The most difficult thing about managing a large project is juggling the set of deliverables, timeframes, staff, suppliers, equipment, materials, contractors and customers. It can be an extremely challenging task. To make things easier for you, we've described here:
How to Manage Large ProjectsSo what is a large project? It's usually one that:
|Involves a large financial expenditure|
|Takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years|
|Has a big project team in different locations|
|Involves the creation of large quantities of deliverables|
|Requires external suppliers and contractors.|
Large projects typically have higher risk and harder to control than small projects, as they involve large quantities of people, time, money and resources. So they have a lot more to lose when things go wrong!
Using MPMM and Method123 you have 10 different processes available for monitoring and controlling large projects. Each of these processes are described below:
1. Manage Time
Delivering "on schedule" is usually the hardest challenge for a large project, due to the sheer amount of work involved. You need a clear time management process to record time spent by staff, log it in a timesheet register and update the project plan with current progress.
This process allows you to track progress and control delivery against the original target date set. All staff should complete timesheets and hand them into the project administrator weekly.
2. Minimize Cost
To minimize the cost of the project, a cost management process should be implemented. This involves recording all expenses in an expense register and regularly updating the project plan and financial plan schedules with the status of the project budget.
Only by gaining an up-to-date view of the total project spend, can you control expenditure and minimize costs.
3. Control Quality
The quality management process is used to conduct quality assurance reviews to check that the deliverables produced by the project meet the quality targets set.
A set of quality control measures are put in place, to monitor and control the quality of each deliverable produced.
4. Reduce Change
Using a change management process, the Project Manager can identify any requests for change and review their potential effect on the project.
Large projects all too frequently suffer from scope creep, whereby changes are implemented without approval. This causes delays and budget over-runs. The change process will prevent this occurring, by monitoring and controlling all changes and implementing a formal process for their approval.
5. Mitigate Risks
Large projects usually encounter a larger amount of risk, so the key to success is in identifying these risks early and mitigating them before they impact on the project. Using a risk management process, you can identify and mitigate project risks early.
Low and medium priority risks will be addressed by the Project Manager, however high priority risks will be raised at Project Board meetings to be addressed.
6. Resolve Issues
Complex and technical projects usually encounter a high number of issues, as the project deliverables may be unique in nature. The trick is to resolve them as early as possible. Implement an issue management process, to enable staff to raise issues and have them resolved by the Project Manager in a timely manner.
7. Manage Procurement
If you're obtaining goods and services from external suppliers, then you will need some form of procurement management process. This process will explain how you want to procure items, through the issuing and fulfillment of Purchase Orders.
It will also explain how you intend to manage the performance of your suppliers, by conducting supplier reviews at each contractual milestone.
8. Get Acceptance
It's not enough to produce top quality deliverables, you have to gain acceptance from your customer that each deliverable meets their requirements. This is called the acceptance management process.
As you finish each deliverable, get your customer to sign it off as being 100% complete. It will help you manage the project and get permission to perform project closure when you're ready.
9. Perform Communications
On larger projects, it's crucial that you keep stakeholders properly informed. By implementing a communications management process, you can distribute formal communication messages, to ensure that you deliver the right content to the right people at the right time.
10. Complete Phase Reviews
And lastly, to manage large projects, you need to implement phase reviews at the end of each major project phase. Each review allows your team to determine that they have met their objectives for the current phase and can therefore progress to the next phase in the project life cycle.
For large projects, these processes help Project Managers to monitor and control their projects effectively, increasing their likelihood of achieving success.
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