The phase "planning" is a further concretization of the project from the initiation phase. All existing data are taken from the pre-phase and can be re-used.
The Project Structure Plan is a breakdown of the project into its sub-tasks (work packages). It can be derived from the project structuring of the Initiation Phase and represents a central step in project planning. The Project Structure Plan is the basis for further planning. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is derived from the Project Structure Plan.
It is possible to save templates for a Work Breakdown Structure in Smart Project Manager and use them to create the project-specific Project Structure Plans. This approach is always appropriate if it is a question of standardized project structures (e.g. software development, customer customization project for a specific type of machine, construction project building, etc.). Any number of templates for structures and plans can be stored.
It is also possible to import individual Project Structure Plans (PSP) from other applications. For the import of PSP structures, Smart Project Manager offers two possibilities:
Firstly, the WBS structures, which are defined in SAP, can be transferred via the interface to SAP PS. Secondly, an interface is offered in MS Project Format, with which WBS structures can be transferred or imported. This interface also allows the import of WBS structures created with MindManager.
In addition to the import interfaces, Smart Project Manager provides a data export function for Project Structure Plans in the MS Project format.
Once the Project Structure Plan has been defined, the effort estimate can begin on the basis of work packages. This is usually done in the unit "person day". This unit measures the number of days a single expert person needs in order to complete the respective work package.
Estimations of the effort can be added to the work packages in the project structure plan.
The flowchart is built on the basis of the milestone phase plan. This schedule is the concretization of the schedule created in the Initiation Stage, so the logical sequences of the work packages or their parallelization are defined first. The specification of the dates is mostly carried out iteratively in several passes, taking into account scheduling, expenditure, resources and dependencies between the work packages.
Smart Project Manager automatically calculates the "critical path": The sequence of operations and milestones that determine the minimum project duration in a project plan. The processes on the critical path are interdependent and do not have a time buffer.
The concept for resource management was developed by smenso together with various customers in order to make the complex topic "Resource Management" available in a practical way.
More information can be found here: Resource Management
In the Initialization Phase, a first cost estimate was generated. This has to be verified in the planning phase. Due to the effort of the evauation, the planning of the non-personnel resources and the scheduling, the probable costs can now be determined more precisely.
Smart Project Manager also offers the following functions:
- Cost structures regardless of the structure of the project
- Consistent, enterprise-specific cost structure (client-specific)
- Distribution of the planned costs on a yearly basis (or business year)
- Automatic determination of personnel costs from cost estimates
- Data transfer from the ERP system to get actual costs
This gives the project manager and controller timely control over information in a clear and reliable form. Since the project's planning basis, the Project Structure Plan, gives the project manager all the necessary planning freedom without having to pay attention to the cost structures, a high degree of acceptance is achieved. At the same time, all information on cost management in the project is presented in a comprehensive form. An interface to commercial systems, especially SAP, is available.
The screenshot shows a cost structure from Smart Project Manager. The individual cost items are broken down on monthly and yearly rates. Costs can be set individually for each employee.
The cost analysis can be easily retrieved from the project dashboard.
Risk Management is concerned with the uncertainty of the achievement of goals. It is about systematically and methodically discussing project risks. There is no project without risk.
Risk management is a continuous process of risk analysis, design and control over the entire project duration.
The first step is the identification of risks. Helpful are risk catalogs, which also support the assessment of risks according to probability and importance for the project result.
In SmartProjectManager, risk types, categories and a description of the category that are used for the individual project are identified. In the project, these settings can be changed individually.
It is important to know which groups of people have interests in a project. The stakeholder description is an important element in the management and operation of various interests in the project environment. Stakeholder analysis provides important starting points for project marketing in the company.
The stakeholders are examined and evaluated on the basis of their support and influence on the project. As a result, you can see which stakeholders have a positive influence on the project, which conflicts can occur and which stakeholders are likely to reject the project.
In addition, the system provides information on how to communicate with the respective stakeholders in the project.
In some companies, this gate transition is a formal act. A project application is submitted, which contains all important information about the project. Only when this project application has been approved by a decision-making body, the gate is considered successful and the project implementation can begin.
It is also in the interests of the company to have an intervention at this point. This makes a conscious "yes" to the project possible and gives the project leader the necessary back-cover. Even if the project would be canceled at this point, it would be better than if an abandonment was decided during the implementation or if the project even failed.
Smart Project Manager guides users through this process. Before the project application is created, it is checked whether all plans are available. In a clear form, the project manager receives the information that are still missing. The project application itself is a standardized document. A sample design is provided with Smart Project Manager. With the built-in report designer, this design can be customized to your needs, and a report can be compiled entirely according to your requirements.
Most commonly, the Gate Transition represents a workflow in which various functions / roles, such as management, PMO, project manager, etc., are involved. In this case, a workflow control is stored, which ensures the correct process flow. Documents, such as the project application and the decision result, are stored via the document storage and can be retrieved in a targeted manner.
By submitting a positive decision on the phase change, the gate is passed and the project is set to the status "Execution".