System Elements

After researching who will be using the system and what they need to see, it’s time to review the ‘what’. That is, what are all the types of things that will be included?

Project Stuff

Strategy - At the highest level, everyone involved should be able to see the chief aim and the plan of action put in place to achieve it.

Programs - Programs are a series of projects that, together, advance strategy. Program level information should be viewable as a road map that shows current and planned projects, their status, and how they interact.

Projects - Project information shows stages and progress against the plan. The project level is where all documentation and resources are linked.

Work Packages - The efforts required to achieve a project deliverable are viewable as a work package. This is the lowest level of detail in most project plans.

Action Items - Individual steps required that, when complete, will complete a work package. A well defined action item should be completable by the assigned individual in one sitting.

Other Stuff

Reference Material - Any and all related reference material are be attached to the work packages in the project level. Ideally, the material is saved in an easily accessible collaborative platform (eg. Dropbox) so all documentation is searchable in one place.

Research Projects - The inputs, tasks, and results of research can be kept in their own workspace or as a work package in a project. Relevant data attached as background information to the relevant projects.

Issue & Decision Logs - Rolling list of issues and decisions about issues can be kept with owners and next actions assigned.

Risk Plans - The plan for managing risk is generally a piece of reference material while the actual risk register can be kept as an active list with trigger and next step owners assigned.

Meeting Agendas - The best way to run meetings are with a team-compiled list of action items and discussion points, curated by the project owner. If not done in system, an attached document also works.

Meeting Notes - As with agendas, meeting notes are best captured in system. Actively collaborative capture (eg. Google Doc) also works well.

Johnathan Deckert