Guiding Project Execution: Key Inputs for Directing and Managing Work

Direct and Manage Project Work is a key process within Project Integration Management, focusing on the execution of the tasks defined in the project management plan and producing the project's deliverables.

This section explores the various inputs used in directing and managing project work, including project documents, approved change requests, components of the project management plan, enterprise environmental factors, and organizational process assets. These inputs provide essential information for effective project management, influencing everything from the implementation of changes to the utilization of resources.

The process of directing and managing project work interacts with other project management processes in several ways. For instance, the approved change requests used as inputs in this process are outputs of the Perform Integrated Change Control process. Similarly, the project documents used as inputs in this process are often outputs of other processes, such as Develop Project Charter and Plan Project Management. Ultimately, effective management of project work contributes to the successful completion of the project, delivering value to the stakeholders.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the types of project documents that serve as inputs for project processes and their respective roles in tracking change requests, improving project performance, and managing risks.
  • Recognize the role of approved change requests in modifying the project management plan and the potential impact on any area of the project.
  • Understand the importance of the project management plan as a potential input in directing and managing project work.
  • Identify the enterprise environmental factors and organizational process assets that can influence the Direct and Manage Project Work process.
  • Recognize the value of historical data and change control procedures in the Direct and Manage Project Work process.

Project Documents

Project documents play a crucial role in the Direct and Manage Project Work process. They provide valuable inputs that guide project processes and decision-making.

The change log is a project document that tracks the status of all change requests. It provides a comprehensive record of requested changes, their current status, and decisions made, aiding in change control and project management.

The lessons learned register is another key project document. It captures insights gained throughout the project to improve performance and prevent the repetition of mistakes. This register can also help identify areas where rules or guidelines need to be established to align team actions.

The milestone list is a project document that displays the scheduled dates for specific milestones. It provides a high-level view of the project timeline, helping stakeholders understand key deliverables and their due dates.

Project communications include performance reports, deliverable status, and other information generated by the project. These documents facilitate effective communication among stakeholders, ensuring everyone is informed about the project's progress.

The project schedule is a detailed document that includes a list of work activities, their durations, resources, and planned start and finish dates. It serves as a roadmap for project execution and control.

The requirements traceability matrix is a tool that links product requirements to the deliverables that satisfy them. It helps maintain focus on the final outcomes and ensures all requirements are met.

The risk register provides information on threats and opportunities that may impact the project. It aids in risk identification, analysis, and response planning.

Lastly, the risk report provides information on sources of overall project risk and summary information on identified individual project risks. It offers a comprehensive view of the project's risk landscape, helping stakeholders understand the risk profile and make informed decisions.

Which of the following project documents contains the status of all change requests?
  1. Change log
  2. Lessons learned register
  3. Milestone list
  4. Risk register
A) Change log

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Approved Change Requests

Imagine you're managing a project to develop a new website for a client. Midway through the project, the client requests a significant change: they now want an e-commerce feature added to the site. This is an example of a change request, which, once approved, becomes a crucial part of project integration management.

Approved change requests are an output of the Perform Integrated Change Control process and can significantly impact the project's direction and outcomes. In our example, adding an e-commerce feature would require additional resources, time, and might even alter the project's overall scope.

The project manager or the change control board reviews and approves change requests for implementation. These approved change requests can take the form of corrective actions, preventive actions, or defect repairs. Corrective actions aim to realign project performance with the project management plan, while preventive actions seek to reduce the probability of potential negative consequences. Defect repairs involve modifications that bring faulty project components into compliance with requirements or specifications.

Once approved, the project team is responsible for scheduling and implementing these change requests. This process involves integrating the changes into the project's ongoing work and managing their impact on the project's objectives and deliverables.

Reflecting on our website development project, it's clear that approved change requests, like the addition of an e-commerce feature, can impact any area of the project or project management plan. They can lead to modifications in the formally controlled project management plan components or project documents.

Therefore, it's essential to manage and control these changes effectively. By doing so, you can ensure that even with significant changes, the project remains aligned with its objectives and stakeholder expectations, ultimately leading to a successful project outcome.

What are approved change requests an output of?
  1. The Direct and Manage Project Work process
  2. The Perform Integrated Change Control process
  3. The Define Scope process
  4. The Develop Project Charter process
B) The Perform Integrated Change Control process

Project Management Plan

Imagine you're leading a project to launch a new product line in your company. To ensure a smooth execution, you need a comprehensive guide, a roadmap if you will, that outlines every aspect of the project. This is where the project management plan comes into play.

The project management plan is a comprehensive document that guides the execution and control of a project. It includes everything from the project's objectives and scope to its schedule, budget, quality standards, and risk management strategies. As such, it is a critical input in the process of directing and managing project work.

Any component of the project management plan can serve as an input to the project management process. These components may include the scope management plan, schedule management plan, cost management plan, quality management plan, resource management plan, communications management plan, risk management plan, procurement management plan, and stakeholder management plan, among others.

Each of these components provides valuable information and guidance that can influence the direction and management of project work. For instance, the scope management plan provides details on how the project scope will be defined, validated, and controlled. The cost management plan outlines how project costs will be estimated, budgeted, and controlled.

Reflecting on our product launch project, it's clear that the project management plan serves as a roadmap for project execution and control. It provides the project team with the information they need to carry out their tasks effectively and efficiently.

For instance, it helps the marketing team understand when and how to promote the new product line, the production team to plan their schedules, and the finance team to manage the budget. By following this comprehensive plan, the team can ensure that the project's objectives are met, leading to a successful product launch.

Which of the following is NOT a potential input to the Direct and Manage Project Work process?
  1. Scope management plan
  2. Cost management plan
  3. Quality management plan
  4. None of the above
D) None of the above

Enterprise Environmental Factors

Imagine you're a project manager tasked with implementing a new software system across a multinational corporation. This project will not only span different departments but also different countries, each with its unique cultural, legal, and technological environment. These are examples of enterprise environmental factors that can significantly influence the Direct and Manage Project Work process.

These factors encompass various elements of the organization's environment that can affect the way project work is directed and managed. For instance, the technological infrastructure in one country might be more advanced than in another, affecting the software implementation process.

The organizational structure, culture, management practices, and sustainability are key enterprise environmental factors. The structure and culture of the organization can shape the project team's approach to work, while management practices can dictate the methods and tools used. Sustainability considerations can also impact project work, particularly in terms of resource usage and environmental impact.

Infrastructure, such as existing facilities and capital equipment, is another enterprise environmental factor that can influence the Direct and Manage Project Work process. The availability and condition of these resources can affect the project's execution, potentially impacting timelines, costs, and quality.

Stakeholder risk thresholds, like the allowable cost overrun percentage, are also important enterprise environmental factors. These thresholds can impact decision-making and risk management within the project. For instance, a low risk threshold may necessitate more conservative approaches, while a higher threshold may allow for more innovative, albeit riskier, strategies.

Reflecting on our multinational software implementation project, it's clear that understanding these enterprise environmental factors is crucial for effective project management. By considering factors such as varying technological infrastructures or legal regulations across countries, project managers can better anticipate challenges, manage risks, and steer the project towards its objectives.

This awareness and proactive management of environmental factors can significantly enhance the project's chances of success.

Which of the following is NOT an example of an enterprise environmental factor that can influence the Direct and Manage Project Work process?
  1. Organizational structure
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Stakeholder risk thresholds
  4. Project charter
D) Project charter

Organizational Process Assets

Organizational process assets significantly influence the Direct and Manage Project Work process. These assets include standard policies, processes, and procedures that guide project management activities.

Issue and defect management procedures are key organizational process assets. They define controls, identification and resolution processes, and action item tracking. These procedures help maintain project quality and ensure timely resolution of issues and defects.

Issue and defect management databases, which contain historical status and resolution data, are also crucial organizational process assets. They provide valuable insights into past issues and defects, aiding in the prevention and management of similar issues in current projects.

Performance measurement databases are another important organizational process asset. They collect and make available measurement data on processes and products, supporting performance monitoring and control.

Change control and risk control procedures are included in the organizational process assets. These procedures guide the management of changes and risks, ensuring they are effectively identified, assessed, and addressed.

Information from previous projects, such as scope, cost, schedule, performance measurement baselines, project calendars, project schedule network diagrams, risk registers, risk reports, and lessons learned repository, are valuable organizational process assets. They provide historical data and lessons learned, which can be used to inform planning and decision-making in current projects.

In summary, organizational process assets play a crucial role in the Direct and Manage Project Work process. They provide the tools, data, and knowledge needed to effectively manage project work and ensure project success.

What are organizational process assets in the context of project management?
  1. The physical resources used in a project
  2. The financial resources allocated for a project
  3. The standard policies, processes, and procedures of an organization that influence project management
  4. The human resources involved in a project
C) The standard policies, processes, and procedures of an organization that influence project management