VISUAL: “Projects” landing page https://www.rmit.edu.au/staff/services-and-tools/professional-services/projects
Hello and welcome to the virtual projects induction. This induction will take us through the Projects staff site pages which provides the frameworks, processes tools, templates and more required for projects.
This particular induction is suitable for Project Managers, Project Sponsors, and anyone else who has a role to play in projects at RMIT. Now, before we begin I will show you how you access the pages via the staff site
VISUAL: Clicking on “Staff” tab at top of RMIT page.
Then clicking on “Service and tools” in left hand menu.
Then clicking on “Professional Services” in left hand menu.
Then clicking on “Projects” in left hand menu.
Then clicking on “Projects” in left hand menu again to view “Projects” landing page.
So, to begin we’ll go to the staff site home page and on the left-hand side menu you go to Service and tools, within Service and tools you go to Professional services, and then within Professional services you will find the Projects page.
So, we’ll just click on Projects and that will take us to the landing page for the Projects pages. Now, through this session we’ll go through each one of these items here on the left-hand side, which are also then replicated in the boxes below.
VISUAL: On the “Projects” landing page, scrolling down to “Do you have a project idea?” at the bottom of the page.
Before we begin in regard to initiatives and if you have a project idea please speak with your manager to discuss the initiative and if its agreed to progress, consult with your local planning office who will then be able to bring the idea forward to the Concept process. If you’re unsure as to who to contact please feel free to contact the Portfolio Governance and Performance team, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now before we begin, a point I’d like to make is whenever referencing any of the materials or templates via the staff site, that you always access these items from the staff site just to ensure that you have the most recent and up to date versions. Instead of potentially recycling for example an old template that you may have used on a previous project.
VISUAL: Clicking on “Project Governance Roles” page from left hand menu.
Ok so let’s begin. So, to start with we’ve got the Project Governance Roles page. So, on this page you’ll find information and tools that’ll support staff in critical project governance roles. So, if we come a little bit further down here we’ve got committed sections for Project Sponsor, Project Control Group which is also known as the PCG, and Project Managers.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Sponsor” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
As an example, if we have a look at the Project Sponsor section, in here you’ll find a description which explains the accountabilities and responsibilities of a project sponsor and then in each of the sections you’ll find a More information section which will provide specific materials that will support people in that role. Some useful items to refer to here for example would be the Sponsor Handbook and tools like the Sponsor Self-Assessment.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Project Control Group (PCG)” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
Which we also have in the Project Manager space and in the PCG space there is also a Project Control Group Handbook which provides guidance to PCG members.
VISUAL: Clicking on “Managing a project” page from left hand menu.
Moving on from there, we will move onto the Managing a project page. So, the Managing a project page will detail key things that you need to know in order to manage a project.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Project Minimum Standards” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
We’ll start with the Project minimum standards. So, the minimum standards are applicable to all projects based on the attributes described in the link here, which is the Project minimum standards and any exceptions to the applicability criteria must be approved by the Director of PGP.
VISUAL: Clicking on link called “Project Minimum Standards PDF”
So, the minimum standards are a single page reference that will highlight what is required at a minimum for all projects. These items are detailed in the latter sections of the Managing a project page, which we’ll go through now.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Project Framework” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
Ok, so next we have the Project Framework. So, the project framework outlines the key phases of a project and brings together the funding, governance, project management activities, tools and templates. So, basically the project framework brings together common standards and establishes common terminology across projects at RMIT, and more importantly provides repeatable and fit for purpose processes, tools and templates. So, this is quite important to ensure that we have that consistency across the RMIT portfolio of projects which also enhances decision making and reduces any risks or issues around projects and increase our confidence in project delivery. It also assures compliance and enforces good governance of investment spend.
VISUAL: Clicking on link called “Project Framework PDF”, and talking to sections in the Project Framework.
So, I’ll open up the project framework now, which we’ll have a look at briefly. So, we have here the five phases of the project framework and for each phase there’s a call out of key funding, governance and project activities. There’s also a representation here of the RMIT Phases of Change which is based on RMITs Change Model for which you can find more information in the Change Hub. So, there’s a link here to the change hub but you can also find that through the Professional services menu under Change Hub.
As we come further down, there’s also reference here to specialised governance and activities, and this is those that are stipulated through RMIT partners. So, for any project that is delivered in RMIT obviously there’ll need to be engagement for most from other RMIT partnering areas, examples of those are Information Technology Services ITS; the Property Services Group which is PSG; procurement; legal; human resources, etc. So, the RMIT Project Framework provides the minimum mandatory requirements, processes and tools for projects. Whereas within RMIT partnering areas they will also have specific government requirements, sorry governance requirements, artefacts, activities that are required for those subject matter areas.
As we come further down we have the project sizing definitions. So, this is a high-level structure that defines a project size and this will then inform things like the governance structure of a project, which we have in this Governance by project sizing table below. Also, it’ll inform requirements in terms of project artefacts, for which there’s a summary view here and then we also have a Project Artefact Requirements listing. Which we’ll have a look at in a moment, which provides further detail and then you have the project standards which is applicable to all projects.
So, just as a summary the project standards for all projects are inclusive of the Project minimum standards, you have your standard project controls so they’re areas like standard risk management, issue management, schedule management, etc. And then there’s also the PPM tool so the PPM tool is the Universities tool for project management, governance and reporting. And this provides an enterprise view of RMIT’s portfolio of projects and ensures that project and reporting are run in a consistent way. So, all projects that come through that concept process and are identified as a project, are registered in the PPM tool and need to be maintained and managed by the owners of those spaces which generally will be the project manager throughout the life of the project.
If we come a little further up we’ll just briefly go over each of the phases to provide some context as to what they are. So, the first phase is the Concept phase. The Concept phase is where initiative’s come through a front door process and that front door process is basically a peer review of key representatives within RMIT, who will effectively validate the initiative and any benefits that seek to be claimed through that initiative and they’ll also prioritise and sequence a backlog of initiatives, that need to be looked at. If a project progresses through the Concept phase, it will move into the Initiate phase.
The Initiate phase is effectively, I guess the engagement and understanding of stakeholders and who needs to be involved to further look at the solution that needs to be delivered to address the problem or the opportunity. And it is through this engagement that we start looking at what are the requirements in order to develop a business case. To seek approval of the whole of life investment against the benefits that are stated. So, during this stage is where you will engage RMIT partners and other key stakeholders which will inform that analysis, estimates, plan activities, etc.
In the Initiate phase if it is determined by those people that are involved that there is a level of funding required to do those detailed planning activities, in order to achieve a business case. That funding must be sought for approval via a Project Brief. If there is no funding required and the activities can be done without an incurred cost, then the project will progress to the Plan phase. So, just again a reminder if there is funding required, funding must be approved in order to commence Plan phase activities.
When we move into the Plan phase, they key outcome here is to ensure that we understand the benefits and that we build the business case and plan the project. So, here is where we do the detailed requirements type work, look at the preferred option, understand the costs, the estimates, the engagement, but more importantly we also need to ensure that we clearly articulate and define the expected benefits against this investment.
We also during this phase will start developing project plans and this is where the Project Management Plan will start to come together, and through the assignment of the Project Manager and the project team there’ll be an understanding about what types of methods or approach will be used to deliver the solution. All of this work will come together to build the business case, which will then be used to define the baseline for what’s approved. So, the business case approves the commitment to investment and also commits to the benefits of that investment. Once the business case is approved we then move into the Deliver phase.
So, in the Deliver phase we’re delivering the preferred option and throughout that phase we’re also ensuring that the investment is still aligned and the outcomes of the project or the outputs of the project are still aligned to the original investment, in order to achieve the benefits that need to be realised. Once the solution is delivered we then move into the Complete phase.
So, in the Complete phase we’re basically wrapping up the project. Through that process you’ll be capturing lessons learned, if required running Post Implementation Review workshops and finalising the project. During that time the project team will be disbanded, as well as any other governance structures that have been built specifically for the project, like a PCG. It is also at this time any residual risks, issues or tasks are being handed over to BAU, and then the benefits realisation will remain with the Benefit Owners, as it is during the life of the project and thereafter, and they’ll continue to track benefits realisation as they were stated throughout the life of the project. So, that’s the project framework at a high level and like I said this indicates what is required as a minimum for all enterprise projects.
VISUAL: Clicking on link called “Project Artefact Requirements PDF”
Ok, moving on here we’ve got the Project Artefact Requirements listing. So, the Project Artefact Requirements list now details further for each of the minimum artefacts, who’s required to review, endorse and approve. Now it should be noted, that here we state the minimum by role as to who needs to be involved in those decisions. You will need to consult with your local PMO, RMIT Partners, Sponsor etc., if there are any additional people that need to be involved in these decisions. So, as you can see if we look at the Business Case here as an example, it identifies that at a minimum the Business Owner, College/Portfolio Finance Partner, Project Control Group members, Director of PGP, need to endorse all Business Cases, and then we also have some notifications here if the whole of life investment is greater than a certain value, it may need to go through some other paths as its associated with the project funding.
Also, what you’ll see in this listing is either a tick for mandatory, which states that it is an absolute requirement. Where you have the asterixis, its required where applicable to the project. So, if we just refer back to the example of the Project Brief. A Project Brief will only be required if there is a need for plan funding, in order to develop a business case. If there is no need for a budget to be made available in order to do that plan phase work, a Project Brief would not be required.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Project funding Project Framework” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
Ok, next down here we’ve got the Project funding approval, so the reason we have this represented here is because, it is absolutely critical for the path of approval to be understood in relation to project funding. So, the two main things to keep in mind is to ensure that the appropriate endorsers and approvers are identified and also to ensure that approval is valid. So, when you are understanding who needs to endorse and approve, you just want to understand upfront and quite early who they are so that they’re appropriately engaged and have sufficient time available to provide those decisions for the project funding.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Project Variations” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
Moving along we’ve got Project Variations. So, project variations are where there are material changes to a project against the approved scope, cost, schedule and benefits.
VISUAL: Clicking on link called “Project Variation Types”
In this attachment here, Project Variation Types, it just explains the types of variations that can exist for a project, a description of those and who’s required to approve.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Project Status – Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
Next, we’ve got the Project Status Key Performance Indicators. So, projects are required to report at a minimum monthly on their project status and in some instances, that may be more regular. So, within certain areas there may be a need for fortnightly reporting, but the standard is at a minimum monthly reporting. The project status reporting is done via the PPM tool, and when reporting on a project status there are a number of Key Performance Indicators that are reported on.
VISUAL: Clicking on link called “Project Status KPIs”
So, in this attachment here, you’ll find a description for each of those Key Performance Indicators and how to assess whether they’re On Track, On Watch or Troubled. What you’ll also see here is a highlighting of those that are automated. So, these are Key Performance Indicators that are calculated by the PPM tool, whereas the others are manually selected when it’s time to report on the project.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Project Controls” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
Next, we’ve got the Project Controls. So, the project controls are the application of control processes in common formats to assist with reporting and also efficient management and decision making.
VISUAL: Clicking on link called “Project Controls Overview PDF”
The Project Controls Overview document provides a on a page view of each of these control areas and I’ll just move along to an example here. So basically, what you’ll see for each is an overview which describes the control, also some hints and tips and links to key information related to that control area, and a high-level process flow. In some instances, you may find some additional guiding principles or information, like we have here for Financial Management. Which will provide some more content and context around that particular control area.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Project templates” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
Next, we have the Project templates. So, these are the templates that are referred to in the Project Framework. So, they’re represented by phase, and then you’ve got the template link for each to access the actual template, and then there’s the description and links to supporting materials. I would like to highlight some important guidelines that are here that should be referenced. For example, when developing your Business Case, I would strongly suggest that the Business Case Guidelines are read prior to completing the business case and also referred to during the development of the Business Case. To ensure that you have sufficient guidance on what is required and how to complete that particular template. And then we also have guidelines for the Post Implementation Review and Close Report, to support that process as well.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Project & Portfolio Management Tool – Project Online” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
Next, is the Project and Portfolio Management Tool, which is Project Online. As we mentioned earlier the PPM tool is the University tool that is set up for all projects. So, there is a committed space set up for each project, that Project Managers need to maintain for the life of the project. To request access for Project Online, we’ve got the steps outlined here and that’s requested via ServiceNow. In relation to Project Online Support, here you’ll find who you can contact for support in your respective areas, and then you can access Project Online through this link here. But please note that you will need to have sufficient access set up for that.
VISUAL: Clicking on “+” for “Lessons Learned” heading to expand and display details within that heading.
Next, we have the Lessons Learned. So, Lessons Learned are captured by the PGP team, and we have a Lessons Learned Register that’s available here that will be updated on a regular basis and this register can be used by all project managers, sponsors or delivery teams to learn from projects in the past and lessons that they may need to consider as they move forward with theirs.
VISUAL: Clicking on “Governance, reporting & key dates” page from left hand menu.
Ok, next we’ve got the Governance, reporting and key dates. So, here you’ll find information around particular governance forums and any key dates that are specific to projects. Currently we have the Project Approval Meeting Submission Timeline. So, the Project Approval Meeting is a specific governance forum, set up for projects and were project business cases for example come for approval. There is a terms of reference for both the Project Approval Meeting, and then there’s also the Project Portfolio Governance forums, which oversees the status of the overall RMIT project portfolio. So, again the timelines are quite important here, as particularly if it contributes to your project funding approval path. So, it’s important to reference these timelines when putting together that approval path for key outputs. For example, like a business case or potential project variation requests.
VISUAL: Clicking on “Benefits Management” page from left hand menu.
Lastly, we have the Benefits Management page. So, benefits management is the identification, definition, planning, tracking and realisation of benefits. It’s basically one of the key reasons why we run projects and we need to ensure that our investment is aligned to the realisation of benefits. In here you’ll find an overview of the benefit fundamentals and the 3 key components to benefit realisation. You’ll also find here the full Benefits Management and Realisation Process. This is useful material to be referenced by people in the role of for example Benefit Owners, Project Managers and Project Sponsors.
VISUAL: Clicking on “Projects” page from left hand menu.
So that is the introduction, I guess to the Projects staff site pages and key information that you need. When you are starting a project please refer to this site to help support your process and refer to the Project Framework to ensure that appropriate compliance and measures are in place, throughout the life of the project. Again, if you have any questions or require support please refer to your local Project Management Office and that’s your local PMO or alternatively if you need to be pointed in the right direction, feel free to contact the Portfolio Governance and Performance team at any time via email and that’s at email@example.com.
Thank you for your time.
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