What are the most important concepts that should be added (as notes on ms project)? for example: Defining the project scope, risk management .. what others?

  • Hi. The question sounds too broad, and, in addition, "most important" things differ from methodology to methodology, and a particular selection is, likely, opinion-based. Instead, try to narrow down your question to be more specific (if you have chosen particular approach, mention it as well). Otherwise, you can find more or less suitable answers to your question just by searching the web or reading Wikipedia. Dec 28, 2014 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


I have formulated and defined the following view over many years and now use it quite successfully when I am at an interview seeking a role, and of course in real life when managing projects.

Successful delivery (Waterfall method) comprises the following key elements to the Five-point Plan (MarvTM)

  1. Know your requirements in clear, accurate and unambiguous detail - You must know what it is you are delivering else how will you know when you have achieved it.

  2. Get the "right" team - You must have a team comprised of competent people who have expertise in the specific technical areas required by the project

  3. Work out the most accurate estimates you can - We all know the limitations of estimation, but do the best you can with what you have got, taking into account the views of the people who are well-versed in actually doing it

  4. Develop a detailed plan - Descend in the plan to as low a level of detail as required for you (i.e. the PM) to be able to map activities with a reasonable degree of accuracy. This level will be different for different projects. Don't keep the plan too high-level and don't make it too-low. Herein lies one of the black arts of the seasoned PM :)

  5. Manage the hell out of the project - I don't mean micromanagement, I mean:

    • active risk and issues management on a frequent basis (daily if appropriate)
    • continuous tracking of actuals against plan
    • continuous re-planning as you move towards completion and new things become known and old things get finished late, early or on time
    • open, transparent and regular communications with the team, with the sponsors and with the stakeholders as often as they need (not when you need it)
    • regular progress reporting at the level of detail right for the project

It works for me, YMMV, and different methodologies, frameworks, manifestos and mindsets all have different (and probably equally valid) points of view!

  • Thank you, always learning on this site! Is it possible for me to obtain five minutes of your time? Preferably over email? I have a few queries related to a project I am constructing, and would love, and almost need, your expert advice. Dec 17, 2014 at 2:39
  • Sorry no. I suggest that if you have specific problems or questions you post them on this site, where they may be answered to the benefit of all visitors. In addition there are many resources on the internet that provide information that will be useful to you, such as projectsmart.co.uk
    – Marv Mills
    Dec 17, 2014 at 9:31

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