Business Operations categories cover the primary business operations and business management functions impacting project performance. We use specific checklists to ensure full investigation of each area. Thorough root cause analysis uncovers business operations issues that will impact other projects run in that area.
In many cases, this kind of audit could be performed as a basis for Information Analysis where the present situation and the desired situation are outlined in detail. Of course in the case where a project has not been preceded by an information analysis. And that happens more often than not!
So, the following summarizes project audit to be applied to already running projects.
1. Project Integration & Project Planning: focused on the planning elements and the cohesive integration of the project management system.
Project plan development – Is there an integrated plan that addresses all required elements? (See minimum requirements defined by TSP and GlobalPM)
Project plan execution – Is the project plan used to manage all project resources?
Project plan execution – Is the plan used to control cost, schedule and performance to requirements?
Overall Change Control – Does the process manage integration of scope, schedule, cost, quality, risk and contract changes, and result in appropriate project plan changes?
2. Project Scope Management: defines and controls the work to be done in the project.
Initiation – Is the Project Charter defined and understood by all stakeholders?
Initiation – Is the PM assigned and positioned appropriately with all stakeholders?
Scope Planning – Is the Statement of Work defined and agreed upon?
Scope Definition – Does a Work Breakdown Structure cover the entire scope of work?
Scope Definition – Is there traceability from the contract through all applicable project plans?
Scope Verification – Has the Statement of Work been formally documented and accepted?
Scope Change Control – Has the change control process been defined and followed?
Scope Change Control – Does the PM have a current copy of the contract?
Scope Change Control – Was the contract in place before the start of project work?
3. Project Time Management: focuses on estimating and ensuring timely completion of project work.
Activity Definition – Does the WBS contain appropriate detail and full definition of all activities?
Activity Sequencing – Are all activity dependencies and sequencing identified in the plan?
Activity Duration Estimation – Are time estimates based upon the activities in the WBS?
Activity Duration Estimating – Were duration estimates based upon sound methods or experience?
Schedule Development – Does the schedule reflect activity sequence, duration & resource availability?
Schedule Development – Can the PM define the current critical path?
Schedule Control – Are all change requests analyzed against schedule impact?
4. Project Cost Management: focuses on estimating & ensuring completion of project work within budget.
Resource Planning – Are all resource requirements defined for all activities in the WBS (people, equipment & materials)
Cost Estimating – Are the costs of each resource known?
Cost Budgeting – Are complete costs allocated to each activity in the WBS?
Cost Budgeting – Was the cost baseline established and reflected in The Company proposal and presale planning?
Cost Control – Are cost estimates kept current and reflect change control?
Cost Control – Does the project use integrated schedule and cost management (Earned Value)?
Cost Control – Can the PM provide an Estimate at Completion?
5. Project Quality Management: focus on the quality policies, objectives and responsibilities.
Quality Planning – Is the Quality management plan current and relevant to the project?
Quality Planning – Do all project team members understand how to satisfy the quality policies?
Quality Assurance – Does the project include a means to evaluate overall performance on a regular basis?
Quality Control – Are test and acceptance procedures for project deliverables identified and followed?
Quality Control – Are all deliverables tested before delivery to the customer?
6. Project Human Resource Management: processes to make the best use of all project stakeholders.
Organizational Planning – Are all roles and responsibilities understood and documented in an OBS?
Organizational Planning – Is there a Responsibility Assignment Matrix linking all tasks to the resource?
Staff Acquisition – Is all project staff assigned and committed by both inside and outside organizations?
Team Development – Have all team members received appropriate training and development?
Team Development – Is project performance / recognition linked to the team”s performance appraisals?
7. Project Communications Management: includes the processes to ensure sharing of information among all project stakeholders.
Communications Planning – Is there a procedure for communicating with the customer?
Communications Planning – Is there a procedure for all communications with all other stakeholders?
Information Distribution – Is the PM Information System adequate for timely sharing of information?
Performance Reporting – Is there adequate project status, progress and forecast reporting?
Administrative Closure – Is there formal acceptance and documentation of milestone completion?
Administrative Closure – Is there a means to archive project documentation & share lessons learned?
8. Project Risk Management: focus on process to identify, analyze and respond to positive and negative risk events.
Risk Identification – Were sources of risk identified as part of pre- and post-sale project planning?
Risk Quantification – Were risks evaluated, prioritized, examined for interaction?
Risk Response Development – Does the risk management plan outline opportunities, contingencies, risk reserve, mitigation strategies for key risk events?
Risk Response Development – Do the proposal, contract, project plans reflect appropriate mitigation?
Risk Response Control – Is the Risk Management Plan executed and kept current?
9. Project Procurement Management: focus on acquisition of goods and services from outside the local project organization.
Procurement Planning – Did project planning include an analysis of what to procure, when and why?
Solicitation Planning – Were formal requirements defined and potential sources identified?
Solicitation Planning – Is the subcontracting consistent with The Company opportunity and risk assessment?
Solicitation Planning – Is the subcontract aligned properly with The Company”s contract with the customer?
Solicitation – Was there a process to obtain quotes or proposals from multiple suppliers?
Source Selection – Was there a formal evaluation process used to select suppliers?
Contract Administration – Does the subcontract adequately specify SOW, cost/schedule control, change and quality management procedures?
Contract Administration – Does the PM (or a designate) manage the relationship with the suppliers?
Contract Close-Out – Are formal acceptance criteria defined and used to manage suppliers?
10. External Process Support: Focus on how the surrounding The Company business processes support this project.
Funnel/Sales Management – When and how was the PM engaged in TSP for this project?
Funnel/Sales Management – Was the PM involved in Account Planning and presale planning?
Funnel /Sales Mgmt – Was there an effective risk assessment and Bid/No Bid process for this project?
Funnel/Sales Management – Was the PM involved in cost estimating and pricing of this opportunity?
Backlog/Resource Mgmt – Is there an effective process for identifying and obtaining project resources?
WIP/Proj. Mgmt. – Does the PM have accountability for all goods and services in this project?
WIP/Results – How is PM performance measured? Are the organization and project metrics consistent?
WIP/Results – Can the PM obtain project performance information from F & A and other orgs.?
WIP/Results – Is the project reporting adequate to communicate status to The Company management?
Results – Does the PM manage customer billing?
11. External Organizational Support: Focus on how the surrounding The Company organizations support this project.
PMO – Was the PM assigned to project this at the
appropriate time and with the appropriate authority?
PMO – Can the PM get the required support for administrative and F & A functions?
PMO – Can the PM get adequate support for project start-up, risk assessment and audit functions?
The Company Interface – Does the PM have appropriate interfaces into other PS and The Company organizations providing resource to this project?
The Company Interface – Is the PM properly position with the Sales team?
12. Tools and Infrastructure: Focus on the effectiveness and efficiency of tools and systems.
PMIS -Are the tools used internal to the project (the Project Management Information System) effective?
Time & Activity – Are there effective tools for time tracking and reporting back into the PM?
Time and Activity – Is time tracked according to project plan cost accounts?
Cost tracking – Are there effective tools for cost tracking and reporting actuals back to the PM?
Schedule Tracking -Are there effective tools for schedule plan and tracking?
Billing – Is there an effective tool for managing customer billing as a function of the contract and plan? ?
Resource Management – Is there adequate systems for resource management?
Technical Solution Management: This category focuses on the adequacy of the technical deliverables from this project. It also investigates the procedures in place guiding the analysis, design, development and deployment of all deliverables.
13. Technical Solution Management:
Definition – Is there an adequate functional description of the project deliverables?
Definition – Have formal requirements documents been reviewed and approved with the customer?
Analysis – Have formal specification documents been reviewed and approved with the customer?
Design – Have all applicable design documents (functional decomposition, detailed design, etc.) been reviewed and approved?
Development – Is there an appropriate development / deployment process in place?
Development – Is there a configuration management process in place, linked to the overall project change control process?
Quality – Is the product quality assurance linked to the overall project quality management system?
Quality -Have these deliverables been independently reviewed?
The Project Manager should plan this audit activity, and include it in their WBS and Quality Assurance plans.
Audits of the project management system can occur at various times. It is recommended that the project be reviewed at significant milestones, such as:
– at the completion of pre-contract planning, before submitting a customer proposal
– after post-contract planning, before establishing a project baseline
– at major milestones or between project phases
– anytime project cost, schedule or quality metrics exceed acceptable variances.
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