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Determine Project Size

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What it is: Determine Project Size

Description
Sizing a project determines the relative size of a project effort. The size of the project is used to determine the extent to which project management practices are formally applied to the project.

Specific project-sizing guidelines are provided in the “How to” tab. Sizing the project is a ‘best-feel,’ not a scientifically derived factor. The size of the project guides you through the application of project management practices helpful to your project.

Rationale/Purpose
Project management practices help ensure that projects can be completed in a structured fashion – on time, on budget and producing expected results. But one size may not fit all. All projects need a minimum of project management to ensure project success. However, project management process should not overtake the project. When applying the project management practices, you must consider differences in project size. 

Who is involved
DoIT will always provide a project manager and a project sponsor for each project, regardless of project size.  The following table provides guidelines on these roles and possible other roles, which are dependent on project size.

Recommended Project Roles by Project Size

Small

Medium

Large

DoIT project manager (per cent time guideline)

10-20%

10-50%

75-100%

DoIT project sponsor (recommended position)

Group Manager

Group Manager/Director

Director/CIO Representative

Customer liaison

Yes

Yes

Yes

Customer project manager

Optional

Optional

Recommended

Customer sponsor

Optional

Optional

Required

Advisory committee(s)

No

Optional

Recommended

Result
Project size and applicable project management practices to apply to the project.

 

How to: Determine Project Size

 

What to do

How to do it

1

Consider primary factors and impact factors

Apply the Sizing Factors tab to determine the relative size of your project. Remember, these are only guidelines and are initial determining factors. Apply your knowledge and experience too. 

2

Strike a balance

The primary factors and impact factors must be balanced to determine project size. Duration, cost and project team size cannot be the sole factors of project sizing. Typically lengthy, high-cost projects with sizeable project teams will be determined to be large regardless of any specific impact factors.

In contrast, a short-duration, low-cost project can still be technically complex and therefore highly visible to senior management. In this case, applying small-project management practices may not be appropriate. You might adapt your project management approach to include some more formal procedures than would ordinarily be suited for a small project.

The primary factors and impact factors must be balanced to ensure the appropriate level of project management is applied. 

3

Determine project use of Project Management Framework Practices

Using the project size, refer to the project management Framework Guide tab to determine the project management framework practices applicable to your project. The individual write-ups of each framework activity may also provide some guidance as to the level of detail that is necessary.

4

Select PMA navigation preference

For a small project, consider beginning with the PMA Overview link found at the Home Page, left sidebar.

For medium and large projects, consider beginning with the Stage links at the top.

 

Sizing Factors

 

Primary Factors

 

Project Team Size, Duration and Cost

 

Other Factors to Consider

< 5 people
< 3 months
< $50k

~ 5-10 people
~ 3-12 months
~ $50K-$500K

> 10 people
> 12 months
> $500K

Low Impact

  • Minor strategic value
  • Impacts a single business unit
  • Impacts fewer than 25 end users
  • Limited stakeholder/management support
  • Problem and solution are defined and easy to achieve (e.g., consider project size, interrelationship to existing systems, location of the implementation sites)
  • No dependencies on other projects
  • Minor impact on financial revenue, expenses
  • Project Team very familiar with project’s objective and solution (e.g., consider whether project team has ever used a required, new technology)
  • Project Team very familiar with customer and their business
  • Project Manager very familiar with project management practices (e.g., consider familiarity with containing scope creep, meeting firm deadlines)

 

 

 

 

 

small

 

 

 

 

 

small

 

 

 

 

 

medium

Moderate Impact

  • Moderate strategic value
  • Impacts two to four business units
  • Impacts 25 to 250 end users
  • Moderate stakeholder/management support
  • Problem and solution may be somewhat difficult to achieve (e.g., consider project size, interrelationship to existing systems, location of the implementation sites)
  • Minor links to other projects (low impact)
  • Moderate impact on financial revenue, expenses
  • Project Team somewhat familiar with project’s objective and solution (e.g., consider whether project team has ever used a required, new technology)
  • Project Team somewhat familiar with customer and their business
  • Project Manager somewhat familiar with project management practices (e.g., consider familiarity with containing scope creep, meeting firm deadlines)

 

 

 

 

 

small

 

 

 

 

 

medium

 

 

 

 

 

large

High Impact

  • High Strategic value
  • Impacts five or more business units
  • Impacts more than 250 end users
  • Strong stakeholder/management support
  • Problem and solution will be difficult to define and achieve (e.g., consider project size, interrelationship to existing systems, location of the implementation sites)
  • Significant links to other projects
  • Significant impact on financial revenue, expenses
  • Project Team limited or no experience with project’s objective and solution (e.g., consider whether project team has ever used a required, new technology)
  • Project Team limited or no experience with customer and their business
  • Project Manager limited or no experience with project management practices (e.g., consider familiarity with containing scope creep, meeting firm deadlines)

 

 

 

 

 

medium

 

 

 

 

 

large

 

 

 

 

 

large

 

Framework Guide

Key:  R = required, E = Encouraged, O = optional, n/a = not applicable

 

Small

Medium

Large

 

 

 

 

Conceptualize

 

 

 

Define project mission and vision

O

R

R

Establish strategic alignment

n/a

R

R

Identify stakeholders

E

R

R

Define high-level business requirements

E

R

R

Determine feasibility

n/a

R

R

Develop business case

O

R

R

Finalize Project Proposal and Gain Approvals

O

R

R

Deliverable: Project Proposal

Project Proposal/EZ and Very Brief

Project Proposal/Full but Brief

Project Proposal/Full and Detailed

 

 

 

 

Initiate

 

 

 

Define Scope

R

R

R

Define Requirements

R

R

R

Identify High-level Roles

R

R

R

Develop High-Level Milestones/Timeline

R

R

R

Develop High-Level Budget

R

R

R

Identify High-Level Control Strategies

 

 

 

     Communication Strategy

R

R

R

     Quality Management Strategy

R

R

R

     Issue Management Strategy

E

R

R

     Change Management Strategy

E

R

R

     Risk Management Strategy

n/a

R

R

     Procurement Strategy

O

R

R

Finalize Project Charter and Gain Approvals

R

R

R

Deliverable: Project Charter

Project Charter/EZ and Very Brief

Project Charter/Full but Brief

Project Charter/Full and Detailed

 

 

 

 

Plan

 

 

 

Hold Project Kick-Off Meeting

E

R

R

Develop Work Plan

 

 

 

     Develop Work Breakdown
Structure (WBS)

E

R

R

     Develop Project Staffing Plan

E

R

R

     Develop Project Schedule

R

R

R

     Develop Project Budget

R

R

R

Develop Project Control Plan

 

 

 

      Communication Plan

R

R

R

      Quality Management Plan

n/a

R

R

      Issue Management Plan

n/a

R

R

      Change Management Plan

n/a

R

R

      Risk Management Plan

n/a

R

R

      Procurement Plan

O

R

R

      Support Transition Plan

R

R

R

Finalize Project Plan and Gain Approvals

R

R

R

Deliverable: Project Plan

Project Plan/EZ and Very Brief

Project Plan/Full but Brief

Project Plan/Full and Detailed

 

 

 

 

Execute and Control

 

 

 

Hold Execute and Control Kick-Off Meeting

E

R

R

Execute the Project

 

 

 

        Manage Scope and Requirements

R

R

R

        Manage Roles

R

R

R

        Manage Schedule

R

R

R

        Manage Budget

R

R

R

Control the Project

 

 

 

        Manage Communications

R

R

R

        Control Quality

E

R

R

        Control Issues

E

R

R

        Control Change

E

R

R

        Manage Risks

n/a

R

R

        Manage Procurement

O

R

R

Prepare for Support Transition

R

R

R

Accept Project

R

R

R

Deliverable: Executed and Controlled Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close

 

 

 

Transition to Support Organizations

R

R

R

Conduct Post Project Review

E

R

R

Perform Administrative Closeout

E

R

R

Approve Project Closeout

R

R

R

Celebrate!

E

E

E

Deliverable: Closed Project

 

 

 

 

 

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Updated June 15, 2006 - v1.2