Project Management Training Module 3 Define Process

The purpose of these Training Modules is to guide you through the Be a Better Sheepdog site in a logical sequence to help you to become a better Project Manager whether you are new to the role or wish to improve on your performance. This is Module 3 of 8 of and provides a description of the vitally important DEFINE process; see other modules at the bottom of the page.

Be a Better Sheepdog 3 step process for running a Project
As per the cartoon, in the DEFINE process (PRINCE2 calls it Initiation) you need to go through a stepwise set of activities. Please go through the following points and related posts:
  1. The key roles to start this process are the Project Manager and the Project owner, the Project Team will come a bit later but you will need access to a few of the key Project team to complete this process. But sometimes a Project Manager is identified but the Owner is nowhere to be seen! If you are the Project Manager, remember William Shakespeare and this quote tweaked my me - O Sponsor, Sponsor! wherefore art thou Sponsor?
  2. You need to establish if there is a Business Case. This should really be owned by the Project Owner (Sponsor) but as Project Manager you may need to help tease out the Business Case. I covered this in one of the PM Skills but repeat here again because it is important - "Do the Right Project" BEFORE "Do the Project Right"
  3. Then you need to go through the Definition process leading to production of some sort of Project Definition document which is the contract between the Project Manager and the Project Owner. This will require you to mobile at least some of the Project team and use many of the skills covered in Module 2. To remember the steps here, it is good to use a Kipling poem as described in this post
  4. You should look to have a Project Board meeting (formal meeting with the Owners of the Project) before the conclusion of the DEFINE process. Here are some tips on preparing for Project Board meetings
  5. Here is a checklist of things to consider - Appointed PM for a new Project? - Don't Panic!
  6. In case you need to pick up an in-flight Project, it is worth using a slightly different checklist of things - Considerations for picking up an in-flight Project

Be a Better Sheepdog Training Modules

  1. Module 1 - OVERVIEW - an overview of the training and basic concepts 
  2. Module 2 - PM SKILLS - what skills and behavioural characteristics you need to develop to be a successful Project Manager?
  3. Module 3 - DEFINE Process - describes this important process to ensure that we have identified the Owner of the Project, agreed the objective, developed the plans etc (this module)
  4. Module 4 - DO Process - executing the Project ensuring that the Project Manager is monitoring, controlling, communicating, escalating when required etc
  5. Module 5 - CLOSE Process - things to complete before the Project ends and the temporary project organisation is disbanded
  6. Module 6 - OTHER information not already covered
  7. Module 7 - IT PROJECT specific information, skip if you aren't running such projects
  8. Module 8 - RECAP & TEST - A recap and an opportunity to test yourself and join the "Be a Better Sheepdog" Hall of Fame
  9. Project Management Manual in Proverb Cartoons - if you prefer your training visual, this is for you

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