Monday, March 23, 2009

Form a line for this book!

Wow, so my last posting had a bowtie and what appeared to be an invitation to a wedding (or other formal event), and now I move from "formal" to "forms".

Cyndi Stackpole, who was the project lead for the 4th Edition PMBOK(R) Guide - on which I was also proud to work - has written a companion book which, for people like me, who are visual and practical, brings the PMBOK Guide to life with a set of forms and the instructions for completing them.

Yeah, I know.... A book of forms is exciting to me. How telling is that? But wait, there's more!

One of the things I always had expected of the PMI was a little more assertiveness when it comes to guidelines, forms, and methods. I know the PMBOK Guide is not a methodology. Still, there seems to be (my opinion) too much vagueness in the PMBOK Guide, where I think there is an opportunity at least to show examples, and get folks moving in similar directions...

This book is extremely straightforward in its approach. After literally only one page of introduction, in which she discusses the intent, the audience, and the organization of the book, Cyndi gets right to it.

As she says, the audience is for PMs, with new PMs being able to use the book as a guide for how to collect and organize information, while experienced PMs being able to use the forms as a template to save them from rebuilding new forms every time a new project starts up. She also addresses the PMOs so that they can share the forms across an organization to yield some standardization and a more "repeatable approach".

The advantage of this book over similar books or packages is that it is very tightly connected to the PMBOK Guide's latest edition. The forms are organized by Process Groups and in the case of the forms from the Planning process, there is description of inputs and outputs for the form, so that you can put it in the context of the project.

For example, the Probability and Impact Matrix (pictured below) takes input from the Risk Register and the Probability and Impact Assessment, and gives information to the Risk Register. In fact, this is a good example of what I meant before when I said that I always hope for a little more from the PMBOK Guide. Her Probability and Impact Assessment form, which suggests specific scales for Scope, Quality, Schedule, and Cost impacts, and a definitive 5-point scale for Probability: Very Low, Low, Medium, High, and Very High (for example, Low is 21% to 40%). This will perhaps bring some standardization across industries and give some common ground for folks involved (like myself) in developing PM training courseware. Instead of "making stuff up", we can all go to these scales, at least for starters.

The book comes with a CD that contains completely editable versions of all of the blank forms, in MS-Office format.

You can find this really fine book at PMI's bookstore site, as well as Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

If you are curious, here are the forms included:

2. Initiating Forms.

2.1 Initiating Process Group.

2.2 Project Charter.

2.3 Stakeholder Register.

2.4 Stakeholder Analysis Matrix.

2.5 Stakeholder Management Strategy.

3. Planning Forms.

3.1 Planning Process Group.

3.2 Requirements documentation.

3.3 Requirements management plan.

3.4 Requirements traceability matrix.

3.5 Project Scope Statement.

3.6 Assumption and constraint log.

3.7 Work breakdown structure (WBS).

3.8 WBS Dictionary.

3.9 Activity list.

3.10 Activity attributes.

3.11 Milestone list.

3.12 Network diagram.

3.13 Activity Resource Requirements.

3.14 Resource breakdown structure.

3.15 Activity duration estimates.

3.16 Duration estimating worksheet.

3.17 Project Schedule.

3.18 Activity Cost Estimates.

3.19 Cost estimating worksheet.

3.20 Cost performance baseline.

3.21 Quality management plan.

3.22 Quality metrics.

3.23 Process improvement plan.

3.24 Responsibility Assignment Matrix.

3.25 Roles and Responsibilities.

3.26 Human Resource Plan.

3.27 Communications Management Plan.

3.28 Risk Management Plan.

3.29 Risk register.

3.30 Probability and Impact Risk Rating.

3.31 Risk data sheet.

3.32 Procurement management plan.

3.33 Project management plan.

3.34 Configuration management plan.

3.35 Change Management Plan.

4. Executing Forms.

4.1 Executing Process Group.

4.2 Team member Status Report.

4.3 Change request.

4.4 Change Log.

4.5 Decision log.

4.6Quality Audit.

4.7 Team Directory.

4.8 Team operating agreement.

4.9 Team performance assessment.

4.10 Team member performance assessment.

4.11 Issue Log.

4.12 Procurement Criteria Evaluation.

5. Monitoring and Control Forms.

5.1 Monitoring and Controlling Process Group.

5.2 Project Performance Report.

5.3 Variance Analysis.

5.4 Earned Value Status Report.

5.5 Risk Audit.

5.6 Contractor Status Report.

5.7 Product acceptance Form.

6. Closing.

6.1 Closing Process Group.

6.2 Procurement Audit.

6.3 Contract Close Out.

6.4 Project Close Out.

6.5 Lessons learned.


The line forms on the left (or in the British-influenced countries, on the right, and I suppose it would be a queue, not a line).

1 comment:

Mike Greer said...

Thanks for alerting us to this! I'm a big fan of forms, tools, and of operationalizing PMBOK. In the late '90s, frustrated by PMBOK's lack of focus on performance, I attempted to "translate" PMBOK into a newbies Action/Results table -- sort of a cosmic "to do" list for the new project manager. This turned into a book, then a 2nd edition and a workshop. You can download this for yourself at:

Keep up the good work!
Mike Greer
Inspired Project Teams blog
Michael Greer's Project Management Resources website

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