4 steps from project requirements to executing tasks

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Any project, regardless of size, will include a project scope statement, as you’d expect to be taught on most courses for project managers. This will break down the requirements, expected results of the project and any difficulties that may arise. It is agreed upon by all involved in the project such as stakeholders, clients and the project team. The scope and the requirements will need to be tracked as the project moves from requirement to executing tasks. Here are 4 steps that are needed to move from requirement to execution to ensure that the original scope is met by the team.

1.Traceability

Requirement traceability usually outlines the relationship between customer requirements through a requirement traceability matrix. Traceability has three key benefits. It increases supply chain visibility, improves quality control systems and reduces risks. A traceability document can be created in many ways but even a simple spreadsheet is enough. This will create a visual aid and overview to help highlight any issues that may occur within the project. If successfully implemented, it can be used to track important factors for success and ultimately improve the project as a whole. It will allow the project team to have a greater understanding of why they are implementing a solution in a certain way. Using the requirement traceability matrix will help them see where the decisions are coming from.

2.Drilldown

The requirements of the project should be clear for everyone; however, this is not always the case. The project manager needs to spend time drilling down the requirements in detail, which is one of the skills project managers need. In any project, problems are sure to arise along the way. It is important to plan for how these are going to be dealt with to reach a suitable solution as soon as possible. The drill down technique is an approach to problem solving that can be utilised. Drill down means to narrow something down from bigger components into smaller pieces for executing tasks. For example, if you are facing a complex problem, try breaking the problem down into different components until you have a solution.  

3.Specifications

In any project, the project specification is a detailed description of objectives. It includes goals, functionality and any other information for the successful completion of the project. The project manager will need to document the specifications and make sure it is worked on by the project team to line up with the project plan. This will also allow the project manager to keep track of the details and not lose sight of anything.

4.Verification

In this last step, verifying the original requirement against what was executed by the project team needs to happen. Verification is the process of verifying that the scope statement is the baseline for the upcoming project and getting agreement from the stakeholders that the scope is correct. It also includes looking at various deliverables in the project and match them up with work results as executing tasks within the project progresses. Project managers must build enough time into the project schedule to allow time for testing and verification before the project can be seen as finished.

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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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