The Project Approach is often forgotten, but it is a fundamental part of project management.
In fact, it should be one of the first documents produced: without it, a project is not going to take off.
We prepare it just after the Business Case and definitely before beginning to plan; in fact, the Project Plan will make use of it; the same will apply to the Project Quality Plan.
The Project Approach defines the hows of a project, e.g.:
- How do you approach the project? Without such a clear decision, nothing can be properly done.
- How will the work be conducted?
- Which options are there available? Which one is the recommended one? Why?
- Which solution (option) is better? Bespoke? Off-the-shelf? Contracted out? A mix of them? …?
- What about the environment, e.g., are the customer’s sites apt to host your equipment or do they need modifications? It is much better to know it in the first stage of a project.
- What about constraints when considering different options?
- What about the skills you are going to need according to the various options?
- Which methods are you going to use? Which kind of methods (e.g., “combat-proven” methods, innovative methods, and so on)?
- Third-party suppliers: will you keep them on a short lain, or allow them plenty of freedom?
- How do you plan to behave with external actors, e.g., in contractual matters? When do you plan to tell other people “Stop! You are crossing a deadline of mine (e.g., someone else is going to be damaged)”?
- What is the “spirit” of the project?
The Project Approach can be called “The choice phase of a project. A real choice”.
If you forget it and/or make a makeshift choice …