PMBOK 3. Project Management Processes

Project processes fall into two major categories:

  1. Project-management processes: These processes support the project through its lifecycle in applying skills, tools and techniques
  2. Product-oriented processes: these process help create the product of a project and a typically defined by the project lifecycle
  • Focus on application of PM knowledge, skills and tools to complete PM activities through PM processes
  • A process is a set of interrelated actions and activities performed to create a pre-specified product, service, or result with inputs, tools and techniques and a set of outputs or results or products
  • Tools are tangible items used in performing an activity to produce a result
  • Techniques are procedures used to perform an activity to produce a result
  • Within each project a PM should:
    1. Only use organizational processes as resources and select processes required to meet objectives
    2. Use a defined approach
    3. Balance the 6 constraints:
      • Scope
      • Schedule
      • Budget
      • Quality
      • Resources
      • Risks
  • Indication of a good PM process is that is can be applied globally and within different industries, disciplines and projects
  • Project management is iterative and outcome of one process and affect another defined project process
  • Project Management process are grouped into 5 major process groups:
    1. Initiating
    2. Planning
    3. Executing
    4. Monitoring and Control
    5. Closing
  • Each of these process groups consists of project management processes and activities that contribute to a successful management of a project

3.1  Project Management Process Interactions

  • PM processes are presented as discrete elements but in practice they overlap and interact
  • The application of processes is iterative and many processes are repeated during a project
  • Therefore the Monitoring and Control processes continue in parallel to other processes in the process group and is considered to be a background process group
  • PM process groups are seldom discrete or one-time activities. They are linked by outputs
  • Output of one process generally becomes input of another process or a deliverable of the project
  • Planning process group provide PM plan and documents and their updates

Process Groups

3.2   Project Management Process Groups

  • The Process Groups are not project life cycle phases
  • It is possible that all Process Groups could be conducted within a phase
  • All of the Process Groups would normally be repeated for each phase or subcomponent of a project
  • The project management processes are shown in the Process Group in which most of the related activities takes place

Process Groups Flow

3.3   Initiating Process Group

  • Define a new project or a new phase of an existing project:
  • Obtain authorization to start the project or phase
  • Define initial scope and commit initial financial resources are committed
  • Engage internal and external stakeholders
  • Assign the project manager – if not already assigned
  • Capture information in the project charter and stakeholder register

A project boundary is defined as the point in time that a project or project phase is authorized to complete.

The key purpose of this Process Group is to:

  • Align the stakeholders’ expectations and give them visibility into the scope and objectives
  • Help set the vision of the project—what is needed to be accomplished
  • Develop Project Charter

3.4  Planning Process Group

  • Establish the total scope of the effort
  • Define and refine the objectives
  • Develop the project management plan
  • Incorporate updates arising from approved changes during the project (generally during Monitoring and Controlling processes)
  • Seek input and encourages involvement from all stakeholders

Progressive Elaboration: As more project information or characteristics are gathered and understood, additional planning will likely be required.

The key benefits of this Process Group are to:

  • Delineate the strategy and tactics
  • Outline course of action or path to successfully complete the project or phase

The project management plan and project documents developed as outputs from the Planning Process Group

3.5   Executing Process Group

  • Complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project specifications
  • Coordinate people and resources
  • Manage stakeholder expectations
  • Perform the activities of the project in accordance with the project management plan

During project execution, results may require planning updates and rebaselining. Such variances may:

  • Affect the project management plan or project documents
  • Trigger change requests that, if approved
  • Modify the project management plan

A large portion of the project’s budget will be expended in performing the Executing Process Group processes.

3.6  Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

  • Track, review, and orchestrate the progress and performance of the project
  • Identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required
  • Initiate the corresponding changes

The key benefits of this Process Group are:

  • Project performance is measured and analyzed at regular intervals, appropriate events, or exception conditions to identify variances from the project management plan.
  • Provides insight into the health of the project and identifies any areas requiring additional attention.

The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group also involves:

  • Controlling changes and recommending corrective or preventive action in anticipation of possible problems
  • Monitoring the ongoing project activities against the project management plan and the project performance measurement baseline
  • Ensuring only approved changes are implemented.

The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group not only monitors and controls the work being done within a Process Group, but also monitors and controls the entire project effort.

3.7  Closing Process Group

  • Conclude all activities across all Project Management Process Groups to formally complete the project, phase, or contractual obligations
  • Formally establishes that the project or project phase is complete or premature closure of the project
  • Ensure activities are performed to transfer to other organizational units, specific hand-over procedures may be arranged and finalized.

At project or phase closure, the following may occur:

  • Obtain acceptance by the customer or sponsor to formally close the project or phase,
  • Conduct post-project or phase-end review
  • Record impacts of tailoring to any process
  • Document lessons learned
  • Apply appropriate updates to organizational process assets
  • Archive all relevant project documents in the project management information system (PMIS) to be used as historical data
  • Close out all procurement activities ensuring termination of all relevant agreements
  • Perform team members’ assessments and release project resources.

3.8  Project Information

Throughout the life cycle of the project, a significant amount of data and information is collected, analyzed, transformed, and distributed in various formats to project team members and other stakeholders. Project

  • Work performance data. The raw observations and measurements identified during activities performed to carry out the project work. Examples include reported percent of work physically completed, quality and technical performance measures, start and finish dates of schedule activities, number of change requests, number of defects, actual costs, actual durations, etc.
  • Work performance information. The performance data collected from various controlling processes, analyzed in context and integrated based on relationships across areas. Examples of performance information are status of deliverables, implementation status for change requests, and forecasted estimates to complete.
  • Work performance reports. The physical or electronic representation of work performance information compiled in project documents, intended to generate decisions or raise issues, actions, or awareness. Examples include status reports, memos, justifications, information notes, electronic dashboards, recommendations, and updates.



3.9  Roles of the Knowledge Areas

  • The 47 project management processes identified in the PMBOK® Guide are further grouped into ten separate Knowledge Areas.
  • A Knowledge Area represents a complete set of concepts, terms, and activities that make up a professional field, project management field, or area of specialization.

These ten Knowledge Areas are used on most projects most of the time.

The Knowledge Areas are:

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Human Resource Management
  7. Project Communications Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholder Management.

The PMBOK® Guide defines the important aspects of each Knowledge Area and how it integrates with the five Process Groups. As supporting elements, the Knowledge Areas provide a detailed description of the process inputs and outputs along with a descriptive explanation of tools and techniques most frequently used within the project management processes to produce each outcome.


  Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
1.       Project Integration Management 1.       Develop Project Charter 2.       Develop Project Management Plan 3.       Develop and Manage Project Work 4.       Monitor and Control Project Work

5.       Perform Integrated Change Control

6.       Close Project or Phase
2.       Project Scope Management 7.       Plan Scope Management

8.       Collect Requirements

9.       Define scope

10.    Create WBS

11.    Validate Scope

12.    Control Scope

3.       Project Time Management 13.    Plan Schedule Management

14.    Define Activities

15.    Sequence Activities

16.    Estimate Activity Resources

17.    Estimate Activity Duration

18.    Develop Schedule

19.    Control Schedule
4.       Project Cost Management 20.    Plan Cost Management

21.    Estimate Cost

22.    Determine Budget

23.    Control Costs
5.       Project Quality Management 24.    Plan Quality Management 25.    Perform Quality Assurance 26.    Control Quality
6.       Project HR Management 27.    Plan HR Management 28.    Acquire Project Team

29.    Develop Project Team

30.    Manage Project Team

7.       Project Communication Management 31.    Plan Communication Management 32.    Manage Communication 33.    Control Communication
8.       Project Risk Management 34.    Plan Risk Management

35.    Identify Risk

36.    Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis

37.    Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis

38.    Plan Risk Responses


39.    Control Risks
9.       Project Procurement Management 40.    Plan Procurement Management 41.    Conduct Procurements 42.    Control Procurements 43.    Close Procurements
10.   Project Stakeholder Management 44.    Identify Stakeholders 45.    Plan Stakeholder Management 46.    Manage Stakeholder Engagement 47.    Control Stakeholder Engagement

Table 3-1. Project Management Process Group and Knowledge Area Mapping

Read More

ITIL Is Not Just For IT Businesses

What is ITIL?

There is a general misconception in today’s enterprise world that equates ITIL to a help-desk. Let us firstly debunk that myth.

ITIL is NOT a help-desk!

Anyone that tells you so does not know ITIL!

ITIL is a framework that provides a set of best practices to help you manage your IT services.

Within the ITIL framework the concept of a help-desk is simply an implementation of a Service Desk function that is a subset of 8 other core ITIL Functions and is supported by Incident Management process that is a part of 26 other core ITIL Processes.

Before we scare you off with the technical nuances of the ITIL framework, its Functions and its supporting Processes, let’s take a step back and discuss how it all applies to the business world.

How can ITIL help a non-IT Business?

In today’s day and age of e-commerce, SaaS and mobile driven consumption of products and services, you cannot avoid relying on IT services to support your business and operations. This holds true for large enterprises like Amazon selling products in the consumer market or IBM providing IT business consulting services and also for small businesses like independent store or individuals selling their craft work on the internet.

As this reliance on IT services continues to increase, it is becoming critical for your business’ success to have a good understanding of the IT services that you require to support your business and how to manage these services.

For instance, every minute that your credit card processing machine is down, you are losing money! For the success of your business, you need to know how to manage your credit card processing service.

The extent of an ITIL structure you need to create to manage these services of course depends on what business you are in and how complex your operations are.

For instance, if you are an independent coffee shop that relies on providing free W-Fi access your patrons to be competitive with large chains, you may want to start by simply creating a catalogue of IT services that support your business. These services could include:

  • Internet service
  • Warranty and support for your Wi-Fi routers
  • Warranty and support for your computer equipment
  • Warranty and support for your business support software such as inventory keeping
  • Support to hosing and maintaining your web site

The catalogued service description of these services could simply include information on:

  • Who provides these services to you
  • What are their hours of operations
  • What are their contacts to receive support
  • How much do they charge you

You can also bullet out small process steps for your staff on how to contact your IT service providers and how quickly they are supposed to respond back to your service calls.

Once you make this catalogue and process steps available to your staff, you are well on your way of standardizing your IT services and the risk of your business support services relying just on you is significantly reduced.

It is fairly obvious to realize that the scenario we outlined above can also be applied to your non-IT business critical services such as your coffee bean supply service. Thus these non-It services can also be managed by making the core principles and practices of ITIL applicable to them.

As your business grows and becomes reliant on more complex supporting services you can easily expand your ITIL structure to support your needs.

At DiOss Technologies we are working on a serf-serve SaaS platform (SnOMan) that will provide you with a set of tools and best practices to manage your IT services.

With snOMan you can easily create, manage and access your services catalogue and you can outline simple processes to manage your businesses critical services. Connect with us if you are interested in getting early access to our snOMan platform.

Read More

What Is A Service?

Within the ITIL paradigm services are broken into two categories:

  • Customer-facing service
  • Supporting service

These services can comprise of both business support and technical services. All business and technical services that are Customer-facing and Supporting comprise of your Services Catalogue.

Customer-facing Services

These are your services offerings to the end user or to a customer.  These services are visible to the customer and support a customer’s business process and facilitate one or more outcomes desired by your customer. These services can range from:

  • Soft services that include: IT consulting services, project and program management, application integration services, software development services
  • Internal organizational IT services including helpdesk, server support
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms

In each of these cases the services you provide is from the perspective of:

  • The relationship you create between you and your customer
  • The value you add to your customer’s business

When designing these services it is essential to your business and operations that you recognize if the services that you are intending to offer is a Core Services or an Enhancing Service:

  • Core Services are services that deliver the basic outcomes desired by one or more customers. Core services anchor the value proposition for the customers and they represent the value that the customers want and for which they are willing to pay.
  • Enhancing services are services that are added to a core service to make it more exciting or alluring to the customer.

Supporting Services

These are IT services that support or underpin the customer-facing services.  These are typically invisible to the customer but are essential to the delivery of the customer-facing services.  These services can include:

  • Soft services such as: project management, administrative services, financial management services
  • IT Services including: help desk, application management, configuration management server maintenance, application development.

Part of designing a service is that every time you offer a customer facing service you have to provide it with an internal supporting service.

How do you distinguish between the two?

Whether the service that you are providing is Customer-facing Service or a Supporting Service is unique to your business and the value you offer to the customer.

For instance, application development and maintenance service can be a supporting if you are running a SaaS business and you have hired internal developers to maintain your SaaS platform.  However, if you are a software development shop, the same application development and maintenance service can be a customer facing service.

An easy way to make this distinction is:

  • If the services is consumed by the customer, it is a customer-facing
  • If the service is hidden from the customer, it is supporting

At DiOss Technologies we can help you define, manage and optimize all business and technical services that can either be Customer-facing services or Supporting services.

Read More

How ITIL Can Save Money For Your Business

ITIL is a framework that provides a set of best practices to help businesses manage their IT services.

Many Fortune 500 companies, including SMEs & SMBs, have an impression that ITIL is too complex & expensive to implement and to align with their business. At DiOssTech we are changing just that – now!

We believe every company has the right to discover that ITIL in reality is not complex and expensive at all. It is rather, actually, quite simple and considerably cost effective and every company has the right reap its benefits.

Why is ITIL perceived to be complex when in fact is not?

ITIL is a comprehensive library and it includes extensive processes, tools and artifacts that cover the entire life-cycle of a service solution. But do you need to implement it all to run successful IT business? No! Focus on what you and your staff can comprehend and identify as a need. Forget about the rest for now.

ITIL provides you with a toolbox to build your entire car; but you only need a few tools to change a flat.

How is ITIL inexpensive to implement?

This may sound incredibly simple, for the reason that it actually is. Successful and inexpensive ITIL implementation can be achieved with lean deployment and a pragmatic approach. Implement ONLY what you need. Address the key pain points, take advantage of the low hanging fruits that takes 20% of your effort but solves 80% of your IT service pains.

At DiOssTech, we have learned that by aligning our customers’ needs with a focussed execution upfront to address most critical IT Service Management (ITSM) improvement goals, we can make our ITIL deployments very inexpensive and extremely effective.

We employ a scaled approach to our ITIL implementations to initially focus on our customers’ core pain points with ITSM. In other words, we only deploy the features our customers really need to run their IT business. This helps us reduce our customers’ implementation costs, employee distractions and time to launch, while maximizing the value and benefits they gain from their ITIL implementation.

How ITIL helps you in the long-term?

We have created a support structure to address our customers’ needs on an ongoing base. As part of our ITIL implementation, we believe in providing our customers with tools and artifacts to help monitor and assess their ITSM needs.

Our engagement with our customers is tow-folded. We believe in delivering immediate solutions required to address our customers’ core needs and also providing long-term ITSM support and ongoing evolution as part of Continual Service Improvement.
We will however expand your ITIL footprint only if you really need to do so. Don’t be surprised if we say: NO YOU DON’T, NOT YET, FINE TUNE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE.

In which areas does ITIL save you money?

This really depends on the business and service areas you are looking to target and what key pain points you are looking to ITIL to address. DiOssTech’s lean deployment and pragmatic implementation approach will save you money for any business area that you decide to target.

Some direct costs savings can come through:

  • Reduced incident and problem handling
  • Controlled services change & release management
  • Increased staff productivity
  • Increased process and operations efficiency

Some indirect costs savings can come through:

  • Reduced need for peer support
  • Increased structure to promote standardization
  • Increased knowledge sharing with customers and staff
  • Clearer governance and executive direction
  • A self-sustained Continual Services Improvement structure

You should connect with us if:

  • You are interested in implementing ITIL but don’t know how to get started
  • You don’t know what you need and IT services completely baffle you
  • You are simply looking for more information on ITIL
  • You have a very specific ITSM challenge that you want us to address
Read More

PMBOK 2. Organizational Influence and Project Life Cycle

Project management works within the broader context of an organization.  It is therefore important for a project to align with the organization goals and objectives

2.1  Organizational Influence on Project Management

A project is influenced by an organizations culture, style, maturity etc.

2.1.1       Organization Culture

  • External organizations of customer and partners can also influence a project
  • Organizational culture can include: Regulations, Motivations, Risk tolerance, Reward systems etc.
  • In light of globalization, international cultures can influence a project as well

2.1.2       Organization Communication

  • Project management can depend greatly on an organizations ability to communicate effectively
  • Communication methods available such as phones, video conferencing, in persona communication can also influence a project

2.1.3       Organizational Structure

  • Organizations can range from functional oriented to project oriented and have an influence on the project
Organization Structure Functional Organization Matrixed Organization Projectized Organization
Project Characteristics Week Balanced Strong
PM Authority Little/None Low Low/Moderate Moderate/High High/Total
Resource Availability Little/None Low Low/Moderate Moderate/High High/Total
Manage Budget Functional Manager Functional Manager Mixed Project Manager Project Manager
PM Role Part-time Part-time Part-time Full-time Full-time
PM Admin Staff Part-time Part-time Part-time Full-time Full-time
Table 2-1. Influence of Organizational Structures on Projects


  • Functional Organization
    • o Hierarchical with employees grouped into specialized skills
    • o One clear superior
    • o Staff separated by functions/departments
    • o Departments further subdivided based on speciality
    • o Each department/function does its projects independently
    • o May have an overall project coordination/admin function
  • Matrix Organization
    • o Functional and project managers share responsibilities
    • o A blend of functional and project characteristics
    • o Can be classified as week, balanced, strong in project orientation
    • o Week matrix organization may have a project coordinator or expediter
    • o Expediter had no decision making or enforcing powers
    • o Coordinator has some decision making and enforcing powers and reports to higher management
    • o Strong matrix organizations may have full-time project managers and admin staff
    • o Balanced organization may see the need and have project managers in staff with some decision making authority


  • Projectized Organization
    • o Project Manager has total authority
    • o Team members are often co-located
    • o Most of the organization staff is involved in project work
    • o Project Managers have a great deal of independence and authority
    • o Virtual collaboration for co-located teams
    • o Organizational units as departments report into the project manager or provide support for various projects
  • Composite Organizations
    • o Projects managed in fictional matrixes and projectized structure
    • o Involve all of these structures at some point
    • o A functional organization may create a special project team with a projectized structure to handle critical projects
    • o An organization may manage most of its projects in a strong matrix, but allow small projects to be managed by functional departments

Org Structures

2.1.4       Organizational Process Assets (OPA)

  • These include all process, tools, policies, templates at the PMs disposal to use within the project
  • These can include formal and informal assets
  • These also include organizational knowledge based on lessons learned and historical information
  • Document management systems, e.g. SharePoint
  • Sources for Organizational Process Assets are
    • o Processes and procedures (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, closing)
    • o Corporate knowledge base (configuration management, finances, historical information, issues, defects, process metrics, previous project files

2.1.5       Enterprise environmental factors (EEF)

  • Not in control and outside of the influence of the Project Manger and project team
  • Should be included in the planning process and may enhance or constrain the project
  • These can include organizational culture, geography, government, industry, human resources, stakeholder risk tolerance etc.
  • Market place conditions – exchange rates, oil prices, political climate
  • PMIS – Project management Information system such as Enterprise MS Projects

Socio-economic influence: Standards, regulations, social culture, sustainability etc.

2.2  Project Stakeholders and Governance


  • A stakeholder is an individual, groups, or organizations who may affect, be affected or perceive to be affected by decisions, activities or outcomes of a project
  • Different stakeholders can have competing expectations
  • Alignment of a project with the stakeholders needs is critical to its success


  • Governance helps to manage projects consistently
  • Align project with business strategy
  • Provide a framework in which a PM and sponsor can make decisions and satisfy stakeholder needs

2.2.1     Project Stakeholders

  • Stakeholders can be internal or external to the organization
  • PM defines stakeholders
    • o Internal/external
    • o Positive/negative
    • o Performing/advising
  • Stakeholders have varying levels of authority and involvement that can change throughout the lifecycle of a project
  • These stakeholders require PM attention throughout the lifecycle to address needs and resolve issues
  • Stakeholder identification is a continuous process throughout the project lifecycle
  • It is critical that stakeholders are identified as early as possible
  • A project can be perceived as having positive or negative results
  • PM needs to manage stakeholders expectations
  • Project stakeholders can include:
    • Sponsors
      • A group or a person that provides resources and support for a project.
      • Is accountable for the project success
      • May be internal or external to PM organization
      • Promotes the project and is a spokesperson to management and stakeholders
      • Leads the project through initial stages until authorized and involved in development of scope and charter
      • Also involved in change review, phase-end review, go/no-go decisions
      • Endures smooth transfer of the of the project deliverables to requesting business
    • Customers
      • Presons or organizations who will approve or manage the resulting deliverables (products, services)
      • Customers can also be users
    • Users
      • Persons or organizations who will use the resulting deliverables (products, services)
      • Users can exist in multiple layers
    • Sellers
      • Include vendors, suppliers, contractors
      • External company that enters into a contract to provide components or services necessary for the project
    • Business Partners
      • External  partners that have a strategic relationship with the project organization
      • Provide specialised expertise and play specific role in delivering expertise to the project
    • Organizational Groups
      • Internal stakeholders who will be affected by the project activities and results
      • Support the business environment in which a project is delivered
    • Functional Manager
      • Provide subject matter expertise , services and resources to support the project


2.2.2       Project Governance

  • Provides a comprehensive consistent way to control phases of the project to ensure success
  • Project oversight that is aligned with organization governance
  • Provides the structure, processes, tools and decision making model
  • Outlines reliable, repeatable processes
  • Fits within the context of portfolio, program, organization management
  • Project governance framework can include:
    • Project success and deliverable acceptance criteria
    • Processes for identifying, escalating and resolving issues
    • Relationship amongst teams, organization (charts)
    • Communication process and tools
    • Decision making processes
    • Phase/gate review process
    • Processes for change approval for budget, scope, schedule etc.
    • Processes for aligning stakeholders requirements
  • Within the governance framework the PM determines the most effective way of delivering a project
  • The governance should be outlined in the project plan

2.2.3       Project Success

  • Success of a project is determined by completing a project within constraints of scope, time, cost, quality, resources, and risk.
  • Project success should be measured by the last baseline approved by stakeholders
  • To realize benefits a test launch period can be included before handing off to permanent operations
  • Project manager is responsible for setting realistic boundaries to ensure project success

2.3  Project Team

  • Includes the PM, PM administrative staff a group of individuals who act together to perform project work
  • The team can be individuals from different functional groups and internal and external to the organization
  • Teams can include:
    • Project management staff
    • Project staff
    • Supporting resources
    • Customer and Users
    • Sellers
    • Business partners
  • Project team members can be dedicated or part-time

2.4  Project Lifecycle

  • A series of phases that a project goes through from inception to closure
  • Project divided into phases to improve management and control
  • Phases are time bound with control points
  • These phases are normally sequential but not always and defined by the organization and nature of the project
  • The phases can be broken down by:
    • Objectives
    • Intermediate results
    • Specific milestones
    • Scope of work
    • Financial availability
  • Phases are time bound with start and end parameters
  • Project lifecycle can be:
    • Predictive also known as fully plan-driven. Scope, time and cost determined as early in the project life cycle as practically possible.
    • Interactive and Incremental.  Project phases (also called iterations) intentionally repeat one or more project activities as understanding of the product increases. Iterations develop the product through a series of repeated cycles, while increments successively add to the functionality of the product.
    • Adaptive also known as change-driven or agile.  Respond to high levels of change and ongoing stakeholder involvement.  Adaptive methods are also iterative and incremental, but differ in that iterations are very rapid – usually with a duration of 2 to 4 weeks and are fixed in time and cost.

2.4.1       Characteristics of a Project Lifecycle

  • All project have the following lifecycle structure:
    • Start/Inception
    • Organizing/Planning
    • Carrying out/Execution
    • End/Closing
  • Project lifecycle is independent of the lifecycle of the product or service created through the project
  • Cost and staffing of a project goes up with time and is highest in the execution phase and decreases towards closing
  • Risk and uncertainty is highest towards the beginning of the project and decrease over time with decisions and deliverables
  • The coast of making a change (ability to influence) to the project is lowest that the beginning and increases over time as the project progresses

Project lifecycle

2.4.2       Project Phases

  • Project phases are a collection of logically related project activities that result in one or more deliverables
  • The nature of work performed whiten a phase is unique
  • Typically linked to the development of a specific deliverable
  • Focus of a particular group of processes
  • Phases are typically completed sequentially
  • Phases allow the project to be broken into logical subsets for east of planning and management
  • Closure of a phase would typically requires a transfer of deliverables and hand-off to the next phase
  • Phase end represents a natural point to reassess a project to change or terminate
  • This point is referred to as a stage gate, milestone, kill point
  • A closer of a phase is typically required to be formally approved
  • Example of a single phase project
  • Phase-to-phase relationships can be sequential, overlapping, parallel
  • Overlapping can be due to schedule compression also called fast tracking
  • Overlapping may increase risk and uncertainty

Project Phases


  • Predictive Project Lifecycle
    • In a predictive project lifecycle project scope, and the time and cost required to deliver that scope, are determined as early in the project life cycle as practically possible.
    • The project proceeds through a series of planned phases and changes are carefully managed
    • Predictive project can also use the concept of rolling wave planning where high-level concepts are planned and more details are put in as activities are approached and resources are allocated
    • Iterative and Incremental Lifecycle
    • Project phases (iterations) intentionally repeat one or more times.
    • Iterations develop the product through repeated cycles
    • Increments add functionality to the product
    • The iterations can be performed in sequential r overlapping fashion
    • During an iteration all PM process groups will be performed and deliverables met at the end
    • Each iteration builds the deliverable until the exit criteria is met
    • The work required for different iterations may vary
    • Changes to iterations are carefully managed once work begins
    • This helps when partial delivery of a product is beneficial and provides value
    • Large complex projects can be simplified when delivered in iterations
    • Adaptive Lifecycle
    • Also known as change driven or agile
    • Involves high level of change and stakeholder involvement
    • They are also iterative and incremental but the iterations are rapid (2 to 4 weeks) and are fixed in cost and time
    • The can perform different processes in each iterations
    • Overall scope of the project is is decomposed to a set of requirements called the product backlog
    • Work is done within iterations on a priority base from the backlog
    • At the end of each iteration the product is open for review and input form users and stakeholders that is added to the backlog
    • These lifecycle is good when working in a rapidly changing environment where user requirements are difficult to define or changing

Read More

PMBOK 1. Project Management Overview

1.1  Purpose

The purpose of this series of posts is to provide an abbreviation of the PMBOK and to serve as a reference library to standardized project management tools and processes.

  • Standard is a formal document that describes established norms, methods, processes and practices for the corresponding domain.

PMBOK provides guidelines for managing individual projects and defines project management related concepts.  It also defines the project management lifecycle and its related processes and the project lifecycle.

PMBOK included generally recognized best practices.

  • Generally recognized – It is acceptable for most projects most of the times. There is consensus about its value and usefulness.
  • Best practice – includes knowledge, skills, tools and techniques. Its application and enhance chances of success of many projects. Not applied all the time to all projects.       The organization can choose as appropriate to specific projects.
  • Regulations are mandatory, a project can pick between standards but apply fully, and organizations can choose to apply best practices as appropriate to a project.
  • A Project is used to achieve organizational strategy related to: market demand, strategic opportunity, customer requests, technological advancement, legal requirements to increasing business value.

1.2  What is a Project

  • A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique or improve an existing Product, Service, Result
    • o Temporary – It must have a start and completion
    • o Unique – It is different in a distinguishing way from all similar products, services, results
  • A project is a project and not a product.  It is a series of actions that produce the required goal
  • Subprojects are smaller portions of an overall project created when a project is divided into more meaningful components.
  • Programs are grouped under portfolios and comprise of sub-programs, projects or other supporting activities managed in a coordinated way to achieve benefits not available managing them individually.
  • A Portfolio refers to a collection of projects, programs, sub-portfolios and operations managed to achieve strategic objectives.  Individual projects can be part of a portfolio.  Projects and programs are linked to the organizations strategic plan as part of its portfolio

1.3  What is Project Management per PMBOK

  • Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques (best practices) to complete project activities that meet specific project requirements.
  • Under PMBOK, project management is divided into 47 distinct processes that are categorized into 5 process groups:
    1. Initiating
    2. Planning
    3. Executing
    4. Monitoring & Controlling
    5. Closing
  • Project management system is a collections of processes, tools, techniques, and resources to manage projects
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors refer to what the organization is like.  Elements that are out of control of a project manger.
  • Organizational process assets refers to how an organization approaches projects.  These are tools, techniques that the organization offers to run a project.
  • Socio-Economic Influences refers to factors outside of the enterprise environment such as regulations, international culture and economic conditions.
  • What makes a project successful: Within time, within budget, within scope and meeting customer satisfaction.  These makes up the Triple Constraint model:
    1. Time
    2. Cost (resource)
    3. Scope
  • Managing a project typically includes 5 major disciplines:
    1. Identifying requirements
    2. Addressing needs, concerns and expectations of stakeholders during planning
    3. Setting up meetings and active communications with stakeholders
    4. Manage stakeholders to meet project requirements and deliverables
    5. Balancing (Six) competing project constraints:
      1. Scope
      2. Quality
      3. Schedule
      4. Budget
      5. Resource
      6. Risk
  • The relationship between these constraints works such that if one of the constraints changes at least one of the other is likely to get affected
  • Progressive elaboration means that due to potential changes in the project, the project planning is an iterative activity and project plan evolves with changes and more details
  • Product Lifecycle is a sequence of phases a product or services goes through from conception to retirement
  • Project Lifecycle is a sequence of phases of project to meet project requirements
    1. Predictive also known as fully plan-driven. Scope, time and cost determined as early in the project life cycle as practically possible.
    2. Interactive and Incremental.  Project phases (also called iterations) intentionally repeat one or more project activities as understanding of the product increases. Iterations develop the product through a series of repeated cycles, while increments successively add to the functionality of the product.
    3. Adaptive also known as change-driven or agile.  Respond to high levels of change and ongoing stakeholder involvement.  Adaptive methods are also iterative and incremental, but differ in that iterations are very rapid – usually with a duration of 2 to 4 weeks and are fixed in time and cost.
      • Projects occur within the larger product or services lifecycle as means of enhancing or transition of the product or service.
      • Code of ethics covers
        • Responsibility
        • Respect
        • Fairness
        • Honesty
        • Project Management Responsibilities in Code of Ethics
        • Insure individual integrity
        • Contribute to PM knowledge base
        • Enhance professional competence
        • Balance stakeholder interest
        • Interact with stakeholders in professional and cooperative manner

1.4  Relationship between Portfolio, Program, Project and Operational Projects

  • They all have to align with organizational strategies
  • Portfolio management selects, prioritizes projects or programs and provides resources
  • Program management harmonizes projects and program components to realize specified benefits
  • Project management develops and implements plans to achieve specific scope of program or portfolio it is subjected to
  • Operational project management facilitates portfolio, program, project management through organizational enablers including tools, processes, resources etc.
Organizational Project Management
  Project Program Portfolio
Scope Defined objective.  Scope elaborates through the cycle. Larger scope.  Provide more significant benefit. Organizational scope that changes with strategic objectives.
Change Accept, manage, control change through change management processes. Accept and manage change from both inside and outside the program. Continuously monitor internal and external change at organizational level.
Planning Progressively elaborate high level details into detail plans. Create high-level plans to guide detail planning. Conduct planning, communication and maintain processes at organizational level.
Management Manage project staff to meet project objectives. Manage program staff and project managers and provide overall leadership. Manage portfolio and portfolio management, program management, project management staff that report on aggregate portfolio.
Success Measured by project quality, timelines, budget, customer satisfaction. Measured by degree to which program satisfied and meets objectives. Measured by aggregate performance and benefits realized from the portfolio.
Monitoring Monitor and control the work, objectives and results involved in delivering a project (product, services). Monitor progress of program components to ensure overall goals, schedules, budgets. Monitor strategic changes, aggregate resource allocation, risks of portfolio.
Table 1.1

1.4.1       Program Management

  • A group of related projects subprograms and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefit not received by managing individually.
  • May include work outside the scope of discrete projects
  • Project related through a common outcome or a collective capability
  • Focus on project interdependencies and help determine an optimal approach.
    • o Resource constraints
    • o Organizational direction that commonly affects projects objectives
    • o Shared governance for issues and changes

1.4.2       Portfolio Management

  • Projects, programs, subprograms, and operations to achieve strategic objectives
  • Projects and programs may not be interdependent or related
  • Could include centralized management of one or more portfolios
  • Project and programs are reviewed and prioritized and management of portfolio is consistent with strategic objectives

1.4.3       Project and Strategic Planning

  • Projects utilised as a means to directly or indirectly reach strategic objectives driven by: market, customer, business, social, environment, technology, legal etc.

1.4.4       Project Management Office

  • PMO standardizes project related governance and facilitates sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and best practices
  • The responsibilities can range from providing PM support functionality to being responsible for direct project management
  • Supportive PMO provides templates, best practices, access to training, lessons learned.  Provide a project repository and low degree of control
  • Controlling PMO provides support that requires compliance of framework, methodologies using specific templates and tools. Moderate degree of control
  • Directive PMO directly manages the project. High degree of control
  • Liaise between portfolio, program and projects and corporate strategic objectives and measurement systems (BSCs)
  • Projects managed in a PMO may not be related
  • Primary functions of a PMO include;
    1. Standardize the project related governance
    2. Facilitate sharing resources, tools, methodologies across all projects
    3. Identify and develop methodologies, beast practices, standards
    4. Coaching, mentoring, training
    5. Monitoring compliance to standards
    6. Develop and manage project templates, policies, procedures
    7. Centralize coordinate communication of and between projects
    8. Oversee management of projects and programs
  • Difference between PM and PMO objectives may include:
    1. PM focuses on specific project objectives, PMO manages major scope changes to achieve business objectives
    2. PM controls project resources, PMO optimizes organizational resources across all projects
    3. PM manages constraints of specific projects, PMO manages standards, methodologies, metrics and interdependence of projects

1.5  Relationship between Project Management and Operations Management

  • Operations is an organizational function that produces the same product or repetitive results
  • Operations Management involves Business Process Management running day-to-day business and achieving strategic and tactical goals
  • Projects are more temporary in nature and can help achieve operational goals when aligned
  • Operations are ongoing in nature and perform same set of repeated tasks

1.5.1       Operations and Project Management

  • Changes in operations can be project especially if they are tied to new product and services
  • Project can intersect with operations at:
    • o Closeout phase of a project to transition to operations
    • o Developing new product, services that will become part of operations
    • o Changing or improving operations
  • At each intersection point deliverables and knowledge are transferred from projects to operations
  • This can be done by project resources transfer to operations at the end or operations resources transfer to project at the beginning
  • Operations management:
    • o Outside the scope of Project Management
    • o Deals with ongoing production of goods and delivery of services
    • o Ensures business operations continuity
    • o Manages and optimizes processes
  • Important to have OM as a stakeholder in all phases of the project to avoid unnecessary issues and ensure efficient transfer
  • Operations needs should be recognized by PM as part of stakeholder register
  • Operations stakeholders could include:
    • o Production, Services, Sales, Helpdesk etc.

1.5.2       Organization and Project Management

  • Project objectives and activities need to be aligned with top level organization strategic goals and objectives
  • If there is a change in the organization then the project objectives and activities need to be realigned
  • Project Based Organizations (PBOs) are temporary organizations and systems created to deliver a project
  • PBOs are measured solely by the objectives and final results of a project and can introduce focus and efficiency
  • PBOs do a majority of their work as a project as opposed to a functional approach
  • It is possible that PBOs have a functional support area or are nested as a subsidiary of a larger corporation
  • Organizational governance can impose constraints on a project.  Particularly if the delivery of a projected is strictly tied to the governance
  • Success of a project may be judged on how well the project and its outcome supports the organizational governance
  • It is the responsibility of the project sponsor and/or program/portfolio manager to align the project with organizational strategic goals and identify conflicts
  • It is the project managers responsibility to document these conflicts as early in the project as possible
  • In some cases development of an organizational strategy is the goal of the project

1.6  Business Value

  • Structured project management increases business value by applying structured tools and processes to increase the likelihood of success and through creating new products and services as outcomes of the project.
  • Business value of an organization consists of the total sum of tangible and intangible elements:
    • o Tangible: Hard assets, monitory assets, fixtures, stocks etc.
    • o Intangible: Goodwill, brand recognition, public benefit etc.
  • Use of portfolio, program and project management is to bridge the gap between strategic planning and successfully realizing increase in business value

1.7  Role of a Project Manager

  • Project Manager leads the team responsible for achieving the project objectives
  • Functional Manager is responsible for providing oversight of a functional or a business unit
  • Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring ongoing business operations

1.7.1       Responsibilities and Competence

  • In order to be effective a PM needs to have the following competence:
    • o Area specific skills
    • o General management skills related to planning, organizing, staffing
    • o Knowledge: What the Project Manager knows about project management
    • o Performance: What a Project Manager is able to accomplish while applying project management knowledge
    • o Personal: How a PM behaves when performing project related activities including: communicating, negotiating, problem solving, influencing etc.

1.7.2       Interpersonal Skill

  • It is important for a PM to have a balance of ethical, interpersonal and conceptual skills
  • Interpersonal skills include: Leadership, Teambuilding, Motivation, Influence etc.
Read More

An Introduction to ITIL

1.     Overview

This is our way of evangelising ITIL.  We firmly believe in the set of best practices and the framework that ITIL offers to design, develop, deliver and improve IT services that are focussed towards providing value to consuming customers and businesses.

We see many enterprises continue to struggle and falter in providing IT services that are meaningful and truly a value-add.  We feel that, in order to really embrace and drive value through the core essence of ITIL, conventional enterprises need to make a shift from the paradigm of delineated products and services and understand that products, resources, and supporting services are nothing but a means to provide customer-facing services.

In this series of posts, we will attempt to simplify and demystify the ITIL frameworks as we work through its five stages of Strategy, Design, Transition, Operations and Continual Improvement.

2.     ITIL Introduction

2.1            ITIL Structure

There are five stages of services life-cycle.  These are called the ITIL core stages

  1. Strategy – Service Charter, From start to service design
  2. Design – Designing specifications, design process
  3. Transition – Build everything needed to enable services.  Transition the team retains responsibility until service is stable and then transition to operations
  4. Operations
  5. Continual improvement – Wrapped around on the outside of the cycle

2.2            History

  • Started in the 80’s in the UK
  • In 2007 went through a major refresh to V3
  • V3,2011 has some minor changes
  • It is a framework of best practices
  • It is associated with  ISO/IEC 2000
  • Best Practices are proven activities or processes that have been successfully used by multiple organizations
  • Focus of ITIL is to figuring out what is the least amount of effort that you have to put in to do what you need to do

2.3            Sources of Best Practice

  1. Sources of information
    1. Standards
    2. Academic research
    3. Training and education
    4. Industry experience
  2. Collect information using Enablers
    1. Employees
    2. Customers
    3. Suppliers
    4. Advisers
  3. Filter information through Drivers
    1. Substitutes
    2. Regulators
    3. Customer
  4. Further filter information that fits Scenarios
    1. Competition
    2. Compliance
    3. Commitments

The result is best practices that an organization can apply to obtain their desired business goals and objectives.

2.4            ITIL Focus

A list to ensure that ITIL is working:

  1. Optimize and reduce costs. Track cost and associate them with business activities that are prioritized.  Example: Life and death is more important than record keeping
  2. Deliver value for customers through services
  3. Integrate service into business strategy
  4. Improve relationship with customers
  5. Change organization culture from technology focused to service focussed
  6. Monitor measure and optimize service provider performance
  7. Manage IT investment budget
  8. Manage Risk
  9. Manage Knowledge

2.5            What Is a Service

2.5.1       Service

Service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks related to delivery of these services.

2.5.2       Outcome

Outcome is the result of carrying out an activity, following a process or delivering an IT service.  Outcome can be intended results as well as actual results.

2.5.3       IT Service

IT service is a service provided by an IT service provider that is made up of a combination of Information Technology, People and Processes.

2.6            Types of Services

Services can be separated into two categories of customer-facing services and supporting services

2.6.1       Customer-facing Services

Services that are visible to the customer.  These are normally services that support a customer’s business process and facilitate one or more outcomes desired by the customer.

2.6.2       Supporting Services

IT services that support or underpin the customer-facing services.  These are typically invisible to the customer but are essential to the delivery of the customer-facing services.

Every time we offer a customer facing service you have to provide it with an internal supporting service such as: application development, application support, application operations.

Customer-facing service can be broken down into Service Level Packages that include core and enhanced services.

2.6.3       Core Services

Core Services are services that deliver the basic outcomes desired by one or more customers.

Core services anchor the value proposition for the customers and provide the basis for their continued utilization and satisfaction as they represent the value that the customers want and for which they are willing to pay.

2.6.4       Enhancing Services

Enhancing services are services that are added to a core service to make it more exciting or alluring to the customer.

They are not essential to the delivery of a core service, and are added to a core service as ‘excitement’ factors, which will encourage customers to use the core service more.

2.7            The Value of a Service

A combination of utility and warranty creates value for a customer.


  • Functionality offered by a service to meet a particular need or achieve a particular outcome
  • Utility has a positive effect and could be:
  1. Outcome supported or
  2. Constraints removed
  • To make the services fit for purpose

2.7.1       Warranty

Assurance that the service will meet its agreed requirements.

A service has to be:

  1. Available enough and
  2. Have enough Capacity and
  3. Have Business Continuity and
  4. Be Secure enough

To create value for the customer a service has to be both:

  1. Fit for Purpose and
  2. Fit for use

Value for a customer can be tangible or intangible

A service is typically intangible.  Its value is determined by what it enables a user to be able to do and how well it enables the customer to achieve the desired outcome.

IT services provide value to customers that are internal or external to an organization.

2.8            IT Services Management

2.8.1       Perspectives of IT

  • IT is a collection of systems and/or applications and/or infrastructure.  They enable or are embedded in processes or services
  • Every IT organization should be a service provider
  • Use principles of services management to develop and improve their ability to meet the needs of their customers

2.8.2       Services Management

A set specialized organizational capabilities to provide value to customers in the form of services.  The more mature the capabilities the greater the ability to consistently product quality service that is timely and cost effective.

2.8.3       ITSM (IT Services management)

The implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of a business.  It services performed through the mix of people, process and technology.

2.8.4       Challenges of ITSM

Organization capabilities are developed to overcome challenges.  Some of the challenges include:

  • Services are intangible and difficult to measure
  • Demand of services is tightly coupled with customer’s assets including users, processes etc.
  • There is little is little to no buffer between service provider creation of service to customer consumption of service
  • Services output is perishable

2.9            Types of Service Providers

2.9.1       Service Provider

An organization that supplies services to one or more internal or external customers.

2.9.2       IT Service Provider

An organization that supplies IT services to one or more internal or external customers.

Most aspects of ITSM apply to all service providers

Some aspects depend upon

  • What customers the serve
  • How they are funded
  • Who their competition is

There are three types of service providers:

2.9.3       Types of Service Providers

Type 1: Internal

  • Embedded within a business unit.

Type 2: Shared Services Unit

  • One IT shared across multiple business units.  Supports common applications like email, phone etc.

Type 3: External Service Provider

  • Provide IT services to external customers. Example: ISP, cellphone company, SAAS etc.
  • Difference between a provider and a supplier
  • Supplier is an external service provider form the perspective of the customer organization

2.10       Stakeholders in Services Management

Stakeholders include:

  • Services Providers
  • Customers
  • Those who buy goods and services.  Define and agree on service level targets.  Sometimes could mean users
    • Internal Customers – Within the business unit
    • External Customers – Outside if IT services business  unit
    • Users – Use the services on a day-to-day base
  • Suppliers – Third party suppliers of goods or services

2.11       Process Model

  1. Every process needs to have some governance and control
  2. Process enablers include tangible and intangible assets (resources and capabilities)
  3. The Process itself and the activities it performs – include procedures (step wise) and work instructions on how to execute procedures with the tool we are using.  Also have measureable metrics
  4. Each process will be initiated by a trigger or specific event
  5. Each process will deliver results as specific outputs that deliver value to customers and stakeholders.

Characteristics of a process include: TMRV

  • Responsiveness to specific Triggers
  • Measurable
  • Deliver specific Results
  • Deliver value to customers and stakeholders

Examples: project management process, change management process, incident management process

2.12       Design and Delivery of Services

Services designed and delivered through

  • Assets
    • Tangible Resources – People, HW, SW
    • Intangible Capabilities – Skills, knowledge, experience
    • Processes
      • Maturity of process.  Example: Change management, Incident management etc.
      • Functions defined within the service delivery organization
      • Roles and responsibilities assigned to people

2.12.1  Customer Assets

Any resources or capabilities used by the customer to achieve business objectives

2.12.2  Service Assets

Any resources or capabilities used by the service provider to deliver services to a customer

Customer can use IT service provided and turn them into assets to build and deliver IT services to their own customers.  Therefore the performance of customer assets it a primary part of TISM.

2.13       Processes

A structure set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective.  Takes one or more input  and turn them to defined outputs.  Include roles, responsibilities, tools and management controls.  Define policies, standards, guidelines

2.14       Functions

A team or group of people and the tools or other resources they use to carry out one or more processes or activities

Within the ITIL framework all functions responsible for delivering and consuming services can fall into only the following categories:

  1. IT Services
    1. Service Desk (Level 1)
    2. IT Operations (Level 1 or 2)
    3. i. Operations Control
    4. ii. Facilities Management
  1. Technical Management (Level 2 or 3)
  2. Application Management (Level 2 or 3)
  3. Customer
    1. Customer
    2. User
    3. Supplier

Note: Against ITIL V3 recommendations a supplementary function of ITSM is now also being created within organizations to account for executive management separately.

2.14.1  Service Desk

A single point of contact for users when there is a service disruption, a service request, or even a request for change.  It provides a point of communication for users and a point of coordination for IT services.

2.14.2  Technical Management

Provides technical skills and resources needed for operations and management for IT infrastructure.  It plays an important role in design, testing and release activities.

2.14.3  IT Operations

Executed the daily operations activities to manage IT services and support IT infrastructure.  This is done to standards and processes designed during service design.  It has two sub functions including operations control and facilities management.

2.14.4  Application Management

Responsible for managing applications throughout their lifecycle.  Supports the applications and plays an important role in resign, testing and release activities and improvement of applications.

2.15       Roles and Responsibilities

Process Roles

  • Process Owner
  • Process Manager
  • Process Practitioner

Services Roles

  • Service Owner

2.15.1  Role

A set of responsibilities, activities and authorities assigned to a person or team.  A role can be defined in a process or a function.  One person or team can have multiple roles.

Role is not the same as a job description

2.15.2  Process Owner

Accountable for ensure that the process is fit for person.  Own the complete life cycle of the process from sponsorship, design, change management and CSI.  The role can be assigned to Process Manager.

2.15.3  Process Manager

Operational management of a process.  Carry out, monitor and report on a process

2.15.4  CSI Manager

Improvement of processes.  Works with Process Owners and Process Managers to identify opportunities to improve.

2.15.5  Service Owner

A role responsible for managing one or more services through their lifecycle.  Instrumental in development of strategy and responsible for content and service portfolio.

Read More