Project Implementation Methodology

The following describes the Project Implementation Methodology employed by Rifle-Shot in the implementation of projects. This methodology is based on recognized Project Management principles, drawing particularly on PMBOK and the Prince2 methodology and the world-class tool infrastructure that Rifle-Shot has invested in.

Customer projects are either stand-alone or more often part of a multi-phased portfolio of business improvement interventions covering a single or multiple sites. Where multiple sites are envisaged it is usually desirable to establish a base blueprint for the company and for this to be tested in one or more pilot sites before being rolled out across the organisation. The benefits of a common blueprint far outweigh the time and effort to establish in the roll-out phase.

Where complex business transformation is envisaged, it is desirable to split the project into defined phases with milestones and goals and run these as a portfolio of projects.

Each project is divided into a number of processes or phases, each phase having its own identity and characteristics, the respective phases are:

Initiation Phase

Planning phase

Control phase

Execution phase

Project closing phase

A Project Schedule is compiled detailing activities within each phase with activity duration, start and end dates of each activity, and resources allocated to each of the activities. The above diagram is applicable to the overall project, as well as to individual activities or key deliverables within a project.

Initiation Phase and Scoping

The project initiation phase comprises an initial meeting, sometimes called a project kick-off meeting, with the client on contract award. During this meeting a number of project related issues are discussed and documented, normally in a document called a Project Charter.

In a complex environment it is particularly important to identify the detailed scope of the project, the needs and desires of the organisation, and any gaps between these and the capabilities of the technology solution.  During this stage, personnel evaluate the current position of the various business units (as is); identify the desired state (to be) and the gap. Process, people and existing technologies are also evaluated, and an appropriate change management program (we recommend Rifle-Shot BAGTM) is developed to run alongside the implementation of the technology.

Scoping provides us with the first opportunity to understand detail of customer specific issues, and objectives in incorporating your competitive advantage. It provides us with insight of process changes required, of the availability of personnel, of the level of change management that is necessary during the full lifetime of the project. All of these factors need to be considered in planning and executing a project on time and within budget.

Part of the scoping exercise includes a review of existing training, hardware and communications infrastructure.

The duration of the implementation is dependent on a variety of factors including availability of resources and the level of complexity of the processes within the business.

Outputs of the scoping phase are a detailed project plan and a firm project budget. The completion of the scoping provides customer management with an informed opinion regarding the project, and offers them a go/no go opportunity.

The following items are discussed, agreed upon and documented in the Project Plan:

  • Project overview, goals and objectives
  • The project organisation and structure, including roles and responsibilities of each project member
  • Project status meetings, frequency and participants
  • Project target milestones (key deliverables)
  • Project risks
  • Project logs
  • Training and skills transfer
  • Quality Assurance
  • Maintenance and Support
  • Change management procedures
  • Acceptance/sign-off of key deliverables

The initial, high level Project Plan and major deliverables is shown above. This is sample data, which will be finalised at the end of scoping phase and Business Blueprint.

Planning Phase

The project planning phase results in the completion of the Project Schedule and resource planning and allocation. A Project Schedule form is compiled showing detailed activities, with durations and resource allocations. A critical path is normally shown if the project is resource driven, especially with time as a major constraint.

The following items are addressed in the planning phase:

  • Project activity planning
  • Project activity scheduling
  • Organisational and resource planning
  • Procurement planning
  • Communications planning
  • Risk identification, quantification and management
  • Training and Skills transfer planning
  • Quality planning

During the planning phase, decisions will be taken concerning which of various options are taken (for example project planning or labour and resources) based on the functionality required together with incremental cost, or possibly cost savings could be obtained. Decisions are also taken concerning sequencing of the business units to be implemented, of existing software that requires interfaces into the proposed solution, and of the efficiencies that are obtained by so doing.

Execution Phase

The project execution phase comprises the implementation of the items detailed under planning above. This is when design, engineering, testing and commissioning activities are executed.

The following items are addressed in the execution phase:

  • Project plan execution
  • Project schedule execution
  • Activity execution
  • Quality assurance
  • Project communications

Control Phase

The project control phase comprises of the measurement of activities against the project schedule, and the recording of any variances to these. Variances that could affect the project delivery negatively are given urgent attention (they are referred back to the planning phase) and the necessary planning done or actions taken to restore project delivery as originally planned, if possible.

The following items are addressed in the execution phase:

  • Change control
  • Schedule control
  • Quality control
  • Risk control
  • Cost control
  • Performance reporting

Project Closing or Key Deliverable Acceptance Phase

The project-closing phase comprises activities to bring a project to completion. It is also applicable to the acceptance and sign-off of a key deliverable at the end of a phase within the execution of the project.

The following items are addressed in the acceptance/sign-off phase:

  • Acceptance / agreement on completion of key deliverables
  • Completion of outstanding documentation
  • Project handover to client

Conclusion

In the implementation of a project, use is made of standard tools, templates and procedures that were developed over a period of time in the implementation of similar projects and leaning on international best practice.

The implementation process or methodology may also be varied or changed to suit the particular uniqueness of a project