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Gaining Approval
Planning the Project
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Gaining Approval

Gaining Approval

Author: Jeff Carroll

Determine the elements discussed during a project planning approval meeting.

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Source: Image of handshake, meeting people, male presenter, whiteboard, checkmark, baseline chart, Public Domain, Images by Video Scribe, License held by Jeff Carroll.

Video Transcription

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Hi, I'm Jeff, and in this lesson, we'll discuss how to gain approval to move ahead with the project once the planning phase is complete. It's the project manager's role to coordinate this approval process. So, let's get started.

The project manager should organize a planning approval meeting and invite all people who need to approve the plan. A representative from each stakeholder group should attend. Though it's beneficial to have a single meeting that includes all groups, the project manager can have individual meetings also. Meetings can be live or through video conferencing. The project manager should prepare the agenda for the meeting and review all the materials so that they can be ready for any questions that might arise.

The meeting agenda should include a review of the project scope-- anything that has changed since the initial sign-off on the scope should be noted, a high level review of the project schedule-- the project manager should only discuss the schedule at the activity level, a discussion of individual tasks would be too much information for this meeting, a review of all person or non-person resources that will be necessary to complete the project deliverables-- the project manager should call out any areas where skill gaps or other resource gaps might still exist, a review of the project budget-- if a reserve or contingency has been added to the budget this should be noted, project risks and mitigations for those risks should be covered, and the communication plan should be discussed. The project manager should point out the feedback path for stakeholders to encourage the use of that channel.

The project manager should present or coordinate the presentation of all material, then provide an opportunity for the stakeholders to discuss the plan and ask questions. The project manager should be prepared for more in depth discussion. If an answer is not available, the project manager should let the questioner know when the answer will be provided and by what method the information will be delivered. For example, it's acceptable to say, I don't know that answer right now, but I'll provide that material to all the stakeholders by email, by the end of work today.

When all the questions have been addressed, then the project manager should seek sign off from the stakeholders with sign off authority. Commonly, the project sponsor is the only stakeholder with sign off authority. Sometimes, plan changes will need to occur before some or all stakeholders will sign off. In that case, the project manager should determine whether an additional approval meeting will need to be held. Once all stakeholders who need to approve the plan have signed off, the project manager can begin executing the plan.

At this time, the plan is baselined for the project. This means that the time, scope, and cost are documented and used as the basis for management of the project. For example, if cost increases, the documentation and the discussion about the new cost should refer to it as a percentage or dollar increase over the baseline cost. Such as, the project will add $12,000 over the original baseline budget of $100,000. And that's how the project planning approval happens.

In this lesson, you learned how to gain approval for the plan by organizing a planning approval meeting, and you know baseline the time, scope, and cost once the plan is approved. Thanks for listening, and have a great day.

Terms to Know
Project Plan Approval

A process of gaining stakeholder approval from individuals with sign-off authority to begin executing on a project.