A project is like a journey that takes you from start to finish. This can be a nice relaxing trip or a stressful endeavour. Project predictability requires that you have a good insight on the project parameters and criteria, so you can make a good estimate (or calculated guess) about required time and budget to get the job done.
We at PM Studio™ have already seen a lot of different approaches to define a project and the accompanying project life cycle (or time line). Some jump directly into details and create a huge MS Project Gantt chart with microscopic tasks, while others can hardly draw a line between major milestones.
Our Project Model Canvas is already one tool to help get your ideas on paper, but let's now focus on the timeline itself.
The Project Roadmap
We call the project lifecycle a "Project Roadmap" because it displays your path from start to finish just like a real road map. It's just like planning a trip from Brussels to Paris by car. Just can blindly follow your GPS directions, or you can have a look at a real map upfront to plan your trip. With the former approach, you don't know where you will be driving, while with the latter you have at least some control over your journey.
So a logical approach is recommended to get all the action steps in place before starting.
We have defined a more standardised roadmap consisting of project phases and stages. Each phase and stage has it's own set of project management activities that will help you to focus on your job as project manager.
Projects activities usually occupy more than one day of work to complete. Therefore it also requires multiple iterations to monitor the progress and to adjust in case of issues or modifications.
Where phases and stages are typical for an old school waterfall approach, iterations and adjustments are typical for an agile environment.
We've combined both into one system : the PM Studio™ Project Roadmap.
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Daily and Weekly activities
Whatever phase or stage you're at your project, you will always have to monitor ongoing work and prepare upcoming work. This is what we call being pro-active.
Our predefined daily and weekly activities will help you to stay in pro-active mode and protect you from falling into reactive mode or firefighting.
Combined with the phase and stage activities, you will have full control like a professional project manager.
PM Studio™ System
All activities (Daily, Weekly, Phase and Stage) are explained in the PM Studio™ System.