Too Much PM Can be Awesome

By MaryGrace Allenchey, PMP

Project and Program Management Professionals acknowledge PLANNING as a critical process for successful delivery of quality products and services that meet or exceed stakeholder functional specifications and performance expectations.

The purpose of the PM-PLANNING PROCESS:
“Devise and maintain a workable scheme to address the business and stakeholders need for which the project or program was established”.

Examining the elements in this definition of the purpose of the PM-Planning Process, it becomes evident that the primary objective of PM-Planning is to develop the IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY that is required to effectively produce and successfully deliver quality products and services.

  • DEVISE: An IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY is created and defined to perform all of the required tasks and produce the required DELIVERABLES; to attain the objectives of the project or program, attesting to the ART of PM best practices
  • MAINTAIN: The IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY is judiciously managed using specific processes, tools and techniques, to continuously meet the current and approved “triple constraint” of the project or program, attesting to the SCIENCE of PM best practices
  • NEED: The IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY ensures all the required deliverables are produced, and all products and services meet stakeholder functional specifications and performance expectations, attesting to the QUALITY ASSURANCE of PM best practices
  • WORKABLE SCHEME: The IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY is a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound) approach, attesting to the DISCIPLINE ofPM best practices.

Using the phrase, IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY, is a very effective technique for overcoming the paradigm of stakeholders who believe “planning” is an ineffective use of time, and that a project or program “plan” is not needed!

To ensure this critical component of PM best practices is performed, advise your stakeholders that resources are required to THINK through an effective approach and develop an IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY for effective and efficient delivery of the required products and services.  Most stakeholders believe and accept that THINKING is a very beneficial activity, and STRATEGIZING is a critical and worthwhile effort. They then acknowledge and concur with the need for the Planning process; readily approve the time, budget and resources required for the associated functions and activities; and are eager to review the results of a well thought out IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY for delivery of quality products and services!

Development of a comprehensive, effective and efficient PLAN must ensure that throughout the life cycle of the project or program, the three PROCESS AREAS of every project or program environment are continually addressed.

During the PM-PLANNING PROCESS, the required deliverables associated with each of these PROCESS AREAS, are finalized and the associated tasks are defined:


The following matrices outline the critical outputs and deliverables for these PROCESS AREAS.

Business Management Processes: PM-PLANNING REQUIREMENTS to comply with enterprise policies and guidelines

Think About Business Management … and Determine PM-Planning Requirements for
Policies Constraints to the implementation strategy
Guidelines Procedures / tasks to meet business guidelines

Product and Service Delivery Processes: PM-Planning requirements to successfully deliver quality products and services

Think About Product & Service Delivery …  

and Determine PM-Planning Requirements to

Definition Define product / service functional requirements

Define product / service performance expectations

Design Architect product/service functional requirements

Architect product/service performance expectations

Development Construct product / service

Perform quality control (QC) tests

Deployment Install / implement product / service

Perform integrated quality-assurance (QA) tests

Provide client / end-user training

Departure Transition to maintenance/production environment

Provide product / service documentation for continuous support


Project and Program Management Processes: PM-Planning process outputs/deliverables to effectively manage all nine PM-Knowledge Areas

Think About the Nine Management Knowledge Areas….  

and Produce PM-Planning Outputs/Deliverables

Scope Integrated, deliverables-based Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Time Schedule Baseline
Cost Budget Baseline

Cost-Control Procedures

Quality Quality-Control Procedures
Communication Communication-Control Procedures
Human Resources Resource Allocation and Assignments
Procurement Leased & Purchased Products and Services

Contract-Control Procedures

Procurement-Control Procedures

Risk Risk-Control Procedures

Issues-Control Procedures

Integration Value Added-Control Procedures

PM-Plan & Kick-Off Session


Think about the

“Triple Constraint”

Change-Management/Control Procedures

Develop the Project or PROGRAM PLAN that ensures success… remember there is rarely too much Planning….  and actually…      TOO MUCH PM CAN BE AWESOME!

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