Project managers will find this checklist useful so that they know what governance and oversight the PMO (Project Management Office) expects when managing a project.
This list is useful from the Project Management Office (PMO) perspective. The PMO should seek to add value to the project delivery process by providing a suite of standard tools and templates for projects to use as well as providing a review process through various stages of the project to help keep projects within agreed tolerances in terms of scope, time, cost and quality.
For more details on setting up a project please check out the other blog post here
1. When a change request is initiated, is there a process to evaluate the impacts on scope, schedule, cost and contractual compliance?
2. Are approved changes reflected in the Schedule and Project Management Plan?
3. Has customer reviewed, verified, and signed-off the Statement of Work (SOW)?
4. Is there a requirements matrix, which links the contract, functional specification and deliverables?
Scope Change Control
5. Is a documented change control process in place?
6. Are subcontractor or 3rd party change control processes also in place? This can be important to know as often 3rd party contractors will start work with out the necessary change control and then seek amendments or variations to the contract which can make commercial management tricky under a fixed price arrangement.
7. Have all know changes been managed via change requests?
8. Is each change request evaluated in terms of scope, cost, and schedule impact?
9. Have all changes been done with a formal change order and approved and signed by the customer?
10. Is a change log maintained?
11. Has a change control board been established? Check what are the project managers Project Managers Plan (PMP).
12. The PMO should work with the project and account team to ensure that delivery of the project did not begin prior to contract date?
13. The PMO should make sure that third-party delivery did not begin prior to contract date?
14. The PMO should check with the back office or finance team that Purchase Orders in place between the supplier and the customer
15. In addition the PMO needs to check that the Purchase orders in place between the supplier and any sub contractors are executed correctly.
16. The PMO should ensure that there is a process in place to ensure that the projects costs being actively managed correctly? This can include ensuring that project resources are booking time to the project in accordance with their allocation. In addition that any 3rd party costs or invoice are being received as per the commercial model template showing cost and revenue for the project. For an example of a commercial model template you can check out the store here.
17. What is the process for managing cost control? It is important that as costs are incurred they are mapped to the original commercial model to check to see whether they are over or under the forecast? It is important to have a commercial model template upon which to build your project.
18. Is percent complete accurate? How is the % complete being collected? A bottom up view would be to track and measure the % completion of all of the tasks and sub tasks in the project schedule. This assumes that the project schedule was built with a sufficient level of detail to allow this. Alternatively key milestones throughout the project can be used to track progress and % completion. The PMO should validate the process by which the project manager is collecting the % completion.
19. Are back office operations aware of billing milestones? The PMO should ensure the process by which new projects are correctly booked with the back office operations team and that billing milestones are recorded in the finance and accounting system.
20. Are invoices accurate, timely, and in accordance with the contract?
21. Is customer complying with terms of payment? The PMO should check with accounts payable whether invoices in arrears and if outside payment guidelines check with the project manager as to whether there is a project issue delaying payment and whether the account or sales director should be involved.
22. Are third-party or subcontractors invoicing on a timely basis?
23. If there are pass-through cost such as travel costs, are these being invoiced to customer appropriately?
24. Is revenue recognition being done correctly? In larger organizations there can be complicated rules and guidelines for when to recognize revenue during the lifetime of a project. The PMO has a valuable role to play by providing support to the project manager to make sure this happens and does not breach any corporate reporting requirements for example by recognizing too much revenue up front.
25. Are actual invoices correctly reflected in financial reports?
26. Contract, financial reports, and costing model consistent for revenue?
27. Does the project budget align with monthly financial reports? Often project managers will need to work with the PMO to ensure that forecasts of when costs and revenues based on project activities flow through to the accounting system. Project accounting can be a complex and highly regulated area.
28. Is financial report updated monthly? The PMO can provide a valuable service by setting up reminders to the project managers on when this should occur so that project mangers can focus on execution.
29. Are any risk dollars shown on financial reports? Again there can be rules and regulations about when risk budgets can be recognized. Often this will occur at the back end of the project or when the forecasted risk has passed.
30. Is the risk budget being actively managed?
31. Are change orders being factored in the financials?
32. Do labor costs agree between financial reports and timesheets? The PMO can provide oversight to ensure that resources are booking based on the time allocated according to the project commercial template. However resources should also be allowed to book according to effort required to deliver the project so that there is an accurate picture of the true cost of delivery.
33. Do subcontractor costs reconcile between financial reports?
34. If there are internal cross company charges do they line up with what was agreed with the other company department?
35. Does the financial report for travel costs reconcile with project travel expense records?
36. Is there a costing template for each change order with additional cost? Again you can refer to this useful template in our product section here
37. Is Estimate to Complete (ETC) forecast being updated monthly?
38. Is ETC consistent with forecast, project schedule and deliverables?
39. Is program manager reviewing/updating revenue forecast on financial reports?
40. Is revenue meeting target?
41. Is cost on target?
42. Is gross margin on target?
43. Is the appropriate project management methodology (templates etc.) being used?
44. Is there a quality plan in plan?
45. Was an approved delivery methodology selected?
46. Was an approved lifecycle selected?
47. Is the Project Management Plan (PMP) regularly reviewed with the customer?
48. Have design/requirement reviews been done with the customer?
49. Are regular reviews being done internal to the delivery team to ensure that in reality the execution is being done according to the plan? It can be good to involve the PMO to conduct and facilitate these reviews on a regular basis. In particular the PMO can schedule these reviews as a particular stage gate is coming up to ensure it will be met.
50. Are the subcontractors being reviewed regularly?
51. Is there an Acceptance Test Plan in place?
52. Has the customer signed off on the Quality Plan and Acceptance Test Plans?
53. Do all deliverables have measurable acceptance criteria agreed to by the customer?
54. Does a workable configuration management plan exist?
55. Are the subcontractors using an acceptable methodology?
56. Is the Configuration Management Plan for the deployment of software code changes being used?
57. Has the PMO scheduled project reviews and check gates on key deliverables? How can the PMO be confident that the project manager is delivering as per the schedule?
58. Are deliverables meeting their acceptance criteria?
59. Have completed deliverables been accepted and signed-off by the customer?
This can be a very important area where the PMO can add value to the project. Often project managers can just be focused on meeting deadlines and managing the day-to-day issues that come up in a project and checking quality can drop off their radar. Here the PMO should check
60. Are quality control activities taking place?
61. Is quality being measured independently?
62. Has corrective action been taken when required?
63. Is document revision control being done?
64. Are security and back-up and recovery processes being done?
65. Is there a Deliverables Status Log?
66. Is there a defect tracking system in place?
67. Are defects being managed and corrected in a timely manner?
68. Is the customer using the same defect tracking system as the delivery team?
69. Are customer initiated defects reviewed with the customer?
70. Are standard procedures in place to control all of the data that support the project (e.g., document standards, configuration management standards, and record management procedures)?
71. Are project records being established, maintained, and disposed of in accordance with the PMO standards and procedures?
72. Has an electronic and paper copy of all versions of all base lined deliverables been maintained?
73. Is all software controlled in accordance with the software configuration management standards and procedures?
74. Are all project data backed up and are off-site back-ups in place in accordance with the record management procedures?
75. Have all the planned resources been identified and assigned by the due dates?
76. Was an approved source used for obtaining external temporary workers?
77. Is external temporary worker’s access to sensitive information being appropriately managed?
78. Are off-site and on-site teams or extended teams working well together? What could the PMO or the project manager do to improve this.
79. Are team building events planned and taking place?
80. Are team working hours per day acceptable on a long-term basis?
81. Is the team morale okay?
82. Are borrowed or part time resources meeting project needs (e.g. conflicting assignments)?
83. Has all training been provided/scheduled where required?
84. Are regular feedback and/or performance evaluations given to the team?
85. Is anything being done to provide incentive/reward to the team?
86. Is the project work environment adequate?
87. Is the general level of office support services adequate? For example stationary.
88. Is the security in place that is appropriate for the security classification of the project For example do staff need badges, sign-in registers, electronic lock accessibility, network access?
89. Is the system technical environment adequate, is there a process being followed to get project resources access to the environments, software and tools that they need to work on in the project.
90. Was a risk management process used during the bid phase? For example is there a risk log, which a list of the expected risks documented and what can be done to reduce those risks.
91. Was the entire team involved in risk identification (e.g. a risk workshop)?
92. Is there a Risk Management Plan?
93. Individual risks are clearly described?
94. A Risk Log exists and it is reviewed and updated on a regular basis?
95. Were risk events reasonably quantified in terms of their probability?
96. Were risk events reasonably quantified in terms of likely impact?
97. Is a management reserve identified for unknown risks?
98. All high priority risks have been addressed?
99. Were risk mitigation strategies selected for each risk event?
100. Are risk response plans in place for high priority risks?
101. Is the risk reserve being managed correctly?
102. Is the Risk Log reviewed for change?
103. Are defined risk mitigation plans being carried out?
Project Close out
104. Have all program participants been advised of the program closure?
105. Have all time sheets been submitted?
106. Have the final invoices been presented to the customer?
107. Has the customer paid all invoices?
108. Have all participant invoices been received?
109. Are all expense claims complete and submitted?
110. Have all equipment and facility leases been closed?
111. Has the program been closed in all reporting systems?
112. Have all team members been released or reassigned?
113. Are final performance reviews scheduled?
114. Has management been notified that personnel are available?
115. Has all acquired, rented, and leased equipment been returned?
116. Has the success of the team been recognised and celebrated?
117. Did the PMO take the project manager out to dinner to say thank you?
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