A few months ago I covered all 8 phases of my general project management methodology over 8 separate and fairly long articles. What I would like to do here is condense them into one – still lengthy – quick guide type article for general reference to anyone who might need it. Let’s get started…



Phase 1 – Project Kickoff



Purpose:







  • Onsite meeting with the customer at the beginning of the engagement to review the SOW, the project team, the draft project schedule and milestone dates, and the process for managing the project




Activities:







  • Prepare for onsite Kickoff session with customer


  • Create/revise draft project schedule


  • Create presentation slides for Kickoff session with customer




Deliverables:







  • Kickoff session slide deck


  • Initial project schedule




Phase 2 – Exploration



Purpose:







  • Document business processes, further refine business requirements for the project, work with the customer to detail the difference between the “as-is” processes and the “to-be” processes. Further involvement by customer SMEs will be required.




Activities:







  • Create the Business Requirements Document (BRD)


  • Customer review and signoff of BRD




Deliverables:







  • Business Requirements Document


  • Revised project schedule


  • Revised issues/risks list


  • Weekly status reports


  • Weekly status meetings




Phase 3 – Design



Purpose:







  • Goal is successful completion and signoff of main Design phase deliverable, the Functional Design Document (FDD)




Activities:







  • Work with customer SMEs and delivery team to further refine and finalize functional design requirements, reporting requirements, data migration requirements, data integration requirements, security requirements, etc.




Deliverables:







  • Functional Design Document


  • Revised project schedule


  • Revised issues/risks lists


  • Weekly project status reports


  • Weekly project status meetings


  • Assignment of development team members and other support personnel to the delivery team




Phase 4 – Development



Purpose:







  • To develop a workable solution according to customer specs that is ready to move into the Testing phase




Activities:







  • Develop a Technical Design Document (TDD) – mainly for use by the delivery team and the technical lead


  • Develop the system to customer requirements


  • Perform periodic demos or reviews to ensure that the solution is on track




Deliverables:







  • Technical Design Document – optionally for the customer


  • Periodic development reviews/demos


  • Revised project schedule


  • Revised issues/risks lists


  • Weekly project status reports


  • Weekly project status meetings




Phase 5 – Testing



Purpose:







  • To ensure that the developed system is tested, matches customer requirements and is bug-free for training and deployment




Activities:







  • Define testing approach


  • Document Test or QA Plan


  • Create test conditions/cases – this should be a customer activity


  • Conduct system testing


  • Conduct User Acceptance Testing (UAT)




Deliverables:







  • Developed system


  • QA or Test Plan


  • User Acceptance Testing signoff


  • Revised project schedule


  • Revised issues/risks lists


  • Weekly project status reports


  • Weekly project status meetings




Phase 6 – Training



Purpose:







  • To train the customer or the customer’s trainers on usage of the production-ready system prior to Deployment




Activities:







  • Development and delivery of a training plan


  • Development and delivery of training materials


  • Setup of a training environment or server with a production-ready copy of the system


  • Training-specific data loaded to the database


  • Delivery of training, or train-the-trainers training




Deliverables:







  • Training plan


  • Training materials


  • Training environment


  • Training data in training database


  • Revised project schedule


  • Revised issues/risks lists


  • Weekly project status reports


  • Weekly project status meetings




Phase 7 – Deployment



Purpose:







  • To implement the tested and production-ready system into the live customer environment and deploy to all relevant users




Activities:







  • Setup production environment


  • Load production data to the production environment


  • Customer review and signoff of go-live readiness




Deliverables:







  • Production environment


  • Live data load to production environment


  • Deployed production-ready system


  • Revised project schedule


  • Revised issues/risks lists


  • Weekly project status reports


  • Weekly project status meetings




Phase 8 – Post-Deployment



Purpose:







  • To provide the customer with a window of time after go-live where the key delivery team members will still be available to the customer for issues, etc. and for knowledge to be passed on to the on-going support organization




Activities:







  • Go-live support for an agreed upon timeframe (30-60 days) by the delivery team for the project


  • Hand-off to support team


  • Re-connect with the customer team for Lessons Learned sessions




Deliverables:







  • 30-60 days of post go-live support by the current delivery team


  • Lessons Learned documented and delivered to delivery team, customer team, and support team