International Project Management Day




Development Process Quick Reference - Excerpt


Quick Summary
This excerpt from a company's "Development Quick Reference" shows a format and content examples for helping your team use your project management or product development process.


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What this is

Excerpt from a company's "Quick Reference" to their project management/development process. The document includes:

  • An overview description of the development process- phase framework, key design reviews, key signoffs with management.
  • Quick explanation of key design and project reviews that may be held.
  • Lists of activities and deliverables typically done on projects.
  • FastTrack sheets to help teams know which deliverables apply to which kinds of projects.

Why it's useful

The point of using a development process is to succeed at product development or any other undertaking. We want products that meet the customer's needs, in the right time frame and at the right cost, in a way that maximizes the company's financial return on the project. Since projects are inherently complex and often risky, and since the push for financial return often mandates speedy development, the process is geared to providing a framework and specific tools for efficiently and predictably reaching goals.

Projects that do not involve product development can also benefit from using elements of our development process. For any effort where we need to reach a goal quickly, predictably, and with high quality results, elements of the process can be used to advantage. Key concepts, such as defining the goal of the project (the Vision and the specifications), planning the project in detail, and analyzing and managing risk, apply whether or not the project involves product development.

Processes also are designed to foster communication among team members and the rest of the company, to help teams align goals and activities and manage risk throughout the project, to meet our goals for efficiency and predictability, and to develop a high-quality product as rapidly as possible.

All that said, if the process doesn't get used on all our projects, we don't take advantage of the "best practices" it embodies! So the Quick Reference is designed to put process knowledge into people's hands, without handing them a huge binder with ALL the details. (Those documents just don't get opened often enough.) It is designed to make the key elements of the process more visible and accessible to teams.


How to use it

Use ideas from this template to create a quick reference for your company and supply it to project leaders and team members to help them be sure to use your company's "best practices" for getting projects done.

If you don't have a process defined, look at the key elements covered in this excerpt from a real quick reference, and decide which ones you should define for your teams. Then document them crisply, as suggested by the many "table formats" in this template.

Note: Even if the company is small with only a few projects, some of the material in this document will be useful—envision a short list of typical deliverables, a simple process framework, a few key design checkpoints during the project. Every project can benefit from such process definition. And the quick reference format can help you create the right level of process documentation to keep the key elements of your process accessible to team members.

Give every project leader a copy of the quick reference, or point them to where it can be downloaded from online, and encourage them to use the Section 3 Deliverables Checklists. Some teams use this section as a workbook every time they start a new project, to quickly decide and document which things the team will do during the project.


This template requires a Premium Subscription
Please log in. Don't have a log-in? Sign up now. Already a Member? Log in to upgrade immediately and get the file! A Premium subscription is only $14.95/month or $149/year and gets you over 200 templates, guidelines, and checklists.
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