1. Introduction

This document is the project plan for the River City Tracking project (RCTP), conducted In Brisbane, Queensland, between February and July 2016.

1.1 How to use this document

Limitations on relative links within Microsoft Word, and a goal to make this project plan portable across storage media, led to a decision to present the document in HTML in the root directory of a directory structure that must stay intact, and documents in those directories that must not be re-named if links are to work correctly.

The table of contents is the floating menu on the right which remains visible at any point in this document. Clicking a heading there will jump to that heading's content in this document.

The design of this page is relatively adaptive, but is best viewed on tablet or desktop/laptop screens.

1.2 Purpose of this document

RCT project plan directory structure
The RCT project plan directory structure.

This project plan is intended to be a modular and re-usable PRINCE2 project plan adapted for relatively small-scale non-profit organisations.

This plan was developed for the River City Tracking Project (RCTP), managed as a Commonwealth Department of Employment (CDE) Jobskills project by Citywide Skills and Services (CSS).

The plan is an evolving document developed by continuous iterations to reflect changing project dynamics.

Project documentation is an overhead that consumes time and effort. This plan reduces that overhead by condensing the necessary planning and governance into as few processes and documentation requirements as approriate to the RCTP environment and scope while still maintaining a disciplined adherence to PRINCE2 principles and themes.

The project plan, and all its attached documentation, represents a distinct project product in itself. It is intended to be a product capable of being adapted to other projects with similar characteristics. Its modular structure is intended to make it easy to change the contents and attachments.

A summary of the project plan sections is given below.

1.3 Document structure

Each section in this plan contains concise information on the RCTP plan, project execution, and governance, somtimes in the asociated appendices.

Hyperlinks in this document refer both to sections within this document, and to separate documents kept in the project directory structure, which must be maintained 'as is' for the links to work.

Project document templates for use in planning and reporting are listed in Appendix 1.

1.4 Project management method

This plan is based on the PRINCE2 project management methodology, adapted to suit the constraints of the RCTP, in line with the PRINCE2 principle that project plans can and should be adapted to match specific organisational capacities and needs.

Section 2 of this plan explains how the PRINCE2 themes and principles have been adapted for the RCTP.

The resourcing dynamics of the RCTP made it likely most project team members would have little or no knowledge of formal project management methods. Since a principal purpose of the project was to develop the skills of the project team members, the project manager added to this document some summaries and pointers to PRINCE2 techniques and methods to be used by the RCTP; these documents are listed in Appendix 2.

1.5 Project scope

The contractual arrangements between CSS and CDE, including budget and other commercial-and-in-confidence details do not form part of this plan.

The business case is therefore expressed as the project scope in Section 3, including its deliverables in relation to the stakeholders, and in the context of the assumptions detailed there.

Associated planning documentation, including product descriptions, stage plans, and work packages, are listed in Appendix 3 and Appendix 5.

1.6 Project organisation

Section 4 of this plan includes details on how project roles were developed and assigned.

Associated documents, including the project organisational chart and position descriptions are listed in Appendix 4.

1.7 Management scope

All consideration of issues related to change, configuration, exception, progress, quality, and risk management are to be combined into a single daily review of all project issues, including the workstack, backlog, and team feedback. Any appropriate reporting will be contained in the project manager's Daily Log (see Appendix 5 for that document).

This entire management scope is to be subject to rebiew and action items deemed appropriate in daily meetings between the project manager and team leaders.

The contraction of these project management functions is made necessary by the limited resources and skills-base available to the project.

2. PRINCE2 project management method

The PRINCE2 project management methodology is an increasingly common standard adopted by Australian and international private and public sector organisations. It has been adopted by RCT because it allows for extensive customisation and simplification to meet the RCTP goals.

However, no matter how simplified the PRINCE2 methodology applied to a project becomes, it must maintain its integrity as a methodology that can still be called PRINCE2 by adhering to seven core principles and themes.

How that integrity has been manitained in this plan is explained in the following two sections.

2.1 The seven principles

Principle How it is applied by RCT
Continued business justification The project financials are beyond the scope of RCTP's project management. The business case in this plan is therefore the statement of scope in Section 3, including an explanation of stakeholder interests and project assumptions.
Learn from experience The entire project team to meet at the end of every day to review the day's activities, share problems, lessons learnt, and suggestions for improvements. Relevant reporting is contained in the reporting documentation listed in Appendix 5.
Defined rôles and responsibilities The RCT project team developed an organisational structure based on project objectives set out in Section 3. The structure is described and illustrated in Section 4, with position descriptions listed in Appendix 4. See Appendix 4 directory contents.
Manage by stages The project goals and products, detailed in Section 3, are broken down into product descriptions, work packages, and stage plans. The RCTP stage plans are contained in a Microsoft Project 2010 file (mpp format) listed in Appendix 3.
Manage by exception Tolerances for cost, time, risk, quality, and scope are limited to specifications detailed in individual product descriptions listed in Appendix 3. Review of these tolerances in daily meetings, and responding appropriately, represents exception management in the RCTP. The dynamics of the RCTP makes exceptions more the rule than a departure from expectations, so the tolerance for exceptions is high. Appropriate reporting is contained in the project manager's Daily Log listed in Appendix 5.
Focus on products Product descriptions are used to define each product's purpose, composition, derivation, format, and the quality and acceptance criteria. The project manager prepared a product planning guide for use by project teams with limited project experience (see Appendix 2. Product descriptions are listed in Appendix 3.
Tailor to suit the project environment How the PRINCE2 method has been adapted to suit the RCTP is explained in the details of this section of the plan itself.

2.2 The seven themes

Theme How it is applied by RCT
The business case The RCTP business case excludes financials and is expressed entirely by the details in Section 3 on project scope. That scope never changed. If it had become unviable, or if it had changed, exception management would have been documented in the reporting documents listed in Appendix 5.
Organisation Project organisation is explained in Section 4, with position descriptions listed in Appendix 4.
Quality Quality and acceptance criteria were written into the product descriptions (see Appendix 3), and revised as necessary after exception reviews at daily team meetings. The project manager prepared a primer on product and quality planning intended to assist project teams with limited project experience. The primer is listed in Appendix 2.
Plans In addition to the management scope already defined in the principles above, stage plans, work package descriptions, and the schedule of timelines and resources are included in Appendix 3. The project manager prepared a guide to drafting work package breakdowns for project team members with limited project experience. It is included in Appendix 2.
Risk Risk management is incorporated into the daily review of the project workstack, and documented, as appropriate, in the project manager's Daily Log listed in Appendix 5.
Change Change management is incorporated in daily team meetings, and documented in reporting documentation as required (see Appendix 5). The project manager prepared a primer on change management methods for project team members with limited change management experience (listed in Appendix 2). .
Progress Progress management is to be carried out in daily team meetings by comparing relevant plans and schedules with actual performance. Appropriate details of planning or scheduling changes are to be included in the Microsoft project plan and the project manager's daily log as appropriate. these documents are listed in Appendix 5.

3. Project Scope

The project sponsors and board have excluded project budget management and specific metrics from project management. Therefore the following details on the project scope stand in for the business case and the success factors.

3.1 Background

Project sponsors and the board have determined that there is currently a gap in tourism information materials about Brisbane's outer suburbs along the Brisbane River. By providing tourists and residents additional information about attractions, historical background, and other information about these suburbs, the RCTP hopes to highlight the unique features of these areas, making them more attractive and accessible as destinations for day visits.

To achieve these outcomes, the RCTP aims to produce a functioning Android app, a website, and a print publication to deliver informative and entertaining content relating to suburbs along the Brisbane River accessible via the City Cat ferry route from Hamilton to UQ St Lucia, and within walking distance from the City Cat terminals.

The project includes developing and implementing this project plan, developing and improving relevant skills of the project team members, a launch event, and an auction of art pieces if produced by project team members, with proceeds being donated to Mimi's House (a local charity which assists disadvantaged youths).

3.2 Objectives

  • To produce and deliver an app, website, and print publication.
  • To organise and stage a launch event for the above products.
  • The products are to promote Brisbane's riverside suburbs to tourists by highlighting unique experiences, and cultural and historical information relating to those suburbs and their communities.
  • The project is to develop a modular and customisable project plan suitable for re-use by adaptation.
  • The project is to develop and sharpen the individual, teamwork, and project skills of team members.

3.3 Benefits and stakeholders

3.3.1 Citywide Skills & Services

As the key stakeholder and client, Citywide Skills & Services is the custodian of all project materials.

3.3.2 Help Enterprises

Project volunteers work in conjunction with Help Enterprises as a part of the Job Active initiative. Drafted and volunteer staff of the project will develop skills and improve their résumés and job application skills while working on the project, thus enhancing their employment prospects.

3.3.3 Local Business Operators

One of the primary goals of the River City Tracking promotion is to attract more tourists to locations outside the Brisbane CBD. Local businesses within the in-scope suburbs may see benefits from additional business provided by tourists.

3.3.4 Mimi's House

Proceeds from an auction of any art produced by project participants, held at the launch event, will be donated to the charity Mimi’s House in order to help it with the costs required for projects benefiting local youth.

3.3.5. Tourists

Through this project tourists will be provided with unique information to make their visits to Brisbane more meaningful and personal by offering otherwise unhighlighted information about places to visit while in Brisbane.

3.3.6 Local residents

Local residents may also benefit from this project as it will highlight local colour, culture, and history.

3.3.7 Project team members

Team members are expected to benefit from skills development, experience of project management, and exposure to leadership responsibilities.

3.4 Organisational requirements

3.4.1 Time

The project will be developed over 6 months with the launch event scheduled for 20 July 2016.

Information about project planning and timelines is listed in the Appendices.

3.4.2 Equipment

Each team working on the project will require software, hardware, and equipment suitable for the professional completion of tasks, mirroring industry standards. Team leaders will identify the resource requirements for their teams and report back to the project manager and project board to pursue necessary acquisitions.

3.5 Assumptions

The RCTP proceeds on good faith under the assumption that project funding will continue to its end, and that project team members will contribute according to their abilities.

3.6 Exclusions

Project funding and resourcing, including staffing, are beyond the scope of the project management since they cannot be controlled.

Staff turnover represents a major risk to the success of the project, but it is proposed that every team member lost to employment should count as an alternate success factor.

Project deliverables are subject to the necessary resources and skills availability. Limitations on project success due to unexpected resource fluctuation will be reported as mitigating factors.

4. Project Organisation

4.1 Approach

  1. Develop the project plan, including product descriptions, management processes, work packages and deliverables, timelines, and position descriptions.
  2. Assign project rôles.
  3. Conduct research and analysis.
  4. Produce deliverables (described in the product descriptions) to the timelines and other criteria detailed in product plans, work packages, stage plans and the schedule listed in the Appendices.
  5. Report on progress in line with the project plan techniques described in Section 2 and the reporting documents listed in Appendix 5.
  6. Organise the best feasible marketing, sponsorship, and launch event to showcase the project products.
  7. Deliver a project closing report meeting the criteria of its product description as listed in Appendix 3.

4.2 Responsibilities

The project participants will develop necessary project position descriptions designed to deliver the project products. Participants will apply for these positions with conventional job applications.

The organisational chart listed in Appendix 4 shows an initial RCTP organisational chart with assigned responsibilities. Project participant turnover and stage plans will make the organisational chart fluid below team leader level, with participants re-assigned to project rôles as required by project priorities.

4.2.1 Position descriptions

Each project rôle has an associated position description listed in Appendix 4 for which project staff will formally apply as for any other job.

5. Management scope

To reduce complexity and administrative overhead, the separate PRINCE2 functions of change, configuration, exception, quality, stage, and risk management have been combined as a fixed agenda item of daily meetings between the project manager and team leaders.

These responsibilities will be carried out in assessing the daily progress of the project, including the documentation that will establish the project products definitions and quality criteria.

The close proximity and working arrangements for the RCTP enable the project manager to meet daily with the project board to pass on feedback from the teams and make project status reports verbally, as well as to receive guidance and instructions. Much of this interaction will be undocumented. However, reporting documents include the project manager's Daily Log, the progress report sections of the weekly Team Agenda presentations, and project close reporting, all listed in Appendix 5.

6. Appendices

6.1 Appendix 1: Project templates

6.2 Appendix 2: Methods & techniques

6.3 Appendix 3: Product planning

To reduce duplication and administrative overhead, many product descriptions were incorporated into work package descriptions, which include consideration of quality and other tolerances.

Significant but undocumented project products included this project plan and project team members themselves.

The product description of the plan is this document in itself. Its work package and associated planning is the work by the project manager in adapting and condensing the PRINCE2 methodology to suit the purposes of the RCTP.

The product description and work packages for the upskilling of project team members is contained in the position descriptions, and in the mentoring, coaching, and training provided by the project manager and the project board.

The documentary evidence of skills development is contained principally in the project manager's team agenda briefings listed in Appendix 5 (see below). However, substantial personal and undocumented efforts were also made by the project manager and project board to provide individual advice, assistance, counselling, coaching, and training.

Other product descriptions can be accessed in Microsoft Word docx format —

The work package descriptions can be accessed in Microsoft Word docx format —

 

6.4 Appendix 4: Organisation


RCT organisational structure in may 2016.
Click image for enlarged view.

High turnover of project participants and variable skill levels made human resource organisation below the team leader level permanently transitional during much of the project lifecycle. The last stable organisational chart was prepared in May 2016 and is displayed at the left.

Even if some project rôles were in permanent flux, the chart indicates that there was a clear organisational structure in place to provide stable lines of authority for governance and the escalation of any exception management or human resources problems.

The structure supported a project in which the research team was responsible for researching and writing content for an android app, website, and print publication. That work was conducted with instructions not to plagiarise sources, and to deliver original content.

The structure grouped together developers of the content-bearing products into a production team which experienced high turnover and required ad-hoc resourcing from available participants, including from the project manager.

An events team rounded out the major groupings, working to consider event coordination for the product launch, media management, social media marketing, sponsorship, and post event follow-up.

Special support functions were also incorporated into the structure to accommodate skills and up-skilling requests from paryicipants. These included photography and administrative and IT support functions.

,

While planning was as collaborative as feasible, governance was provided the project manager and project board. The project manager also assumed responsibilities for mentoring, coaching, some IT infrastructure and back-office functions, and filling in for absent team leaders as necessary.

Position descriptions for project roles below the project board level were developed. They are listed below and link to Microsoft Word (docx) documents.

6.5 Appendix 5: Project planning & reporting

PRINCE2 project planning guidelines were collaboratively customised by the project team to suit team skill levels and to reduce administrative overheads. The result was a principal focus on product descriptions and aligned work packages (see Appendix 3 above).

Stage planning was combined with project resource and timeline planning in Microsoft Project, created by the project manager, but maintained and updated by the team leaders. The Microsoft Project (mpp format) file can be accessed here: RCT Project Plan.

The project manager's daily log is also the proxy for PRINCE2 checkpoint, exception, highlight and issue reports for the RCT project. The log is accesible in MS Word docx format and PDF format.

Configuration management was reduced to a minimum but included an inventory of available computer resources in MS Excel xlsx format.

To reduce administrative overhead and unnecessary complexity, project progress reporting was often informal, carried out in daily meetings between the project manager, the team leaders, and the project board. Strategic progress reporting was incorporated into weekly briefing sessions by the project manager, called team agendas, and listed below.

These team agenda briefings were designed by the project manager to function as the vehicles for significant coaching and training content and context-setting.

 

15-16 March 2016: Project team briefing by project manager on tasks and progress; workspace re-configuration; escalation paths | docx format.

22 March 2016: Project team briefing by project manager on tasks and progress; seeking completion of product descriptions and start to work package documentation; succession planning by appointing second-in-charge (2iCs); multiskilling by partnering on all tasks; file server created; reminder to problem-solve and escalate only when options have been identified | docx format.

23 March 2016: repeat of previous day's briefing, plus project history to date for different group of project participants | docx format.

29 March 2016: Project team briefing recapping project history; workstack progress review and reminders; teamwork briefing | docx format agenda items | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | Slide deck pdf format.

29 March 2016: Separate project support team member briefing to address configuration management inventory of available PCs and build of a special design PC with Adobe software | docx format.

29 March 2016: Separate team leader meeting to explain tghe need for 2iCs, understanding team member needs and aptitudes, making sure disagreements are taken offline, design and maintain coherent file structure for file server | docx format.

8 April 2016: Project team briefing on project history to date, using MS Project for stage and other resource planning, teamwork dynamics and the importance of understanding personality, creative friction and conflict resolution | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

12 April 2016: Project team briefing re-capping progress, outlining tasks ahead, discussing fear of change and how to overcome it, identifying Kübler-Ross pattern | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

13 April 2016: Agenda for meeting with team leaders regarding project progress, and Product Team leader to resolve Publications Officer difficulties | MS Word docx format.

26 April 2016: Project team briefing recapping change management, contextualising change with maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, recapping project progress, instructions for execution phase, milestones, content creation process | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

3 May 2016: Project team briefing emphasising need to boost productivity to meet deadlines, outlining tasks ahead for events, product, and research teams, explaining Deming continuous improvement cycle, situational leadership, and leadership dimensions in an Australian context | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

10 May 2016: Project team briefing recapping progress, introducing SMART daily KPIs, advising on content tone and diction, recapping leadership in context of Hudson model, explain STAR model for résumés | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

17 May 2016: Project team briefing recapping progress, explaining editorial vetting process for content, explaining models for professional development and codes of conduct in an Australian context, expolaining double-loop learning and probelm solving | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

24 May 2016: Project team briefing on project progress and KPI milestones, transition and handover plans, explaining matrix and and silo team structures, benefits of cross and multi-skilling in an Australian context | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

1 June 2016: Project team briefing about document backup process changes, saving work regularly to the file share, professional behaviour and organisational cultures | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

7 June 2016: Project team briefing recapping project progress, offering guidance on updating quality criteria and configuration management, updating resource plans, developing handover plans, and completing project evaluations at the end of stage plans | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

14 June 2016: Project team briefing recapping project progress and current workstack, discussing professional ethics and critical thinking | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

17 June 2016: Project team briefing recapping progress and current workstack, discussing professional behaviours and development, innovation and critical thinking | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

21 June 2016: Project team briefing on teamwork feedback, highlighting benefits of development and up-skilling, explaining the Dunning-Kruger effect and empathy, highlighting critical thinking and problem solving, emphasising fast-approaching project deadlines | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

22 June 2016: Project team briefing reiterating KPIs, time wasters and time management, urgency of approaching deadlines | PowerPoint presentation slide deck pptx format | slide deck pdf format.

6.5.1 Project close reporting

Project benefits review forms were completed by about two thirds of the longer term project team members. These can be found in Appendix 5. The feedback encapsulated in those forms complements the group evaluation conducted by the project board. Both are taken into account in the project manager's End Project Report, which contains the project manager's own evaluation.

Document Control
Created by: Peter Strempel Date: 28 February 2016
Last Amended by: Peter Strempel. Project close details and HTML conversion. Date: 20 July 2016
Approved by: Project Board Date: 20 July 2016