Top Five List of Important Documents on Your Project

Sunday, September 13, 2015, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

There are many project management documents used on a large project. While different people have different opinions, here is our list of the five most important documents.

Top Five List of Important Documents on Your Project

  1. The Project Charter

    Before you start executing the project, you need to know what you are doing. The charter provides this information. Project charter approval is the green light for the project to move forward. The charter is created at the end of the planning process.

    It contains the objectives for the project, the scope (deliverables and boundaries), risks, assumptions, constraints, dependencies, milestone chart, budget and project organization chart.

    The project charter also serves as a stabilizing force once the project is underway. There are going to be later opinions and ideas of what the project should accomplish.

    The project charter serves as a reference point for the original intent of the project and to ensure the project does not succumb to scope creep.

  2. The Project Schedule

    The project charter states what the project will do. The schedule shows how you will do it. The project schedule is the next must-have document to effectively run a project.

    The schedule takes the beginning and end of the project and breaks it down into project phases and then ultimately project tasks.

    Each task is assigned duration, resource, and whether it is dependent upon a previous task or activity prior to its start.

    This document then serves as the baseline for whether the project is on track and meeting its target dates or if there needs to be some adjustments made to the schedule.

  3. The Project Budget

    During the planning process you estimate the cost of the resources needed to complete the project. The estimated cost is converted into a project budget that you manage during the project.

    In some companies, managing and hitting the budget is the primary key for success (while to be honest, in some companies the budget is not so important).

  4. The Status Report

    It’s important to keep everyone informed as to how things are progressing on the project once everything gets underway. There’s no better way to do this than putting together a status report.

    A status report should contain the answers to these four questions:

    • What has been accomplished on this project since the last status report?

    • What is next to being done on this project?

    • What stands in the way of this project being complete?

    • Are there any special needs this project has that must be discussed?

    The purpose of the status report is to manage expectations regarding the project. A status report does not need to be overwhelming to put together and it should always be easy to read.

    It’s good to come up with some type of status code (for example – green, yellow, red always works well) that can quickly provide an overall status of the project at one quick glance.

  5. The Risk Register (or Risk Log)

    Your job as a Project Manager is to get the project done. However, there are potential problems that may prevent you from getting your project done.

    These potential problems are known as risks. You need to manage risks on a regular basis and prevent them from turning into full-blown issues that can wreak havoc on your project.

    There’s no better place to do this than the Risk Register. This document identifies potential risks and categorizes them by probability of occurring and the severity of their impact to the project if they do occur. It also contains your response strategy that describes how you are managing tithe risk.

Courtesy of…

This column is © copyright to and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.

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