussions with relevant stakeholders, enable you to perform subsequent processes, workshops and kickoff meetings. You will know and collaborate with the relevant stakeholders and their motives and expectations because you have done the project assessment, and later on worked with them to identify accepted project benefits and their metrics.
You will be able to form the Change Control Board and Risk Management team during your first kickoff meeting since you understand the project product / service / result.
SmartPath LLC training classes for project managers includes in detail the process of “Review Sow” to assess a project and other important start up processes. SmartPath LLC trained project managers are well versed in project assessment and they learn various tools and techniques in assessing projects.