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Drive Project

Posted on 2018 / 12 / 09 in ChSU • 33 min read

This small note refers to the set of my courses for students of Cherepovets State University (ChSU). This course includes the following curriculum disciplines:

  • project activity management;
  • project management;
  • project activity;
  • management of innovative projects;
  • engineering leadership.

Warm welcome to all participants!

Table of Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Theoretical basis (literature review)
    1. GOST R 54869-2011. Project management. Project management requirements
    2. GOST R 54870-2011. Project management. Bunch of project management requirements
    3. GOST R 54871-2011. Project management. Program management requirements
    4. GOST R 56715.1-2015. Project management. Systems of project management. Part 1. Basic principles
    5. GOST R 56715.2-2015. Project management. Systems of project management. Part 2. Processes and process models
    6. GOST R 56715.3-2015. Project management. Systems of project management. Part 3. Methods
    7. GOST R 56715.4-2015. Project management. Systems of project management. Part 4. Data and data models
    8. GOST R 56715.5-2015. Project management. Systems of project management. Part 5. Terms and definitions
    9. GOST R ISO 21500-2014. Project management guide
  3. Simplified project activities and techniques
    1. Project - definition and features
    2. Project phases and processes
    3. Notes
  4. Practices, assignments and labs
  5. Literatures

1. Introduction


So, the aim of my little note about project management is to give you some ideas of project activity, its methods, goals and objectives.

Primary tasks are:

  • learn culture and principles of any projects;
  • analyze and study the project management system;
  • develop basic practical skills in project development;
  • develop the path of project development;
  • explore some good projects practice.

For the “project” in chapter 3 we will consider:

  • main features;
  • structure;
  • criteria for success;
  • life cycle;
  • the rules for setting a goal (the S.M.A.R.T. one);
  • correct planning;
  • Gants diagrams;
  • team responsibility matrix;
  • tools for analysis;
  • risk management.

I hope, that you will learn how to:

  • make distinguish between project activities and operations;
  • consider project criteria;
  • set goals and objectives;
  • create a project plan and a responsibility matrix;
  • manage risks.

I will tell you a little about the ways to assess and control your knowledge. If I have enough time and energy, I will use the “ready-rating” for continuous control. This is my own feature, which I really want to test (that’s a coincidence, isn’t it?). Training will be based on examining your own readiness. In other words, you will be constantly checked for ability:

  • to face the real problems of the profession/skill;
  • to use theoretical concepts;
  • to use your own logic and intelligence.

This process will be automated and posted online (I think you have already noticed). The rating will include 3 grades: ready, ready in part, not ready. In my turn, I will explore it and modify it based on your comments, successes and failures (also progressing together with you). After all, successful works and strategies are based on mutual cooperation.

But this is not for sure…

If something doesn’t work out, we will limit ourselves to the classical intermediate and final control; which will br unique for each group and which we will talk about in our offline classes.

2. Some theoretical basis (based on GOST, which is like ISO in Russ.)


Project activities is a concept, which refers to a wide range of activities, and it is very intuitive (thus it is hard to give clear explanation and systematization of it). But as you know if you met any unclear situation, you must read regulatory documents (ISO or State Standards). This is what we will do now.

The first stage of any research (scientific, regular, or any other) begins with a review of the literature. I emphasize, that all researches must begins from a review of worldwide and home country regulatory documents (GOST, TU, ISO, ASTM, techniques, SanPin, etc.). Furthermore, I extremely recommend you to make an independent search of the relevant regulatory documents (RD), because I might miss something important and interesting.

Below you can find a brief summary of the main RD, which are related to the project management.

2.1 GOST R 54869-2011. Project Management. Requirements to project management


This standard specifies requirements to project management from its beginning to end (where is the subject of standardization are strictly defined outputs of project management processes). It describes the different concepts and processes inside the project (which have the defined goals and outputs).

In summary and with translation from Elvish. This GOST considers the project structure: stages, data and process in it. The basic concepts are shown on Fig. 1, and the processes within the project (Fig. 2).

projects management Fig. 1. Main concepts of project management (with relationship).
processes of project Fig. 2. Scheme of processes in project.

2.2 GOST R 54870-2011. Project Management. Requirements for project portfolio management


The RD set requirements for project portfolio management at the stages of its formation and implementation, while the subject of standardization are the outputs of processes, which is related to project portfolio management. Project portfolio management involves activities, which leads to achieve the strategic goals of the organization through the formation, optimization, monitoring, control and change the project portfolio management under certain limitations. Project portfolio management provides a link between the level of strategic management in the organization and the level of project and program management.

Ok, Google! Again, by translating into a more understandable language, we get the basis, that the entire strategy of the company/startup/personality is the creation, management and change of a set of projects. Thus, the standard is dedicated to the methods of portfolio management (i.e. set of projects). The document describe some concepts of such processes too (fig. 3).

projects portfolio Fig. 3. Projects portfolio.

Task 1. Based of fig. 3 develop a scheme of processes (use fig. 2 as example).

2.3 GOST R 54871-2011. Project Management. Requirements to program management


This standard sets out the requirements for program management to ensure the effective achievement of program objectives and benefits.

In a fact, this document describe a way of adaptation of GOST No. 1 for “a set of actions” (here it is called the program). Program is not the project, that is why this documents will not be considered here in more detail (but you know it name, if you are interested).

2.4 GOST R 56715.1-2015. Project management. Project management systems. Part 1. Main statements (identical to DIN 69901-1:2009 in German)


Is the first document in the series “Project Management - Project Management Systems”. Series consists of the following parts:

  • Part 1: Basic statements;
  • Part 2: Processes and the process model;
  • Part 3: Methods;
  • Part 4: Data and Data Model;
  • Part 5: Terms and definitions.

This system of standards is the most fully describes, and it give clear concept of project and project activities (from my point of view of cause). Thus, it is stated that projects consist of a unique set of processes of different types. They (projects) differ in purposes, final results, size, complexity, necessary time of fulfillment, expenses and quantity of involved persons. And finally, the projects are implemented by organizations of any size.

Furthermore, standard declare, that the organization management should define the policy in the area of a project management and all stages of its realization (in form of a document). For this purpose it is necessary to introduce, support at appropriate level and constantly improve system of a project management of the organization.

The main purpose of the project management system is the successful implementation of projects. In particular, the main goals in my opinion:

  • achieving customer/client goals;
  • building a transparent project structure (for better interpretation and research);
  • ensuring effective communication between all project participants;
  • defining the phases/stages of project implementation (planning);
  • monitoring and risk assessment;
  • quality assurance;
  • creating an environment to control the main project management processes;
  • providing control of plan adjustments where necessary;
  • setting professional requirements for project management and staff competence;
  • carrying out a comprehensive assessment of the single project processes;
  • identification of links between projects within a program or a project portfolio.

Also, within the framework of the given regulatory document different models are widely used.

Task 2. Define the model in terms of GOST R 56715.1-2015

Models are built according to specially defined requirements. They should represent characteristic tasks and processes, visualize interrelationships and structures, which are necessary for solving the tasks. The model used in this standard describes an idealized project management system and need to be adapted for each specific application.

We shall denote properties of the system of project management, according to GOST 56715.1-2015:

  • Flexibility: The system can adapt to new/changed conditions in a short time.
  • Universality: The system allows maximum variety of application and usage.
  • Modularity: The System is built from subsystems and it can be developed and expanded in a modular manner.
  • Compatibility: Systems, sub-systems and individual system elements are integrated and compatible with external systems and system parts.
  • Transparency: The system makes visible the processes and their interrelationships.
  • Prevention: The system supports the principle of “warning instead of response”.

Thus, the first GOST of a 56715 series introduces us to the business and outlines the general features of project management.

2.5 GOST R 56715.2-2015. Project Management. Project management systems. Part 2. Processes and process model (identical to DIN 69901-2:2009 in German)


The fundamental principle of this standard is process approach, which is used for all project activities (include resources) to reach the desired result more effectively. The required activities for project management are formed as processes and involved in their project environment. On the one hand, it makes easier for all project participants to orientate themselves on results (during project implementation), and on the other hand, it provides a good basis for continuous improvement of the system and creating cooperative links (beyond the corporation).

From Elvish: the project is split into processes, a kind of “action chart”. At the same time, there are four groups of processes (on priority reduction):

  • leads of projects,
  • project management,
  • providing resources,
  • production processes (create of product)).

Project implementation progress (project life cycle) starting with initiation and ending with completion of a group of phases (which are interconnected segments). This standard distinguishes between project phases and project management groups (processes in each phase). An example of one phase is given in Fig. 4. Each project includes several phases (a kind of sub-projects).

Task 3. Now let’s remember and imagine the recursion.

projects phases Fig 4. Graphical representation of project phases.

The project phases divide the project life cycle into time-dependent sections, which are reflect project development. Types of work and other necessary data are indicated in each phase. The separation into process groups at project management level is based on logically interrelated tasks and includes: “Initializing (I)”, “Defining (D)”, “Planning (P)”, “Supervising (control, S)” and “Accomplishing (A)”. More about such phases we will study in chapter 3.

Pay attention, that interpretation of project management in the given standard differs from previous described GOSTs (№ 1-3). It testifies to free and intuitive understanding of the “projects”.

Let us consider an example of a described project phase (Table 1).

Table 1. Example of project phase.

Initializing (I) Defining (D) Planning (P) Supervising (S) Accomplishing (A)
1. Deadlines D.1.1 Identification of project steps (key events) P.1.1 Work planning
P.1.2 Calendar planning
P.1.3 Project planning
S.1.1 Launching work
S.1.2 Time management
2. Changes P.2.1 Planning methods of working with changes S.2.1 Change management
3. Information, documentation, communication I.3.1 Granting permissions D.3.1 Definition of information, communication and reports
D.3.2 Definition of the project marketing
D.3.3 Authorization
P.3.1 Planning of information, communication, reporting and documentation
P.3.2 Authorization
S.3.1 Information, communication, reporting and documentation management
S.3.2 Acceptance
A.3.1 Preparation of the final project report
A.3.2 Creation of a project documentation archive
4. Expenses and finance D.4.1 Rough (approximated) cost estimate P.4.1 Preparation of cost and financial plan S.4.1 Cost and financial management A.4.1 Compilation of actual cost estimates
5. Organizing I.5.1 Assignment of responsible persons
I.5.2 Selection of project management processes
D.5.1 Forming a project management team P.5.1 Project organization planning S.5.1 Holding a startup meeting
S.5.2 Creating a project team
S.5.3 Developing a project team
A.5.1 Conducting the final meeting
A.5.2 Assessment of achievements
A.5.3 Disposal of the project organization
6. Quality D.6.1 Defining criteria for success Р.6.1 Planning for quality assurance S.6.1 Quality assurance A.6.1 Generalization of project experience
7. Resources P.7.1 Developing a resource plan S.7.1 Resource management A.7.1 Release of resources
8. Risks D.8.1 Definition of risk management methods
D.8.2 Analysis of the environment of project or interested persons
D.8.3 Realizability assessment
P.8.1 Risk analysis
P.8.2 Risk response planning
S.8.1 Risk management
9. Project structure D.9.1 Composition of an enlarged structure P.9.1 Development of work decomposition structure
P.9.2 Description of work packages
P.9.3 Description of process
10. Contract and requirements D.10.1 Determining the methods of working with contracts
D.10.2 Determining the content of the contract with the customer
P10.1 Determining the content of supplier contracts S.10.1 Implementation of contracts with customers and suppliers
S.10.2 Management of additional requirements
A.10.1 Contracts finishing
11. Aims and content I.11.1 Initial definition of objectives D.11.1 Defining objectives
D.11.2 Defining project content
S.11.1 Management of objectives and content

Examples of diagrams of project management processes are given in fig. 5 and fig. 6 (for more information see the GOST).

processes in stage Fig. 5. Scheme of processes in one stage in one phase of project.
complicate processes in stage Fig. 6. Scheme of processes in one stage in one phase of project. More complicate example.

This is the end of this brief review of this GOST. I’ll note once again - process models are very fond of at the University department and always require at any project defences. Therefore, I highly recommend reading this GOST and practice the decomposition of various processes in such diagrams.

2.6 GOST R 56715.3-2015. Project management systems. Part 3. Methods (identical to DIN 69901-3:2009 in German)


This standard defines the basic methods that are used in project management systems.

The standard describes some metrics (parameters) for comparing different project management strategies. Let’s consider some of them in more detail.

1.6.1 Cost estimate - used for forecasting what resources (personnel, finances, etc.) and to what extent are necessary for project implementation (Table 2).

Table 2. Cost estimate

Method Characteristics
Experts estimation The evaluation shall be conducted by one expert or group of experts
Delphic method Evaluation (from experts) is systematized through a structured multi-skilled survey.
Three dots methods Evaluation (from experts) is supported by an assessment of the optimistic, realistic and pessimistic way.
The sum of evaluation is defined as the average value of the above values (usually, the realistic evaluation takes in four times more powerful then others).
Collective evaluation Evaluation (from experts) is conducted in the form of a collective, i.e., not anonymous, multidisciplinary expert survey. The stages of the collective evaluation are:
1) Selection of experts to carry out the evaluation.
2) Provision of information to the experts.
3) (Preliminary) expert cost estimate.
4) General discussion of evaluation results, in particular of deviations (attention is also paid to preconditions and assumptions).
5) Determining a fully supported assessment result as well as general preconditions.
Comparison of projects (by analogues) Costs of projects are determined with the help of actual requirements by calculation from the experience data
of similar projects.

1.6.2 project supervision. Used mainly for two objectives: control and modification management. In other words, it serves the purpose of comparing “planned” with “real” so that you can later track project modifications.

The form and methods of control depend on the size and complexity of the project and must comply with internal regulations and organizational standards. The GOST specifies some control methods.

The Earned Value Analysis (EVA) method. It includes a joint analysis of such indicators as cost, time consumption and results obtained (performance). The analysis is performed for a certain object (e.g. project, project phase, work package) on a certain date. The calculation requires to be planned and actual indicators and an estimate of the remaining costs (if available). On the basis of EVA it is possible to make forecasts about the expected expenses as well as determine the term of project completion. In addition, the EVA has a number of important project indicators, such as CPI or SPI, which can also be used as early warning system indicators. The most important international abbreviations and indicators with an example calculation show below.

  • Budget at Completion (BAC);
  • Data Date (DD) = Time now = As-of date;
  • Percent of complete (PC);
  • Process Degree (PCT);
  • Planned Value (PV);
  • Budget Cost of Work Scheduler (BCWS);
  • Actual Cost (AC);
  • Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP);
  • Earned Value (EV) \(= BAC \cdot PC\);
  • Budget Cost of Work Performed (BCWP);
  • Actual Performance Index (API) \(= \frac{ACWP}{BCWS} = \frac{AC}{PV}\);
  • Cost Performance Index (CPI) \(= \frac{BCWP}{ACWP} = \frac{EV}{AC}\);
  • Scheduler Performance Index (SPI) \(= \frac{BCWP}{BCWS} = \frac{EV}{PV}\);
  • Cost Variance (CV) \(=BCWP - ACWP = EV - AC\);
  • Cost Variance Percentage (CV%) \(=\frac{CV}{BCWP} \cdot 100% = \frac{CV}{EV} \cdot 100%\);
  • Scheduler Variance (SV) \(=BCWP - BCWS = EV - PV\);
  • Scheduler Variance Percentage (SV%) \(= \frac{SV}{BCWS} \cdot 100% = \frac{SV}{PV} \cdot 100%\);
  • Estimated Cost at Completion (Kosten, EAC):

    $$EAC = BAC \cdot \frac{AC}{EV} = \frac{BAC}{CPI\ (cumulative)}\ (linear estimate)$$
    $$EAC = AC + (BAC - EV)/ (summarizing estimate)$$
    $$EAC = BAC (start planning)$$

  • Projection at Completion (Zeit, PAC) \(=\frac{Planned\ Duration}{SPI} = \frac{\frac{BAC}{SPI} - BAC}{\frac{average\ BCWS}{time\ unit}}\);

  • Variance at Completion (VAC) \(= BAC - EAC\);
  • Variance at Completion Percentage (VAC%) \(= \frac{VAC}{BAC} \cdot 100%\).

The degree of project completion is determined on the date of compilation (specific date) (PC based on EVA) by comparing the set and actual status and is indicated as a percentage (%). The availability level can be defined for different tasks (e.g. project, detailed project, work package) and shown as a cumulative total (if necessary).

1.6.3 Comparison of projects (peer review)

It is used to forecast new projects data and compare project parameters (e.g. to evaluate costs based on experience with completed projects).

Data on completed projects should be preliminary collected and classified (archive, knowledge base). Data on at least 10-30 projects should be used. If the projects are very similar, a smaller number of similar projects will be sufficient.

Experimental data are evaluated in comparison of projects by parametric calculation, determination of average values or similar conclusions between projects.

Parametric calculation establishes a link between the project targets (e.g. costs and project duration, the composition of the work and the results achieved etc.). The calculation process use statistical analysis software (applications) and can show the quantitative average relationship between the targets and the parameters.

This relationship or given average allows making predictions about new individual parameters and evaluation (partial comparison). For an overall forecast or overall assessment of the project implementation, the results of individual partial comparisons can be combined (full comparison).

1.6.4 Project structure

Projects are usually very complex. They involve many interrelated tasks that are often difficult to fully predict.

Project structuring serves to visualize the entire range of project tasks with their respective dependencies and to support planning and control processes through rational structuring.

  1. Method of division into components (from top to bottom). Begins with the first level, which is the project name. Then the project is divided into different parts by a certain criterion. They form the second level. The structural plan of the project is ready when all parts of the project are divided into work packages.

  2. The method of generalization (from bottom to top). The work packages of one project are developed on the basis of previous experience and using appropriate methods of improvement. The structure of the project activities can be built using several approaches to decomposition. There are three types of project structural plans:

    • the structural plan of the project oriented to the object (the definition of work packages is reduced to (technical) structure of the object);
    • function-oriented structural project plan (work packages are divided into different functions (e.g. sales, development, testing, manufacturing));
    • the structural plan of the project oriented to the phases and progress of the project (classification of tasks is oriented to the life cycle phase model (e.g. design, development, implementation, acceptance)).

2.7 GOST R 56715.4-2015. Project Management. Project management systems. Part 4. Data and data model (identical to DIN 69901-4:2009 in German)


The data model presented in this standard describes the elementary data structures of project management at the professional level. The data model can be used for:

  • archiving project management data;
  • exchange project management data between organizations and different software systems;
  • specification of project management software requirements (as input data).

Data saving format: xml. The data elements are named as nouns and are always used in the single form. The data elements can also be named as two nouns (the position (sequence) of the noun define the hierarchy where it possible). For example, there are a hierarchical relationship between the data elements “Initiative” and the “InitiativeGroup”. This relation can be defined only by name of the elements. For better understanding, assigning a name from multiple nouns is done using hyphens.

Thus, this standard establishes the data structure when storing and archiving a project. This structure is approved and standardized, which is quite convenient. I recommend to read the GOST completely if you feel it is necessary and want to practice English/German, as it contains translations of the main values.

2.8 GOST R 56715.5-2015. Project Management. Project management systems. Part 5. Terms and definitions (identical to DIN 69901-5:2009 in German)


Is basically a dictionary of terms.

Task 4. Review the terms and write out the 10 most important ones in your opinion.

2.9 GOST R ISO 21500-2014** Project Management Guide (identical to international standard ISO 21500:2012 "Guidance on project management")


This standard contains general recommendations, basic concepts and characteristics of project management processes, which are important for project implementation and affect their results.

Essentially, it is a short generalization of GOSTs No 4-8 (I recommend to use them instead of this standard).

In general, all standards (and the whole project management discipline) is designed to put order in the head of %username%. So if you have difficulty with planning and reporting your plans to others, you can try to study this n.a.. But even if everything is okay, you can use the reference to GOST in a working dispute - it can greatly simplify your life. So it is important to understand the main points of these standards, and to be able to use selected concepts. So we continue and move on to the next part, which is designed to simplify our lives a little.

3. Simplification of life in project activities


In this chapter I will try to give you a more understandable description of work with projects. This information is now very relevant, especially when you working in big companies. In particular, various trainings on self-development and project management are widely practiced at “PhosAgro” corporation (where I had worked for 10 years). I will try to share with you what I have learned in the course of my work in this company.

3.1 Introduction to project activities


So, project according to ISO 21500 is “a unique set of processes, which consists of coordinated and managed tasks with initial and final dates, undertaken to achieve the goal”. I think it is better to say a little more clearly: it is a time-limited activity which results are new and unique products or services. It is the main differences of project, compare to the operational activity or process. For me, one of the indicators of project activity is probability of success (the project is always associated with more risks than the operational activities).

Process (operational activities) Project
  • usual results
  • stable business process
  • lack of big risks
  • relatively stable team (staff)
  • unique results
  • finite duration
  • a lot of risks
  • flexible project team

Types of projects for the company:

  1. economic (target - money);
  2. social (target - people).

The main features of the project:

  • the presence of a target;
  • the presence of a change in some system;
  • time limitations (there is always a start and an end to a project);
  • unique (by the set of stages);
  • limited resources required (there is a resource consumption specification and schedule);
  • specific organization.

Task 5. Think about which of the following is relevant to the project and which one (social or economic): construction of a residential building, production of new products in the factory, operation of the power plant, education, driving, family life, department management, repair of the room.

Task 6. Describe your experience with the project. If not, make up one.

Reasons for the project implementation:

  • possibility
  • problems

It is important to separate these reasons, the justification and design of the project depend on them. Special attention must be given to these reasons: time, budget and quality (as they say, choose any 2, but our goal is to consider all 3).

The most common reasons for failure of the project:

  • inappropriate resources;
  • wrong deadlines;
  • poor communication;
  • lack of focus and development of the project stages;
  • lack of funding;
  • lack of management tools;
  • lack of involvement of project leadership.

A project is successful when and only when it is completed:

  • in due time;
  • within budget;
  • with satisfactory results (in terms of goals and objectives);

3.2 Phases and processes inside a project


The phases and processes in a project are necessary for management

  1. integration - to the program or global process (initial project development work: documentation, description, project management plan, monitoring);
  2. content - place all necessary works in the project (content planning, work structures, content change management);
  3. deadlines - make work on time (schedule, duration, composition and interaction between operations);
  4. cost - stay within budget;
  5. quality - the project met the needs for which it was created (quality assurance and control, policies, goals and responsibilities);
  6. human resources - organization and management of the team;
  7. communications - preparation, collection, distribution, storage, selection and final placement of information;
  8. risks - analysis, response, monitoring and management of risks to increase the probability of success.

Project phases - this is a massive blocks (you can think about them as a table of content), which are the same for every project. They are logically connected activities, which leads to predefined result.

Project Life Cycle - a set of ordered project phases. Often may depend on the project itself and the necessary controls.

Result - a measurable, tactile and controllable output of the project. It is often used in a narrower sense, as something that requires approval by the project sponsor or the customer.

project phases Fig. 7. Level of effort and impact on the project, taking into account the main phases (to simplify the initializing and defining phases and Implementing and Supervisory control phases are combined). *

* This project description also include implementation phase, which is not mentioned in GOSTs No 4-8 because of different point of view (when we management the project we do not implement it but define description of the project).

3.2.1 Initializing & Defining phases (phase I + D)

  • collection of baseline data and analysis of the current status (literature review) to identify the need for changes;
  • project identification:

  • goals, objectives, results;

  • basic requirements, limitations and criteria;
  • risk level;
  • the project environment, potential participants (it is important, let’s consider more details below);
  • time, resources, funds, etc.
  • identification and comparison of alternatives to the project;
  • approving the concept for the next phase.

The result is approval for the start of the project and the creation of a project summary. The definition of common project summary show in Table 3.

Table 3. Common content of the project summary

Item Requirements
Name Interesting, intriguing, relevant to the content
(Why, what do we want?)
Problem solution (in operational activity) or realization of potential:
- why is it necessary to realize the project?
- why is this possibility important and priority?
Major problem need to be describe, digitize (make measurable) and visualize
Target (aim) How much the target will solve or reduce the problems (for more - see below)
Implementation result What specific improvement/changing will the sponsor/customer receive
Stages Technology for project implementation (important!) - a brief plan of concrete actions and
intermediate expected results
Sponsor/Customer Who invests resources
Users The public that the project will influence
Team Developers (both internal and external) - describe as clearly as possible,
as far as positions and full names.
Deadlines Development and implementation from the moment of approval to the final stage in months.
If the project is long - specify the intermediate deadlines for the stages.
Budget (expected) Cost and number of investments and estimated economic effect
(i.e. the period when the investment will start to pay off)

Note. It is always important to receive information on the subject of the project from the outside (at least an expert evaluation).

Note. If the project is targeted at solving the problem, evaluation and numerical data are always assumed. Especially when there are evaluation adjectives (more, less, etc.) - you need numerical data.

The goal of the project - is the main part of every project and should satisfy S.M.A.R.T. ideology!

S Specific Does it give a clear idea of what should be achieved?
M Measurable Are there quantitative or qualitative criteria for achievement?
A Achievable How real is it in terms of objective conditions and possibilities?
R Relatable What does it relate to other goals?
T Time Limited When should the goal be achieved?


SMART goals NOT goals
- reduce the level of staff attrition to 10% by the beginning of the second quarter of 2016.
- to ensure a monthly sales volume of 5 million rubles by May 1, 2020.
- to take second place in the regional competition "1-2-3" this year.
- work better.
- to participate in the competition.
- motivate the staff.
- to work as planned.

Project participants

Once again, it is necessary to specify as much as possible any information in the project - including all participants, up to the department, positions and full names. Interaction between project participants show in fig. 8.

project participants Fig. 8. Interaction between project participants. Dashed lines mean that 2 participants may or may not be the same person.

Note. Project Initiator is the author or owner of the main idea (and usually he/she prepare preliminary justification of the proposal).

More detail about participants explain in Table 4.

Table 4. Participants ant they roles.

Role Description
Project Initiator (promoter) Author of idea or main stakeholder (interested party)
Customer Decision making on project opening; implementation monitoring; budget allocation;
key decisions on the problems, which are not included in the competence of the Curator and Project Manager;
approval of the final report and decision making on closing.
Sponsor Providing resources to the project. May be the customer.
Beneficiary Responsible for quality control and acceptance of project results. Future user of project results.
Consultant (tutor = internal
consultant, expert)
Responsible for initiating, monitoring and controlling implementation. Participates in the coordination of key events
of the project and participates in develop of the final conclusion.
Supervisor Responsible for the achievement of project goals, as well as for efficient and cost-effective use of project resources.
Project team Are responsible for the fulfillment of the supervisor's instructions
Interested parties Persons who fall into the zone of interest of the project (not always the beneficiaries, the effect of project may be negative for they).

I should point out that it is useful to analyze all interested parties (stakeholders) in terms of the impact matrix on the project.

impact matrix Fig. 9. Impact matrix.

Task 8. Describe your relationship with A-to-G people involving in your project.

2.2 Development & planning phase (P)

  • appointing a supervisor, forming a team and responsible people;
  • establishing contacts and studying goals, motivations and requirements of the customer/sponsor and other key participants;
  • concept development and core content development:

  • final result;

  • quality standards;
  • structure;
  • basic works;
  • resources.

  • planning:

  • decomposition into simple stages;

  • calendar plans;
  • estimate and budget;
  • resource requirement;
  • control technique;
  • risk identification and allocation.
  • tendering and contracting;
  • presentation and performance of basic design and construction (CAD) works;
  • obtaining approval for the next step.

Let’s pay more attention to Management of project content, which includes:

  • Content planning.
  • Content definition (detailed description).
  • Creating a hierarchical work structure (Work Breakdown Structure, WBS).
  • Validating the content (formalizing and documenting).
  • Content change management.

Project plan - formal and approved document that can be used to manage project execution (can be corrected in process). Composition:

  • Basis for project fulfillment.
  • Description of the approach to project management.
  • Description of goals.
  • WBS.
  • Valuation and scheduled deadlines (including valuation methods).
  • Allocation of responsible persons (up to WBS level).
  • Major control events and their dates.
  • Key and required personnel.
  • Key risks and planned response to each one.
  • Management plans for project components (objectives, resources, contracts, risks, interactions, staff).
  • Open issues and delayed decisions.

Additional information in the project plan:

  • Limitations and assumptions.
  • Technical documentation (requirements, specifications, project documentation).
  • Standards and regulations involved.

Note. It is always a good practice to pin project plan in the most viewed and visited place of your team.

Let’s consider the hierarchical structure of the project (Work Breakdown Structure, WBS), which divide the project into natural elements to ensure control and management.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) rules:

  1. Lower-level works are the way to achieve upper-level works.
  2. There can only be one parent work for each child.
  3. For each level, the jobs must be equal (e.g. volume, time, etc.).
  4. Different decomposition criteria can and should be applied at different levels (important difference from usual classification!).

The decomposition stops if for the level:

  • the work is clear and understandable to the manager and project participants;
  • the final result of the work is clear as well as the ways to achieve it;
  • the time characteristics and responsibility for the work can be clearly defined.

Main structure and example of WBS are shown on fig. 10.

WBS Fig. 10. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Management of project deadlines - ensures that the project is completed on time:

  • determining the composition of operations;
  • defining the interrelationships of operations;
  • estimating the resources of operations;
  • estimating the duration of operations;
  • developing a schedule (taking into account the sequence of operations, their duration, resource requirements and time limits);
  • schedule management.

For these purposes is often used the Gantt Chart, a graphical representation of the project plan (schedule). It looks like horizontal bars, located between two axes: list of tasks vertically and dates horizontally. It is quite easy to build in MS Excel or LibreOffice Calc by painting over the corresponding cells. You can find a lot of examples in the internet.

3.2.3 Implementing and supervising phase (S)

  • tenders (organizing or conducting);
  • work fulfillment;
  • launch of communication between participants;
  • launch of the motivation (incentive) system for participants;
  • detailed design and technical specifications of works;
  • operative planning of works;
  • informative control over work progress;
  • material and technical support management;
  • monitor and forecast of work progress (quality, duration, cost, etc);
  • solution of arising problems.

Management and control for the project. I recommend you to do the following:

  1. Go through the plan again. Before starting each stage, clarify with each participant its tasks and responsibilities.
  2. Evaluate what has already been done in terms of work, time, labor input and costs. Compare it with the plane (preferably with project participants).
  3. Take corrective actions if plan changes is required.
  4. Informing people about the progress of the project.

The following data are needed to analyze the progress of the schedule:

  • ID-s and descriptions of events.
  • Names of responsible persons.
  • Estimated and actual dates of events to be achieved.

All the necessary information for monitoring can be displayed in the table (Table 5).

Table 5. Example of data for monitoring

Job Responsible Start date End date Comment
plane actual plane actual
Survey development Ivanov A. Critical path
Carrying out a pilot survey Petrov V.
Instruction printing Ivanov A.

When you choose the periodicity of observations, I recommend you to consider:

  • whether the job are on a critical path (whether the timing of the next job depends on it);
  • whether the task has significant risks;
  • if there are preliminary difficulties for similar tasks.

The work should be supervised at least once a month.

The project’s qualification list is a convenient form of displaying the qualification and knowledge of team members. It is recommended to use the following scheme:

  • basic qualification (what person can do as a leader);
  • additional qualification (what person can do under the management of the leader);
  • interest shown (desire of the employee to perform certain tasks).

Example is shown on the Table 6.

Table 6. Example of qualification list

(Ivanov A)
(Petrov P)
(Sidorov S)
(Ivanov B)
develop of technical documents basic qualification/
shown interest
shown interest
interviewing shown interest shown interest basic qualification/
shown interest
graphical design basic qualification/
shown interest
additional qualification shown interest
surveys development additional qualification additional qualification basic qualification

As a guide for creating qualification table you can use follow statements:

  1. Make a complete list of skills that may be required for the future project.
  2. Create a complete list of people for the table.
  3. Invite people from the list to evaluate their skills and interest in all areas of the project.
  4. Invite the direct supervisors of these people to evaluate their professional qualities in the necessary areas.
  5. Compare the data, make adjustments.
  6. Compile the final version of the qualification list.

Responsibility Matrix - used to display the links between the performed jobs and project members, as well as establishes the degree of responsibility. The A.R.C.I. method is used for drawing up.

A.R.C.I. method (Table 7):

  • Accountable - fully responsible for the execution of the stage/task, has the right to make decisions on the way of implementation (only one person can be assigned).
  • Responsible - performs the task, is not responsible for the choice of the method of its solution, is not responsible for the quality and timing of implementation (there can be more than one person).
  • Consultant before doing - provides consultations during the solution of the project tasks, controls the quality of implementation.
  • Inform after doing (observer) - can provide consultations in the course of solving the project tasks, is not responsible. He is informed after carrying out of jobs.

Table 7. Example of A.R.C.I. method

Operations Ivanov Petrov Sidorov Kuznecov Sergeev
Task 1 R A C I I
Task 2 A C C R I
Task 3 C A I R R
Task 4 C I A C I

Valuation of the project cost can perform in several ways.

  1. Expert Judgment - attraction of experts from the project area. After their makes proposals, we average them and come to a single solution during the discussion.

  2. Three Point Estimation - on the basis of pessimistic (P), optimistic (O), and realistic (R) future we calculate an average score:

\(E = \frac{O+4R+P}{6}\).

Note that P, O and R are determined by expert opinion. P, O and R measure in hours/days/currency and calculate during the team discussion based on questions: “how long will the project take if there are no risks?”, “what can be the most negative scenario?” etc.

  1. Analogous Estimation (from top to bottom) - based on past experience, including decomposition of the project.

  2. Bottom-up Estimation - estimates the cost of each operation, then sums it up to the total cost of the project.

  3. Parametric Model - one of the most accurate and flexible methods. We build a parametric model (based on past experience, available data, metrics and statistics), which is used to forecast.

  4. Cost of Quality - the total cost of creating a project (which is product or service) calculate according to quality standards. This approach is not common and works only if our project have some regulatory documentation.

Risk management - includes processes related to the identification, analysis and response to project risks in order to increase the probability and impact of positive events and reduce the probability of negative events of the project.

Project Risk - An uncertain event or condition that has a positive or negative impact on at least one of the project objectives (e.g. timing, cost, content or quality) if it occurs.

The risk management scheme may include (Table 8):

  • risk management methodology;
  • roles and responsibilities of those who are involved in risk management;
  • budget for risk management;
  • defining the frequency of risk management procedures;
  • threshold criteria for recognizing the occurrence of risk;
  • risk categories;
  • probability and impact matrices for risks;
  • reports of templates.

Table 8. Example of risk management scheme.

No Risks Risk influence Probability Influence on ...
(e.g. timing, cost, results, etc.)
Minimization procedures Owner of risk

Example of typical risk are shown in Table 9 (according to regulatory documentation of JSC “Apatite” STO 8.1-16-2018).

Table 9. Example of risk description.

Risk category / type of project Typical structure of risks
Risks, which are applicable to all types of organizational change projects
Content management - Inaccuracy/incomplete determination of project goals, objectives and results.
- Change of requirements at late stages of the project implementation.
- Inaccuracy of the provided source information.
- Poor quality/incomplete elaboration of documents and project results.
- Not achieving project goals, objectives and results.
Deadlines management - Insufficient planning at the initial stages of the project implementation.
- Absence of baseline data for detailed planning.
- Lack of resources to implement the project within the specified time frame.
- Uncoordinated actions of the project team.
- Lack of joint planning with interconnected projects.
- Untimely provision of project needs by structural units and related projects.
- Prolonged review and approval of project documents.
Contracts management - Long terms of the tender selection and signing a contract with an external consultant.
- The reluctance of an external consultant to accept all the conditions of the model contract.
- Impossibility to ensure permanent presence of specialists at the Customer's facilities.
- Violation of the terms and conditions of contracts by the Contractor.
Human resources management - Insufficient qualification of employees / lack of necessary expertise.
- Lack of resources to implement the project within the specified time frame.
- Change in the structure of the project team from the Customer or the Contractor.
- Absence of a "real" time resource for the working group members. - Lack of real authority from the project supervisor.
Macroeconomic - Fluctuation of the USD exchange rate.
- Changes in prices for raw materials and products.
- Increase in inflation, wage growth, tax increases, etc.
Risks, which are associated with organizational change projects of a certain type
Strategy/Concepts development - Choosing the wrong approach to activity analysis.
- Not all factors are taken into account during development.
- Insufficient planning to implement the strategy.
Creation of a new unit - Incorrect estimates of the number of employees and their job duties.
- Inability to hire staff for available vacancies.
- Difficulty in obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.
New business process implementation - The desire of external participants to not accept the proposed changes.
- The reluctance of line managers to make the necessary changes in processes.
Increase/decrease in staff productivity - The reluctance of line managers to make the necessary changes in the processes.
- Lack of the necessary statistics.
- Lack of technical expertise for certain types/groups of equipment.

The evaluation of the negative impact of risks on the project is given in the Table 10.

Table 10. Evaluation of risks impact.

Object/Influence Very low
Very hight
Cost Insignificant increase Increase < 10% Increase 10-20% Increase 20-40% Increase > 40%
Deadlines Insignificant increase Increase < 5%
Increase 5-10 % Increase 10-20 % Increase > 20%
Contents Changes are not visible Insignificant increase Significant changes Unacceptable change for client Achieving the final results is impossible
Quality Changes are not visible Insignificant increase Changes require client's approval Unacceptable change for client Achieving the final results is impossible

Risk and threat strategies for the project:

  • Risk avoidance - a change in the project plan to eliminate the risk or to protect project objectives from impacts.
  • Transfer of risk - transfer of the risk impact to a third party (does not eliminate, but transfers the control). Usually an insurance benefit is charged for risk transfer. Example - insurance of capital assets.
  • Risk reduction - reducing the probability of the risk or its consequences to an acceptable level.
  • Risk acceptance - is the strategy under which the risk is accepted. The project team does not try to influence the risk.

3.2.4 Accomplishing (A), final phase

  • planning the close of process;
  • product testing;
  • preparation for product exploitation (personnel, documentation);
  • evaluation of results and summarizing (preparation of final documents);
  • conflict handling;
  • accumulation and storage of actual and test data for future projects;
  • team disbandment.

Sometimes it is good to self-evaluate your project (or make a open survey for all involving people and experts). Criteria for project evaluation are shown in Table 11.

Table 11. Table of project evaluation criteria

No Subject of evaluation Criteria of evaluation Mark*
1 Project difficulty - the scope of the solved problem.
2 Project development - how detailed the project is developed?
- are efficiency indicators available (preferably in numbers)?
- are project actions correspond to its objectives?
3 Justification of solution choice according to alternatives. - are choice of solutions justified (according to alternatives)?
4 Economic reasonability - are the proposed solution and budget relevant to the scale of the problem (according to it negative consequences)?
5 Risk management - are project risks minimized?
6 Effectivity of proposed solution - are proposed actions corresponding to estimated result?
7 Effective presentation - Understandable story.
- Logic of the speech (clarity of structure).
- Ability to justify your position.
- Confidence in answering the questions.
- Quality of presentation design.

*Rating scale: 1 (criterion not applicable), 2 (below average), 3 (satisfactory), 4 (above average), 5 (ideal).

3.3 For the notes and final records


In the course of the project implementation, next change requests will be able to arise:

  • corrective actions;
  • preventive actions;
  • error correction;
  • updates.

Moreover, will be able to change:

  • project results;
  • project content;
  • project management plan;
  • project documentation.

Monitoring (reporting) and control (comparing states) of the project’s works are a continuous processes of monitoring, analyzing and managing progress, which involves the following aspects:

  • comparing the current progress with the plan;
  • progress assessment to identify whether correction or warning is needed;
  • analysis, tracking and monitoring of risks;
  • identification of a reliable and up-to-date information base about project products and related documentation;
  • identification and provision of information for reporting;
  • presentation and calculation of project development forecasts.

So, I think you have already read everything that I have found and posted on this resource. That is quite enough in my opinion. But here’s the question, the outside world is not limited to my and your opinions) So let’s hear what other people think about project management and how our ideas match up. So please have fun with the course which you will have to read/listen and do all the tasks on it) And only that will be quite enough (for now). So, good luck, project managers!

4. Practice, tasks and labs (not necessary needed)


For all those who need it, I bring a number of practical and theoretical tasks about this course. All of them are given in Table 12 (concrete tasks should be taken from me by headmen of groups personally).

Tasks that meet in the text do not need to be performed and sent to me, but they will meet at the colloquium or examination.

Table 12. Practice, tasks and labs

No Name Comments
1 Entry control -
2 Complete the course (need the screenshot or link to certificate) -
3 Practical task No 1 (Different project management systems). To learn about different project management systems, make a table with a brief description, advantages and disadvantages of each of them (In Russ.). -
4 Practical task No 2 (Practice of working in a Kanboard system using Trello.com as an example). Register on Trello.com and create any project at your choice. -
5 Practical task No 3 (Practice of working in a Kanboard system using Trello.com as an example). Organize a meeting with invited participants (no need to invite real people, just know how to do it), date, agenda and notification. You can use this site, as an instruction. -
6 Practical task No 4 (Practice of working in a Kanboard system using Trello.com as an example). Create research project. You can use this site, as an instruction. -

5. Literature


  1. GOST R 54869-2011 Project management. Requirements to project management (in Russ).
  2. GOST R 54870-2011 Project management. Requirements for project portfolio management (in Russ).
  3. GOST R 54871-2011 Project management. Requirements for program management (in Russ).
  4. GOST R 56715.1-2015 Project management. Project management systems. Part 1. Main provisions (in Russ).
  5. GOST R 56715.2-2015 Project management. Project management systems. Part 2. Processes and process model (in Russ).
  6. GOST R 56715.3-2015 Project management. Project management systems. Part 3. Methods.(in Russ).
  7. GOST R 56715.4-2015 Project management. Systems of project management. Part 4: Methods. Data and data model (in Russ).
  8. GOST R 56715.5-2015 Project management. Project management systems. Part 5. Terms and definitions (in Russ).
  9. GOST R ISO 21500-2014 Project Management Guide (in Russ).
  10. Course “Basic of project management” on stepic.org (in Russ).
  11. Set of sites about project management systems: Trello for Researchers, Using Trello in academia, Some guys’ personal experience (in Russ), Top 7 methods of project management: Agile, Scrum, Kanban, PRINCE2 and others (in Russ).
  12. Of course Wiki - a good place to start and search the direction of further studies.
  13. Some examples and calculation of projects’ parameters.
  14. Project management glossary of terms.
  15. Good translator deepl.com.
  16. Creator of html tables.
  17. Creator of diagrams.

Thank you for your attention!