Project management business documents

Project Management Business Documents: In this module, you will learn about Project Management Business Documents - Project Business Case, Project Benefits Management Plan, Project Charter and Project Management Plan and Project Success Measures.

# What is Project Management Business Documents?

The project sponsor is generally accountable for the development and maintenance of the project business case document whereas the project manager is responsible for providing suggestions and oversight to keep the project management business documents in alignment with one another and with objectives of the organization.

There are two documents called business case & benefits management plan that are interdependent and iteratively created and maintained throughout the project life cycle. The project manager needs to ensure that the project management approach captures the intent of business documents.

Project managers should appropriately tailor the prominent project management documents for their projects.

Few common Business documents are:

Project management business documents

1.           Project Business Case

The project business case reveals to us why the business organization is attempting the project. It also provides the justification of the project and need assessment is performed before business case. 

In other words, the main purpose of a business case is to comprehend the business need for the project. It also provides vision to decide whether the investment in the project is worthwhile. The business case lists the objectives and reasons for initiating a project.

It is a documented economic feasibility study used to establish the validity of the benefits of a selected component. It is usually accomplished by business analyst and includes the business need as well as cost-benefit analysis.

This document is used throughout the project life cycle. It helps measure the project success at the time of completion of the project against the project objectives. The business case may be used before the project initiation and may result in a go/no-go decision for the project.

PMI states the business case is made because of one or more of the following:

Project management business documents

A business case documents may contain the following elements:
  • Description of business need for the project stating how project aligns with organization’s strategic vision. This also includes identification for scope and stakeholders affected.
  • A recommended solution to pursue in the project like Constraints, assumptions, risks, and dependencies for the potential options and Success measures.
  • Description of expected result of each alternative solution.
  • Evaluation statement describing the plan for measuring benefits the project will deliver which includes any ongoing operational aspects of the recommended option.
  • Situational Analysis which includes identification of organizational goals, strategies, objectives, root cause of the problem, know risks, success factors etc.
  • Cost-benefit analysis

2. Project Benefits Management Plan

Benefits management plan describes how the benefits of the project will be delivered and when they will be delivered. Examples of benefits may include increasing the sales of a business with new or improved products, reducing business cost implementing automation process, increase employee satisfaction, increase awareness about product etc.

The documented explanation defining the processes for creating, maximizing, and sustaining the benefits provided by a project and describes the mechanisms that should be in place to measure those benefits.

A project benefit is defined as an outcome of actions, behaviors, products, services, or results that provide value to the sponsoring organization as well as to the project’s intended beneficiaries. Development of the benefits management plan begins early in the project life cycle of the project.  

It is designed to make sure that the benefits of the project are made permanent, even though the project itself is a temporary one. Here are the key elements of the benefits that is provided by Project benefits management plan:

  • Target benefits – what is the expected tangible and intangible value of the benefits to be gained from project
  • Strategic alignment – how to do the benefits align to the business strategies of the organization
  • Timeframe for realizing benefits - short-term, benefits by phase, long-term, and ongoing
  • Benefits owner – Who is having the accountability to monitor, record, and report realized benefits throughout the timeframe
  • Metrics – direct and indirect measures to show benefits realized
  • Assumptions - factors expected to be in place or to be in evidence for benefits to be realized
  • Risks – what are the associated risks for realization of benefits

The benefits management plan will be reviewed regularly throughout the project to ensure that the declared benefits are still on track for delivery.

Development and maintenance of the project benefits management plan is an iterative activity. This document complements the business case, project charter, and project management plan.

The project manager works with the sponsor to ensure that the project charter, project management plan, and the benefits management plan remain in alignment throughout the life cycle of the project.

3. Project Charter and Project Management Plan

A. Project Charter

The project charter is issued by the project sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project. It provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.

The project team uses the project charter as a starting point for initial project planning. The project charter documents the project success criteria, the approval requirements and who will sign off on the project.

 The type and amount of information in the project charter varies depending on the complexity of the project. Project charter should define the high-level information about the project.

Elements of project charters may include Project purpose, Measurable project objectives and related success criteria, High-level requirements, High-level project description, boundaries and key deliverable, Overall project risk, Summary milestone schedule, approved financial resources, Key stakeholder list, Project approval requirements (i.e., what constitutes success, who decides the project is successful, who signs off on the project), Project exit criteria (i.e., what are the conditions to be met in order to close or to cancel the project or phase), Assigned project manager, responsibility, and authority level, Name and authority of the sponsor or other person authorizing the project charter

B. Project Management Plan

The project management plan describes how the project will be executed, monitored and controlled. Project management plan is managed by the project manager.

Project management plan components include:

Subsidiary management plans:
Scope management plan - Establishes how the scope will be defined, developed, monitored, controlled, and validated.

Requirements management plan - Establishes how the requirements will be analyzed, documented, and managed.

Schedule management plan - Establishes the criteria and the activities for developing, monitoring, and controlling the schedule.

Cost management plan - Establishes how the costs will be planned, structured, and controlled.

Quality management plan - Establishes how an organization´s quality policies, methodologies, and standards will be implemented in the project.

Resource management plan - Provides guidance on how project resources should be categorized, allocated, managed, and released.

Communications management plan - Establishes how, when, and by whom information about the project will be administered and disseminated.

Risk management plan - Establishes how the risk management activities will be structured and performed.

Procurement management plan - Establishes how the project team will acquire goods and services from outside of the performing organization.

Stakeholder engagement plan- Establishes how stakeholders will be engaged in project decisions and execution, according to their needs, interests, and impact.

Scope baseline - Approved version of a scope statement, work breakdown structure (WBS), and its associated WBS dictionary, which is used as a basis for comparison.

Schedule baseline - Approved version of the schedule model that is used as a basis for comparison to the actual results.

Cost baseline - Approved version of the time-phased project budget that is used as a basis for comparison to the actual results.

4. Project Success Measures
Project success measures describes the success parameters of a project. One of the most common challenges in project management is determining whether a project is successful or not. Earlier cost or profitability were the primary factors, but success could mean user experience. Therefore, each project should describe the success parameters of a project.

Recently, practitioners and scholars have determined that project success should also be measured with consideration toward achievement of the project objectives.

But traditionally, the project management metrics of time, cost, scope, and quality have been the most important factors in defining the success of a project.

Project success may include additional criteria linked to the organizational strategy and to the delivery of business results.
These project objectives are:
  • Meeting financial measures as well as nonfinancial objectives documented in the business case. These financial measures can be Net present value (NPV), Return on investment (ROI), Internal rate of return (IRR), Payback period (PBP) and Benefit-cost ratio (BCR)
  • Meeting organizational strategy, goals, and objectives
  • Completing the project benefits management plan
  • Contract terms and conditions fulfilment
  • Stakeholder satisfaction with achieving agreed-upon quality of delivery
  • Acceptable customer/end-user adoption
  • Achieving other agreed-upon success measures

The chance for project success greatly increases when the business alignment for a project is constant because the project remains aligned with the strategic direction of the organization.

Most hopefully, you would like this information, and this is more informative for you. 

The information provided above about Project management business documents is very much important to keep in mind for every Project manager in an organization. 

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Thank you for taking time reading this article. 

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