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Project Approach: 10 Areas to Consider When Planning a Project


Many organizations have a section in their Project Charter for the project approach. The approach describes the overall thinking of how the project is structured and why it is structured that way.

There are two benefits to creating an approach section. First, this information will help the sponsor and stakeholders understand how the project will progress and why.The other benefit of the project approach is that it allows the project manager and project team to lay out a high-level vision for project execution and use this vision to help create the detailed plans.  

10 Areas to Consider When Discussing Project Approach

The following sections describe the type of information in the approach. Some of this information may be available elsewhere, but it is in the approach section that you tie everything together for the benefit of the reader.

  1. Discuss whether any broader company initiatives or strategies impact the structure of this project.
  2. Identify any constraints or time-boxes in terms of budget, effort, time or quality, and the impact to the project.
  3. Describe other options for the overall approach and why you chose the options you did over the others. Note why you think this approach has the best chance of success over the others.
  4. Talk about how the deliverables will be supported and maintained after the project ends. Also indicate whether the approach was influenced by support and maintenance implications.
  5. Discuss any other related projects that are completed, in progress or pending that influenced the approach for this project and why.
  6. Discuss, at a high level, how the project will progress from start to end and the inter-dependencies between the high-level phases and stages.
  7.  Discuss any techniques that might be of interest to the reader. For instance, if the requirements will be gathered in a three-day Joint Application Design (JAD) session, you can note this in the approach.
  8. Note whether new technology or new processes are being utilized and why.
  9. Identify any unusual staffing requirements, such as consultants or outside specialists, and explain why you need them.
  10. Describe the use of outsourcers, contractors or vendors, especially if they are doing significant work.

If you understand these 10 concepts, then you and your team will have a great approach to Project Charter. If you would like to learn more about being a successful project manager, feel free to take advantage of our free whitepaper on the Six Driver of Successful Project Management. 

Six Key Drivers of Successful Project Management

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