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Project Management Documents

Each week you will probably need to fill in a variety of project management documents. How much really depends on how closely where you work adheres to Prince 2, PMP or other Project Methodologies. So you could be asked to fill in the following:

  1. Reviewing Project Stream’s Checkpoint Reports
  2. Project Management Report
  3. Update the Project Plan
  4. Update the Budget
  5. Update / Raise any Risk and Issues
  6. Writing up the Weekly Team Meeting Minutes and Actions
  7. Fill in and Submit your weekly company Timesheet

1. Reviewing Project Stream’s Checkpoint Reports

Each week every stream which is booking time to your project should have to fill in a Checkpoint Report which details exactly what work they have been doing and against which task. They should also state what percentage of that task is complete.

Tip
If you have anything over 5 streams a week providing reports this can quickly become a time consuming task. However all you need to do is cast your eye quickly over each report and focus in on anything in Red or which was due to be completed that week.

2. Project Management Report or Weekly Highlight Report

This is a key project management document which can be anything from a one page summary to a 12 page book. It really depends on how in depth your Company has implemented Project Management Methodologies. Rather bizarrely at some of the companies which paid the least attention to Project Management Process, I had to fill in the longest weekly reports.

Tip
As this is one of the most important documents you will fill in every week, I have gone into what is involved in more detail. Please click on Project Management Report for further information.

3. Update the Project Plan

This involves ensuring your Project Management Plan is kept up to date. So for example ensuring the percentage complete for each task is updated and also that any tasks fully complete are closed. Further if any Project Change Requests have been raised that week, that these are documented in the plan together with dates for Impact Assessments and Reviews.

However, how much of this you actually do depends on how conscientious you are being and how process orientated the Project Management Office is where you are working.

Tip
Quite frankly I do not have the time to update a long convoluted plan. Therefore I ensure I have a clear and simple plan from day one. None of these 4000 line plans which look good initially, but require enormous amounts of time to keep up to date.

`When it comes to updating the plan on a weekly basis I ensure all the dates on milestones are accurate and close off any complete tasks. The percentage complete on specific tasks I usually leave because it can be too time consuming updating these for numerous tasks.

4. Updating the Budget

This involves checking what your burn rate is and ensuring you are still within the Project Management Budget. This is absolutely vital to keep a close eye on this because it is not unknown for individuals to try to book time to a project they have done no work on!

Tip
Know who is actually working on your project and who the individual team members are. If any names don’t appear familiar challenge it straight away. This is infinitely preferable to doing nothing and then having to go to the Project Board to beg for more money at a later stage.

5. Update / Raise any Risk and Issues

This involves checking the Risks and Issues raised and ensuring that you have reviewed and updated them if required. Further if anything important has happened during the week which impacts the project, that these are raised now to highlight the problem to a greater audience.

Tip
Ensure when you put down a Review or Proximity date to look at a Risk and Issue that you don’t make them too frequent. Try to put a date in to review as late away as possible, say a month. This gives you less work to do each week.

6. Writing up the Weekly Team Meeting Minutes and Actions

Whenever you have a Project Team Meeting you need to document the Actions at the very least. You can also document the Minutes if you’re feeling particularly conscientious.

Tip
Firstly see if you can get a Project Management Office resource to come to the meetings and document the Minutes and Actions for you. If this fails then simply document the Actions, and only the important or contentious Minutes. Otherwise if you have a weekly Team Meeting you could spend hours documenting the Minutes. Last Tip is to write the Actions up as quickly after the meeting as you can when they are still fresh in your mind. Otherwise the notes you have made will make little sense later on!

7. Fill in and Submit your Weekly Company Timesheet

Most companies now require you to fill in a weekly Timesheet detailing exactly how many hours you’ve spent working on which project, and specifically which task.

Project Management Document Tip

Check exactly how the hours are calculated. There are some companies where if you put in the actual numbers of hours you’ve worked, your burn rate on your project will go through the roof. Therefore if you don’t get paid overtime, or are on a daily rate, then put in the standard hours on your weekly timesheet and make sure your project keeps within budget. This will stand in much greater regard than putting in huge numbers of hours and instantly going over budget!

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