Project planning and control

Project planning and control – overview

This programme concentrates on the core planning skills needed to develop sound practical project plans in a team environment. This enables the plan to be modified should requirements change or difficulties arise.

The programme also gives participants the confidence to practise those skills and apply them in the work environment and deliver their projects more successfully in the future.

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives
Participants learn fundamental project management concepts and terminology, demystifying the project management process, and, in particular, how to:

  • Break a project down into manageable sections and ensure nothing is left out
  • Understand and apply estimating techniques to develop realistic estimates
  • Sequence work effectively and carry out critical path analysis to determine project duration and which tasks to pay closest attention to
  • Manage project risk effectively to protect project value
  • Monitor, control and re-plan the project to best keep it on track
  • Close out the project and ensure the project comes to an orderly end
Who should attend?

This highly practical programme is designed for staff at any level who are either relatively new to project management or who are already working in a project environment but have not had any formal training in project planning and control techniques.

Course format

This is a highly participative two-day programme, featuring a case study running through the two days.

The case study takes participants from the commencement of a feasibility study through developing a comprehensive understanding of the project scope and development of a network diagram and detailed schedule all the way to re-planning the project and protecting the promised deadline.

Practical tools are used throughout the course which enables the participants to prepare good quality content which could then be modelled on a suitable scheduling tool.

Special features
  • The course is not restricted to a specific methodology but is aligned with good practice in the Association of Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI) and PRINCE2®
  • To enhance the relevance to your organisation it can be tailored to reflect your own standards and terminology
  • More extensive tailoring would enable you to tackle a realistic project or a current project that you wish to plan. The course duration may need to be extended to three days depending upon the scope and complexity of the selected project.
  • For maximum impact, have the programme sponsor open and close the course. This provides attendees with a clear message on the importance of the programme and its application back into the work environment.
Expert trainer

Derek is an independent project, programme and project risk management consultant and trainer with more than thirty years’ experience in multiple industries including oil and gas, construction, IT, finance, nuclear and automotive as well as the public sector. He has extensive experience in setting up project and programme environments for organisations and supporting their transition to structured programme / portfolio management. He is a firm believer that learning should be engaging and fun and promotes a relaxed environment where questions are raised and experiences shared for everyone’s benefit.

His clients include Barclays, Barcap, Lloyds, Barclaycard, CWS, CIS, Citibank, JPMorgan, LINK, UBS, Norwich Union & Nat West, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Ford, Visteon, Boeing, Atkins, GEC Alsthom, FLS Aerospace, BAE Systems, Michelin, Goodyear, ADCO, ADMA, ADNOC, BG, BP, ConocoPhillips, Nerefco, Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu, RasGas, ExxonMobil, Shell, Schlumberger, Sipetrol, Poyry, FMC Kongsberg, WesternGeco, Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling, BNFL, Scottish Nuclear & Oil Spill Response, BT, BBC, BAA, Computacenter, Data Sciences, Ericsson, Nokia, Vodaphone, Hitachi (Europe) Ltd, HP, IBM & Qtel, Companies House, the British Council, the Crown Prosecution Service, the MOD, RAF, Royal Navy, AWE, Royal Ordnance, NAAFI, Aberdeen City and County Council, Doncaster MBC and numerous health / police / fire and rescue authorities.

He has extensive agile coaching and training experience and holds the Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) and Professional Scrum Master (PSM-I) qualifications in addition to his project and programme management qualifications, which include PMI PMP, APM PMQ, MSP Advanced Practitioner, PRINCE2 Practitioner and Trainer.

Project planning and risk management – course outline

1 Introduction

  • Self-introductions and personal objectives
  • Course objectives
  • Sharing of project issues

2 Project management concepts

  • Characteristics of a project and what should be kept as operational responsibilities
  • Understanding the triple and quadruple constraints – and their limitations
  • Prioritising requirements through the MOSCOW technique
  • Product v project life cycle
  • Key project roles and responsibilities – the importance of sponsorship and clarity of roles

3 Starting a project, and the importance of the terms of reference / project brief

  • Avoiding the pressure to ‘just do it’!
  • The importance and benefits of planning
  • The best time to learn!
  • Initial project documentation – the BOSCARDI approach

4 Breaking the work down

  • Understanding alternative breakdown structures such as the product breakdown structure and work breakdown structure
  • Guidelines for creating a work breakdown structure to ensure the full work scope is identified

5 Estimating

  • Alternative estimating techniques and associated confidence levels
  • Further considerations – loss and resource factors

6 Organising the work

  • Use of network diagrams to develop a clear sequence of work
  • Critical path analysis and calculating the project duration and task float – and usage

7 The management of project risk

  • Understanding the nature of project risk
  • The risk analysis and risk management processes
  • How to best manage threats and opportunities
  • Running a risk workshop
  • Using the risk register

8 Scheduling the work

  • The importance of the Gantt chart and understanding its limitations
  • The Gantt chart layout and using alternative views such as the tracking Gantt
  • Using alternative dependencies

9 Resource issues

  • Assigning resources and resolving resource overloads
  • Crashing and fast-tracking your project and potential issues to look out for

10 Controlling the project

  • The control cycle and alternative feedback mechanisms
  • Alternative progress reporting
  • Assessing the impact
  • The importance of re-planning
  • The benefits of control
  • Change control – the importance of impact analysis
  • The steps of change control and the use of the issue register

11 Closing the project

  • The project closure checklist
  • Reviewing the project – things to avoid
  • Developing meaningful lessons and ensuring they are applied effectively
  • The post-project review – its importance to the organisation