The Three Most Important Documents for Project Management

Kim Mays

Project managers—especially in the tech sector—know all too well how many factors can cause a project to miss its deadline or go over budget. Keeping a project within its projected scope is one of the most difficult challenges for project managers.

Issues such as project omissions, slow or no user involvement, customer over-expectation and lengthy application development times can often not be avoided. One thing that can usually be reined in is the scope of the project, which includes the objective, timeline, goals, resources, tasks, team and budget.

By properly defining these requirements, a project has a better chance of staying within these guidelines. Of course, often the collection of data to define these requirements can be a huge challenge within itself.

The book “Project Scope Management: A Practical Guide to Requirements for Engineering, Product, Construction, IT and Enterprise Projects,” provides instruction on developing and defining project requirements to keep projects on track and within scope. It deals with practical tools and simple techniques for project managers to use in the daily struggle to avoid scope creep.

In our IT Downloads section, we offer an excerpt from the book, chapter 10, which focuses on developing the requirements management plan (RMP) and requirements traceability matrix (RTM).

The excerpt explains the importance of the RMP and RTM:

The requirements management plan (RMP) is a document that describes how requirements will be analyzed, documented, and managed throughout the project. It is frequently published in conjunction with the requirements traceability matrix (RTM). Both the RMP and RTM are supposed to be created along with the requirements specifications, and all three documents act as key inputs in the creation of the project plan document.

According to the author, the RMP details the ways the requirements were collected and which methodologies the project manager employed to gather information for the requirements. The RTM documents “the links between the user requirements for the product or service you’re building and the work components developed to implement and verify those requirements.”

Project managers, aspiring project managers, and anyone involved in the process of managing projects for the enterprise will benefit from reading this excerpt. It provides detailed information on two of the most important tasks project managers can supply to help keep a project within scope.

Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 14, 2015 3:11 AM GDoss GDoss  says:
Hello Kim, We have undertaken a project to build a new Data Center Project overseas. I am using a spread-sheet based RTMx tool due to various reasons not to my buy-in. For a large project it’s difficult to manage the traceability/mapping on a spread-sheet. At the same time the project team is very reluctant and unwelcoming the idea of introduction any Requirement Management/RTMx tool after 6 months into the project. Considering the remaining schedule with 2 more years of activities to execute on the project, it’s not too late to adapt a better tool. The time lost during learning curve will be recovered, in my judgment based on years of experience, in 3-4 months or less. Please let me know if you are familiar with any Requirement Management with built-in RTMx tool that is best suited for new Data Center construction project activities of which include Construction and infrastructure, Communications, IT and IT Service Management that includes Operations Support. Thanks in advance, GDoss Reply

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