It Was An Itsy Bitsy ……

Small projects can be difficult to find the right balance between documentation and methodology. Here are some tips.
Since a while, I have managed small projects. Some of my projects are very small, around 8 hours. Some projects can last for a month or two weeks. Some take several months to complete, while others can last for 6 months or more.
I struggled to find the right level of planning for different sizes of projects as a student in project management. Some things are obvious. For example, I won’t go through a formal plan or communication plan. For a 8-hour project.
Here is a rough guideline:
Level 1 (Projects lasting more than 6 months)
-Project planning and documentation in full.
Level 2 (Projects 1-6 months in duration)
-Simplified project plan document that includes brief communications and risk plans along with scope definitions, limitations, objectives and deliverables. It also contains a simple WBS- and Gantt-style task listing with dependencies, owners and estimates.
Stakeholders receive weekly status reports
-Project meeting agenda/minutes templates – This template is used to record the agenda for meetings about the project. I then update it after each meeting and send it to all stakeholders. It has a section for agenda items and an additional section for actions.
-Project Closure report at end that summarizes business benefits and effort. This report is a post-mortem analysis of ROI. This report also contains lessons learned.
Level 3 (Projects lasting 1 to 4 Weeks)
-Simple request form for project, where the requestor fills in their requirements and business justification. These requests are very simple so I usually work with the customer over the phone to determine the details and then make any updates in my project documentation log (which is what I keep for all my projects large and small).
-Weekly status reports to all stakeholders. (Sometimes yes, sometimes no, it depends on the project).
-Project Closure Report
Level 4 (Less Than 1 Week)
-I still have the project request form
-Email to request approval of the deliverable (usually 1).
Even if it’s only a two-hour job, I keep detailed activity logs of all levels of projects. My department has a sharepoint website that works great for this.
These guidelines and the templates that I have created make it easy to keep my ducks in order and keep my stakeholders updated about what is happening, regardless of how small or large the project. This article by Simon Buehring, which I found today, closely matches my approach to managing small projects.
This article was originally published at