A3 How to Use the TenStep Process


After you have classified your project as small, medium or large (1.0.3 Sizing your Project (Small, Medium, Large)), start at Step 1.0 - Define the Work. Notice that there are various levels of detail needed for defining a project, depending on the size of your project. Start evaluating the project management processes to apply to your project based on the information that is provided for a project your size (small, medium or large). It is also a good practice to review all of the processes for all three project sizes, because you may find other information that you want to incorporate into your particular project. For instance, if you have a medium-sized project, you may want to incorporate some aspects of managing a large project. If you review all of the content for all project sizes, you will have the information you need to build the project management processes that are right for your particular project.

Do the same for Step 2.0 - Build the Schedule and Budget, Step 3.0 - Manage the Schedule and Budget, and Step 4.0 - Manage Issues. Start by understanding the process recommendations for your sized project, and then add any activities from the other size projects that will help you. For the most part, all projects should follow the processes in steps 1.0 through 4.0.

Now on to Step 5.0 - Manage Scope. Everything you have read so far is still applicable, but there is an additional element regarding scope management. On larger projects, it is not only important to be more rigorous managing scope, but you must also do a more thorough job of defining scope. So, you will see more information added to the Step 1.0 - Define the Work process. The additional rigor and detail may not have made sense when you first encountered it in step 1.0. However, now you will start to see how the additional work in step 1.0 ties to the later management of the project. That is why you need to categorize your project into small, medium and large ahead of time. In some cases, the higher-level project management processes also require more rigor in the early definition and planning processes.

The rest of the TenStep® Project Management Process works the same way.

It is important to recognize that the ten steps of the TenStep methodology do not imply a sequential progression. It is true that you must define and plan the project before you can manage it. So, steps 1.0 and 2.0 would be done before the rest. However, the applicable activities in steps 3.0 through 10.0 are done in parallel. This means that a project manager will be managing the schedule (step 3.0), managing scope (step 5.0), managing quality and metrics (step 9.0), etc., all through the project.

The higher steps of the TenStep process imply a higher level of project management sophistication. For instance, smaller projects do not necessarily need to manage risk (step 7.0) since a small project typically does not have much risk to worry about. Likewise, there could be a fair amount of work required to manage quality (step 9.0) and procurement (step 10.0), which means that these processes are not rigorously applied to small and medium-sized projects.

Review the content of each step for each project size. Then determine what activities make sense for your project. For instance, you may have a large project, but it may make sense to manage communication (step 6.0) as if you had a medium project. You may have a large project, but you may not need to gather many metrics. In that case you could gather metrics (step 9.0) as if you had a small project.

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