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Besides a tools like Condotiero, the Project Manager requires a Project Management Framework to follow. It’s not that Project Managers need to be told what to do, it's that we want a defined, repeatable process that all Project Managers in an organisation adhere to. That way if a Project Manager takes over someone else's project, they can quickly pick things up as the processes and artifacts are the same. The framework also ensures that the project is managed to an agreed level of quality control.

Most large organisations already have a Project Management Framework in place; these tend to be either PMI/PMBOK or PRINCE2 based. But some organisations may not have such a framework in place. This is where Castellan Systems' Foundations may help. Foundations is a project management framework that contains a series of procedures and templates that go a long way to meeting these needs.

Foundations has been built mostly around PMI/PMBOK but what it does should be familiar to methodologies like PRINCE2. Foundations has also been influenced by Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (CMM); while not strictly a methodology, it defines practices that organisations should adopt/deploy to ensure that they have a robust process in place.

While we don't present Foundations as a complete or finite solution, it does present a simple, practical framework to build on, that's why we've called it Foundations. We recognised that there are areas which may be unique to an organisation, like the Bid Management or Development processes. An organisation can incorporate this Foundations framework onto their existing processes to meet their needs.

These days there is a strong push for what is called "Agile Management". Personally we believe the the agility should be applied to the project development lifecycle, as detailed in our Knowledge Base, rather than the project management. The project management processes formulated in Foundations are equally, if not more, appropriate to an "Agile" environment. The more agile or dynamic an project environment is, the more important strong project management principles and processes are. In a fast moving project environment things can go wrong very quickly and if the project management disciplines are not strongly applied these problems may not be picked up until it's too late.

The framework contains the following procedures:
  • Project Management Framework: this is the over-arching document that defines the overall process.
  • Project Planning Procedure: this describes the process to develop a Project Management Plan.
  • Project Estimating Procedure: this describes the process to develop an estimate.
  • CBA Preparation Guide: this describes the standards & policies for developing CBAs.
  • Project Estimating Guide: this describes techniques that can be used to develop an estimate.
  • Project Scheduling Procedure: this describes the process to develop a schedule.
  • Project Quality Planning Procedure: this describes the process to develop a Project Quality Plan.
  • Project Risk Management Procedure: this describes the process to identify, track and manage project risks.
  • Project Change Control Procedure: this describes the process to manage requested changes to the project.
  • Project Issue Management Procedure: this describes the process to identify, track and manage project issues.
  • Project Tracking and Reporting Procedure: this describes the process to identify, track and report project status.
  • Customer Satisfaction Procedure: this describes the process to identify, review and action customer satisfaction and issues.
  • Work Product Review Procedure: this describes the process to perform quality based reviews of project work products; these can be a document or a physical software component.
  • New Project Handover Report Guide: this describes how to complete the "Project Handover to Support" report template.
  • Project Close Down Procedure: this describes the process to close down or end the project.
Procedures Picture
Templates Picture The framework also contains the following templates:
  • Project Charter Template: this document defines the scope, objectives, and overall approach for the work to be completed.
  • CBA Template: this workbook is used to develop and document the project's cost benefit analysis.
  • Project Definition Template: this document defines the project scope.
  • Project Management Plan Template: this document defines the management processes that the project will follow.
  • Project Quality Plan Template: this document defines the quality management processes that the project will follow.
  • Project Risk Management Plan Template: this document identifies the risks to the project and defines processes that will be used to manage them.
  • Change Management Plan Template: this document defines the change management processes that the project will follow.
  • Configuration Management Plan Template: this document defines the configuration management processes that the project will follow. Please note that Configuration Management needs to cover both documentation and system components.
  • Project Communications Plan Template: this document defines the communications processes that the project will follow.
  • Project Resource Plan Template: this document defines the resourcing model put in place to support the project.
  • Project WBS Template: this document defines the project's Work Breakdown Structure or WBS.
  • Risk Management Workbook Template: this workbook is used to document and monitor project risks.
  • Work Product Review Inspection Sheet Template: this sheet is used to document the results of a work product inspection and record actions performed to result issues.
  • New Intergroup Coordination Checklist: this checklist is used to coordinate with other impacted teams.
  • New Stage Gate Review Checklist: this checklist is used when performing project reviews at the end of each stage.
  • New Handover to Support Checklist: this checklist is used to manage the handover of the product/solution to the support team(s).
  • Project Closedown Report Template: this document is used to assess the project, ensure completion, and derive any lessons learned and best practices to be applied to future projects.
The following templates come with ProMan but are also included in Foundations:
  • Estimating Workbook Template: this workbook is used to develop and document project estimates.
  • Project Tracking & Status Report Template: this template is a detailed internal project tracking and status report produced for management.
  • Project Status Report Template: this template is a project status report produced for the client.
  • Requirements Traceability Matrix & Component Inventory Checklist Template: this template is used to track requirements and components developed to deliver those requirements.
  • Acceptance Criteria Matrix Template: this template is used to document project acceptance criteria.
  • Issues & Actions Log Template: this template is used to track project issues and actions.
  • Defect Log Template: this template is used to track project defects.
  • System Test Cases Template: this template is used to develop test plans, including test cases, and track results of testing. It can be used for unit, application, system and/or user acceptance test plans.
Plus we've included our Foundations WebTool to make it easy to navigate through the procedures and templates. Try our demo. Click Here

The Project Management Framework

PM Framework diagram

Foundations can be purchased through the Purchase page.