Project Management Tools
Effective project management is key to the success of any project. We’ve included what we consider to be the essential tools required for any member of staff to carry out effective project management. These tools introduce the user to the pre-project tasks and creates a business case for change and project justification.
Here below lies a description of each tool and examples of use in practice:
- Project Justification Model
- Action Plan
- Stakeholder Analysis
- Issues Log
- Benefits Realisation
- PESTLE Analysis
- Continuous Monitoring Plan
Project Justification is the starting point of any project. It puts forward the case for change by explaining to the reader the reason why a project should be undertaken. This can be originated through a savings initiative or a change in policy/legislation; it may help to improve quality/safety or even improve satisfaction. Project Justification can sometimes be confused with a business case however the main difference is justification will explain the need for change, where as a business case with provide the reader with costs, timescales and fact/evidence based information.
The identification of target benefits, their definition, planning, structuring and actual realisation as a result of investing in business change. From a shared services reform perspective, benefits realisation aims to integrate processes, people and technology to deliver a new business capability. CQI’s benefits realisation tool provides a format for this work to be undertaken in its most simplistic way by asking what the benefit is and prompting the user to identify how this can be achieved.
CQI Toolkit’s Benefits Realisation tool automatically generates corporate project information after you have completed the project justification section. This gives a visual overview of all relevant benefits to the reader to demonstrate the key benefits a project has to offer.
In management, an action item is a documented event, task, activity, or action that needs to take place in order to move a project forward.
- Select project phase
- Add tasks to be completed
- Select task teams with anybody from your organisation, or invite users to collaborate
- CQI Toolkit assesses task progress and provides an overview of where you are at
Stakeholder analysis is the process of assessing a project or system
and the potential changes to it as they relate to relevant and interested parties (stakeholders). This information is used to assess how stakeholder interests should be addressed in a project plan, policy, program, or other action.
Issue Log is a documentation element of software project management. An issue log contains a list of ongoing and closed issues of the project. While issue logs can be viewed as a way to track errors in the project, the role it plays often extends further. Issue logs can be used to order and organise the current issues by type and severity in order to prioritise issues associated with the current milestone or iteration. Issue logs may also contain customer requests and remarks about various problems.
The project timeline is used to measure the length of time you have available to complete any actions. The actions should transfer onto this document from the action log created earlier in the document, without deadlines, it’s easy to put actions off and forget about them, resulting in project failure. It is a good idea to set up some short term milestones along each action to help you measure the progress.
Political, Economic, Social, Technological and Environmental (PESTLE) analysis describes a framework of macro-environmental factors used in the environmental scanning component of strategic management. It is a part of the external analysis when conducting a strategic analysis or doing market research, and gives an overview of the different macro-environmental factors that the company has to take into consideration. It is a useful strategic tool for understanding market growth or decline, business position, potential and direction for operations. The growing importance of environmental or ecological factors in the first decade of the 21st century have given rise to green businesses and encouraged widespread use of an updated version of the PESTLE framework.
Continuous monitoring is the process and technology used to detect compliance and risk issues associated with an organisation’s financial and operational environment. The financial and operational environment consists of people, processes, and systems working together to support efficient and effective operations. Controls are put in place to address risks within these components. Through continuous monitoring of the operations and controls, weak or poorly designed or implemented controls can be corrected or replaced – thus enhancing the organization’s operational risk profile. Investors, governments, the public and other stakeholders continue to increase their demands for more effective corporate governance and business transparency.