Until now, there has been very little guidance for practicing and aspiring planning and control professionals to gain understanding of best practice, and how to apply it.

Planning, monitoring and control are critical aspects of project management. Implemented effectively, project success rates can increase dramatically. Implemented poorly, project scope, schedule and costs can quickly overrun.

This event introduces delegates to effective project planning and control. Effective planning and control require an understanding of a clear project definition, supported by a robust approach to planning the project. This, in turn requires the selection and use of appropriate scheduling techniques which are supported by rigorous monitoring for effective proactive control. A sound basis for effective record keeping will facilitate the understanding of lessons learned which supports continuous improvement, thus adding value to organisational aspirations and objectives. As a Practitioner, delegates will demonstrate their ability to interpret and apply the Foundation topics to various project scenarios.
 

By the end of this course you will be able to, understand the key techniques, principles and terminology within Project Planning & Control.

Specifically, the candidate should be able to use, interpret or assess: 

  • The approaches and key products used to gain a clear definition of a project
  • The approaches and techniques used to plan and close a project 
  • The scheduling techniques and appropriate presentation of the outputs 
  • The management of risk in the planning, execution and evaluation of a project
  • The practices and data used for rigorous monitoring to enable proactive control of the project.

Delegates will be provided with a copy of the APM Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring and Control Manual. Delegates need to bring this book with them to the course, please read this book and be familiar with the contents in advance.

The purpose of the Practitioner qualification is to confirm whether the candidate has achieved sufficient understanding of the theory and application of the tools and techniques to allow them to work successfully in a Project Support team environment. They should be capable of applying and assessing the tools and techniques independently but will have a team around them and advice and support available as required. A successful Practitioner candidate should, with suitable direction, be able to start applying the method to a real project but may not be sufficiently skilled to do this appropriately for all situations.  The course will cover the following syllabus areas:

Definition 

Delegates are introduced to the world of projects with an emphasis on planning, monitoring and control

Foundation

  • Key definitions and concepts associated with Planning and Control
  • Hierarchical Breakdown Structures - WBS, OBS, CBS, RBS
  • Purpose of the Business Case
  • Purpose of Scope Management, Requirements Management and Stakeholder Management
  • Purpose and composition of the Works Information and Statement of Work

Practitioner

  • Factors to consider to ensure the WI and SOW are fit for purpose
  • Key elements needed for effective project planning
  • The need for effective stakeholder management

Planning 

Foundation

  • Facts, terms and concepts for: Planning, handover and closeout
  • Purpose and benefits of successful planning
  • Differences between Planning and Scheduling; Funding and Budgets
  • Planning approaches and influencing factors for: top-down, bottom-up and rolling wave planning
  • Purpose, characteristics and relationship and use of Breakdown Structures
  • Approaches and principles of designing Breakdown Structures
  • Purpose of the Work Package, WBS Dictionary and RACI Matrix
  • Purpose of Dependency Management, cost estimating, budgeting and budget transfers

Practitioner

  • Determine activities, outputs and roles involved in the development and maintenance of the plans required throughout the life of the project
  • Determine when top-down, bottom-up and rolling-wave approaches to planning should be adopted and the outputs of each
  • Interpret 'S' curves and identify planning strategies to work out how best to deliver the project
  • Identify appropriate project information for inclusion in the project's and apply the guidance to its creation and are fit for purpose:

         - Product Breakdown Structure (PBS)

         - Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) 

         - Organisational Breakdown Structure (OBS)

         - Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS) 

         - Recource Breakdown Structure (RBS)

  • Identify appropriate project information for inclusion in the project's WBS Dictionary
  • Identify appropriate project information for inclusion in the project's) and apply the guidance to its creation
  • Identify appropriate project information for inclusion in the project's Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) and RACI Matrix and apply the guidance to their creation
  • Identify the project interfaces that need to be monitored and controlled during the life of the project, together with their scope
  • Determine the appropriate approaches for producing project estimates
  • Whether specific activities associated with the development and maintenance of the plans required throughout the life of the project have been applied appropriately, with reasons
  • Whether a chosen planning and delivery strategy for the project is appropriate and why
  • Whether the project interfaces that need to be monitored and
  • Whether selected estimate techniques/methodologies for the project are appropriate, and why
  • Whether the use of activities associated with the handover and closeout of the project is likely to be appropriate, and why

Scheduling 

Foundation

  • The definition and elements of scheduling
  • Definition of key network analysis terms used
  • The three identified methods of presenting the results of scheduling
  • Purpose of: 
  1. Scheduling, and the outputs created 
  2.  Network templates (Fragnets) 
  3. 'What Ifs' (Scenario Planning) 
  4. Schedule design 
  5. Critical path network 
  6. Time analysis
  • Typical features relationships  associated with schedule density, together with time phased schedules, or strategic schedule 
  • Purpose and use of key elements of schedule design
  • Key features of the Precedence Diagram Method (PDM) for determining a critical path and the inputs into a Critical Path Analysis (CPA) 
  • Purpose and use of: 
  1. Monitoring float 
  2. Different methods of logic linking
  3. Leads and lags 
  • Activity constraints Bar charts to display networks 
  • Use and features of different methods of estimating durations
  • Types of resources and the purpose of resourcing the schedule 
  • Purpose and use of Horizontal and vertical integration of schedules and Buffers (incl. advantages and limitations) 
  • Purpose and features of the methods for presenting the results of scheduling. Together with their advantages and limitations
  • Typical composition of a Schedule Narrative 
  • Purpose and scope of Schedule Reviews 
  • Steps in the scheduling process and steps to prepare for monitoring and control 
  • The five steps necessary to construct a network, together with the activities of each 

Practitioner

  • Advantages and disadvantages of Target Schedules 
  • Steps in the process of resourcing the schedule 
  • Need to manage project interfaces and the activities necessary to implement the four key stages of dependency management

Monitor and Control 

Foundation

  • Definition of Earned Value Analysis (EVA) and its basic terminology
  • Definitions of key monitoring terms
  • Definitions of key risk management terms
  • Definitions of key change management terms
  • Purpose and use of a project baseline 
  • The principles of change management and why change control is needed
  • Differences between and possible reasons for rebaselining
  • Purpose and use of performance reporting and features of a good control system, Including the advantages and limitations of each method
  • Characteristics of Performance Analysis Methods of Progress
  • Monitoring, specifically the use of Network Analysis and measurement of float usage
  • Purpose of Earned Value Analysis, together with key elements of the technique
  • Elements of a budget for monitoring with Earned Value and their characteristics and  how to deal with inflation
  • Elements of the Earned Value cost control process and  the importance of learning lessons from cost control
  • The purpose of Short-term Planning, its four key elements, and how it should be linked to project schedules
  • Elements of a project level change control process and its links with corporate governance:

Practitioner

  • The use of Earned Value Techniques (EVT) and the advantages/limitations of Earned Value Analysis
  • Outputs of a project level change control process including the information required (incl. Change Requests, Change Log, Change 
  • Orders and Change Reporting Requirements)
  • Purpose of Risk Management together with the ways of drawing down risk budget
  • Purpose and key elements of Quantitative Schedule Risk Analysis (QSRA), together 
  • Purpose and steps of Monte Carlo analysis, including distribution types
  • Purpose and key elements of Quantitative Cost Risk Analysis (QCRA).
  • Purpose and methods of Forensic Analysis.
  • Requirements, Advantages, Disadvantages and where it can be used together with other relevant considerations
  • Be able to apply key concepts relating to the Monitoring and Control of a project within a given scenario. Specifically to identify and apply activities involved in the development and maintenance of the project baseline, together with the application of the rules
  • Determine the most appropriate methods of reporting the performance of the project and what project information should be included in the performance reports produced
  • Interpret the outputs of methods of reporting performance 
  • Perform Earned Value calculations and interpret Earned Value, information, in order to determine the status of the project and identify the likely causes of the reported performance and project forecasts.
  • Determine the most appropriate Earned Value Technique (EVT) for application during the project
  • Identify and apply activities involved in the application of an appropriate short-term planning process for the project
  • Identify appropriate use and information 
  • Identify activities involved in the application of an appropriate change control process for the project
  • Risk Assessment, the use of the Risk Assessment Matrix, Risk Log and the planning and controlling of the funds for managing risk
  • Interpret the results of the project's Quantitative Schedule Risk Analysis (QSRA) and how it can be displayed. 
  • Purpose and steps of Monte Carlo analysis, including distribution types
  • Interpret the results of the project's Quantitative Cost Risk Analysis (QCRA) and Cost Impact Severity Tornado Chart
  • Identify and apply methods Forensic Analysis and Delay and Disruption Analysis
  • Be able to identify, analyse and distinguish between the appropriate and inappropriate use of key concepts relating to the Monitoring and Control of a project within a given project scenario
  • Whether methods of reporting the project's performance are applied appropriately and whether their outputs are fit for purpose, and why.
  • Whether the use of specific Change Management activities are appropriate, with reasons
  • Whether the Risk Assessment, the use of the Risk Assessment Matrix, Risk Log and planning and controlling of the funds for managing risk are appropriate, with reasons
  • Whether the results of Quantitative Schedule Risk Analysis (QSRA) as displayed
  • Purpose and steps of Monte Carlo analysis, including distribution
  • Identify and apply methods Forensic Analysis and Delay and Disruption Analysis

No prerequisites are necessary for attendance, although delegates would benefit from some experience and understanding of basic planning principles and terminology.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the APMG.