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Enforcing a Project Management Methodology

Knowing they've been duped once already, my clients wanted to take precautions to make certain that this project would be successful. With that in mind, the clients and I agreed to progress with traditional project management guidelines. So, for starters, we drew up a Project Scope, a Project Charter, a Statement of Work (SOW), and a contract for the clients and me to abide by.

The Project Scope defines the work that will and will not be done, the assumptions that the project team is working under, and a targeted end date for the project. The Project Scope, like a periscope or microscope, restricts and focuses your vision. A Project Scope focuses on the end result of the project. Change requests, deadline issues, or quality assurance issues must also be held against the details specified in the Project Scope.

The Project Charter is the commencement of the project. The Project Charter must come from someone with power in the organization—to authorize the time, resources, and monies to complete the work. In this case, the charter came from the owner of the company and was sent to all of the functional managers, the operating officers, and the building management. This document ensures that the stakeholders know that the Project Manager is working on behalf of the Project Sponsor (the guy with the power and the bucks).

The SOW is a document that clearly defines what the heck you're trying to do. Let's get some detail here. When I first visited with these clients, they didn't care about Novell, Linux, or Windows 2000. All they wanted was a network that would operate without all the hiccups, snafus, and general wackiness they were experiencing. The owner and management had a vision of a sound, reliable network. This is the business portion of the pyramid shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1Figure 1 Operations can map to three layers: Business, Functional, and Operational.

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