Value Driven Design Logo

2.11 - Operational Principles

Computer Based Information Systems

  • Project planning software is essential for effective budgeting and control.
  • Product Life-Cycle Management (PLM) software is highly effective for managing deliverables and linking them to the project activities and responsible resources.

Project Planning

  • Project Manager designate is involved in preliminary planning prior to formal initiation, for continuity.

  • Prior to formal launch of a project, the team should develop the project plan.

  • Regular update and re-planning at main weekly or monthly reviews to eliminate milestone threatening hazards is essential, involving customers and contractors to solicit their assistance and special skills.

  • Each work package owner should have top level and detailed task plans with resource plans. These should be made visible at each regular review. The original base plans should be retained for future reference along with a record of recovery plans.

  • Plans and work packages should be signed-off to show ownership, recovery plans agreement, commitment and approval.

  • Key milestones linked back to customer key milestones should be visible.

  • Review time-periods should match project timescales and nature of events, for example:

    • Quick Hit recovery plans – Daily

    • Main reviews – Monthly

    • Planning Meetings – Weekly


Documented descriptions of critical processes in a project – drawn up as input/output chart(s) with the minimum of text – pictures not words – capable of easy quality audit by the Programme Manager.

Agree a set of best practice procedures and issue a handbook – but avoid excessive forms and bureaucracy. WARNING some PLM systems are over complicated, difficult and costly to change once in place.

Event Timing Structure Guidelines


Type of Plan


Time Horizon

Setting up a:

Competitiveness Achievement Programme

Change Programme

New Project update or introduction programme

Promoting and phasing to meet cost-benefit requirements

Matching to marketing and business development strategy

3 years

(1) Before project approval

Project Plan

Establish Milestones, Resource and cost profile

Total Project

(2) Before project Launch

Work Package Plan

Identify major tasks for each work package and resources required

3 – 6 months

(3) After Launch

Detailed Plan / Task List

Scheduling of work within a work package

1 month rolling

Competitiveness Achievement Programme Plan Cascade

Programme and projects Planning and Reporting Cascade

Project Management Systems and PLM Systems Integration

In many cases it is not necessary to hold project detail below the level 2 – work package level in Project Management systems. PLM systems have the workflow and routing capabilities to automatically update Project Management systems at the work package level. See guide 7.21 for a discussion and outline methodology for integrating Project Management and Product Lifecycle Management systems

Further Reading