Planning

Project Management Plan

The project management plan describes how the team will execute, monitor, control, and close the project. While it has some unique information, it is primarily comprised of all the subsidiary management plans and the baselines. The project management plan combines all this information into a cohesive and inte- grated approach to managing the project. Typical information includes:

  • Selected project life cycle
  • Development approach for key deliverables
  • Variance thresholds
  • Baseline management
  • Timing and types of reviews

The project management plan contains plans for managing all the Knowledge Areas as well as specific aspects of the project that require special focus. These take the form of subsidiary management plans and can include:

  • Change management plan
  • Scope management plan
  • Schedule management plan
  • Requirements management plan
  • Cost management plan
  • Quality management plan
  • Resource management plan
  • Communications management plan
  • Risk management plan
  • Procurement management plan
  • Stakeholder engagement plan

The project management plan also contains baselines. Common baselines include:

  • Scope baseline
  • Schedule baseline
  • Cost baseline
  • Performance measurement baseline (an integrated baseline that includes scope, schedule, and cost)

In addition, any other relevant, project-specific information that will be used to manage the project is recorded in the project management plan.

The project management plan can receive information from all the subsidiary management plans and baselines. Because it is the foundational document for managing the project it also provides information to all subsidiary plans. In addition, the project management plan provides information to all other integration processes.

The project management plan is an output from the process 4.2 Develop Project Management Plan in the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition. This document is developed as the initial project planning is con- ducted, and then it is not usually changed unless there is a significant change in the charter, environment, or scope of the project. 

Tailoring tips

Consider the following tips to help tailor the project management plan to meet your needs:

  • For large and complex projects, each subsidiary management plan will likely be a separate standalone In this case you may present your project management plan as a shell with just information on the life cycle, development approach, and key reviews, and then provide a link or reference to the more detailed subsidiary management plans.
  • For smaller projects, a project roadmap that summarizes the project phases, major deliverables, milestones, and key reviews may be sufficient.
  • You will likely have additional subsidiary management plans that are relevant to the nature of your project, such as a technology management plan, a logistics management plan, a safety management plan, and so forth.

Alignment

The project management plan should be aligned and consistent with the following documents:

  • All subsidiary management plans
  • Project roadmap
  • Milestone list
Document element   Description
Project life cycle Describe the life cycle that will be used to accomplish the project. This may include the following:
  • Name of each phase
  • Key activities for the phase
  • Key deliverables for the phase
  • Entry criteria for the phase
  • Exit criteria for the phase
  • Key reviews for the phase
Development approaches Document the specific approach you will take to create key deliverables. Common approaches include predictive approaches, where the scope is known and stable; and adaptive approaches, where the scope is evolving and subject to change. It may also include iterative or incremental development approaches.
Subsidiary management plans List the subsidiary management plans that are part of the project management plan. This can be in the form of a “table of contents,” links to electronic copies of the subsidiary plans, or a list of the other plans that should be considered part of the project management plan, but are separate documents.
Scope variance threshold Define acceptable scope variances, variances that indicate a warning, and variances that are unacceptable. Scope variance can be indicated by the features and functions that are present in the end product, or the performance metrics that are desired.
Scope baseline management Describe how the scope baseline will be managed, including responses to acceptable, warning, and unacceptable variances. Define circumstances that would trigger preventive or corrective action and when the change control process would be enacted. Define the difference between a scope revision and a scope change. Generally, a revision does not require the same degree of approval that a change does. For example, changing the color of something is a revision; changing a function is a change.
Schedule variance threshold Define acceptable schedule variances, variances that indicate a warning, and variances that are unacceptable. Schedule variances may indicate the percent of variance from the baseline or they may include the amount of float used or whether any schedule reserve has been used.
Schedule baseline management Describe how the schedule baseline will be managed, including responses to acceptable, warning, and unacceptable variances. Define circumstances that would trigger preventive or corrective action and when the change control pro- cess would be enacted.
Cost variance threshold Define acceptable cost variances, variances that indicate a warning, and variances that are unacceptable. Cost variances may indicate the percent of variance from the baseline, such as 0–5 percent, 5–10 percent, and greater than 10 percent.
Cost baseline management Describe how the cost baseline will be managed, including responses to acceptable, warning, and unacceptable variances. Define circumstances that would trigger preventive or corrective action and when the change control pro- cess would be enacted.
Baselines Attach all project baselines.