International Project Management Day




Adapting Processes for Different Projects


Quick Summary
Screenshot Learn how your existing PM and development processes can accommodate different project lengths, risk profiles, and levels of complexity. Includes examples of communicating different project profiles to your teams, to help them select the right process elements up front.


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What this is

A guideline for how to tailor project management and development processes to different projects in your company. It covers how to adapt processes for different project lengths, risk profiles, and complexities; including different uses of project phases, levels of documentation, and use of detailed project planning and project controls. It also includes examples of how several companies have communicated different project profiles to their teams, to help those teams select use the appropriate process elements early in the project.


Why it's useful

Projects can range from days (or hours!) to months or years long, and vary widely in risk and complexity. A project management or development process designed to handle the largest project in a company will by definition call for much more documentation, and more and different checkpoints, than required for the company's smallest project. This disparity can lead to difficulties implementing new processes in organizations, and sometimes downright rejection of a project by large segments of your project participants! (If they can't see how that big project management process binder applies to their 3 week project, they may just decide to run ad hoc instead.) Techniques for interpreting and adapting the full process to a variety of projects, showing your project managers and team members how to make the translation, and getting their buy in, are all critical to getting project management and development processes into wide and consistent use.


How to use it

This guideline has useful information for a wide variety of situations:

  • Organizations just now implementing new project management and/or development processes.
  • Organizations with existing processes and methodologies that are not in widespread use, due to people deciding the processes are not appropriate for their projects.
  • Organizations with a sound and adaptable process that old-timers know how to adjust, but new employees and less experienced project managers do not.
Read this guideline for:
  • Ways to express to teams the rationale for why processes are needed in the first place and which overarching principles apply no matter what the project.
  • Ideas for adapting your processes to your organization's different types of projects, including how to use project phases and signoffs differently, how to select "minimum deliverables," what level of planning and tracking to apply, and what team composition is appropriate.
  • Examples of documenting and communicating those variations-examples from several companies' different process guidelines and educational efforts are included.


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