​​​​​​​What is a project?

A project is a temporary endeavor that creates a unique product, service or result.

There are many different kinds of projects in Qatar’s public service. These include construction, policy development and implementation, information technology, procurement, and strategic planning.

What is project management?

Most projects, regardless of scale or type, require some degree of coordination to proceed successfully.

Project management is a defined body of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques for meeting project requirements.

All over the world, project management has been proven to greatly increase the chances of achieving project success and delivering on time and on budget.

The methods and techniques that make up project management are generic; they apply to projects of all types, regardless of size.

What are the key elements of project management?

There are many aspects to good project management. They include techniques for managing a project’s scope, quality, time, cost, risk, human resources, procurement, and communications. Project Managers also use techniques to integrate of all of these elements of project management in each phase of the project lifecycle.

The QNPM Framework integrates project management techniques for you in easy-to-use templates with supporting job aids for each phase of the project lifecycle.

What is the project lifecycle?

Generally speaking, a project will move through four standard phases as it moves from conception to completion. These stages are:

1- Define

In this Phase, you are proposing a project to senior management and stakeholders. You produce a brief written description of the proposed project in what is called a Project Definition Document. This document supports a shared understanding of, among other things, what work the project will involve and what results it should achieve.

If your Project Definition Document is approved, you move from the Define Phase to the Plan Phase.

2- Plan

In this Phase, your project is proposed in more detail. You develop a clear written approach for executing the project in a Project Plan. This plan includes, among other things, major activities and the estimated timeline and budget for completing these activities.

If your Project Plan is approved, you move from the Plan Phase to the Implement Phase.

3- Implement

In this Phase, you actually do the work described in the Project Plan.

At the beginning of this phase, you have to secure the resources required to execute the project, orient team members, and get them started on work plans: this is called project mobilization or start up.

Once the team is established, you control the execution of the Project Plan using techniques to manage risks, issues, changes, quality, and cost. You also manage communications, project documents, procurement, and human resources.

When this phase nears completion, you move from the Implement Phase to the Close Phase.

4- Close

In this Phase, you demonstrate that the project is complete, assess its success, transfer project knowledge to others, undertake administrative closeout, and support departing staff as the project ends and the team dissolves.

Why is project management important?

Qatar is growing fast. Many major modernization projects are underway. By building and supporting professional project management capacity in Qatar’s public service, we’re helping to ensure that we can manage projects effectively now and in the future.

All over the world, organizations in the public and private sectors are increasingly focused on delivery. In this environment, outcomes are taking centre stage.

Project management has been proven to be the most effective mechanism for achieving outcomes efficiently and effectively. It improves results by providing a structure for better information and better controls.

What is Qatar National Project Management (QNPM)?

Qatar National Project Management (QNPM) is a Planning Council initiative to build and support professional project management capacity in Qatar’s public service. It began as part of a broad program to make our public service more efficient and effective.

QNPM includes a Framework for managing projects based on a Project Lifecycle, with templates, job aids and other resources and a software tool to support the work of project teams.

On this site you’ll find practical advice and support for new project leads, experienced project managers, and executives interested in how a standard approach to project management can support their organization’s success.

What is a Project Plan?

The Project Plan is a written document that describes what a project will do and how project work will be executed.

It includes descriptions of deliverables, roles and responsibilities, and dependencies, and it provides high level Schedule and budget information. Typically a more detailed Schedule and Budget are provided as appendices to the Project Plan.

The Project Plan will answer the following key questions:

  • What activities and deliverables will be completed?
  • How long will the project take?
  • Who will do what?
  • What will the project cost?
  • How will risks and issues be managed?

The Project Plan is updated during the Implement Phase as the project experiences changes.

Why do projects need a Project Plan?

Project planning organizes the project team to deliver. A good Project Plan is like a route map — the destination and best route to get there are chosen before starting the journey.

By using the tools and techniques associated with Project planning, you gain a better understanding of what is needed to complete a project successfully and have better control as you proceed.

Without a plan, your project is vulnerable to surprises like resource shortages, unforeseen risks, and unplanned activities– all of which can create new costs and missed deadlines.

Isn’t project management just for construction and technology projects?

Project management techniques provide a structure for better information and better controls on any kind of project work.

Project management has been proven to be the most effective mechanism for achieving outcomes efficiently and effectively. This is true regardless of the type or size of the project.

How much project management does my project really need?

Project management activities take time. What extent you should use the QNPM Framework to depends on your project’s complexity. And how complex a project is depends on, among other things, its budget, duration, and how many people and organizations are involved.

The more complex your project, the more QNPM templates and job aids we recommend that you use.

For more specific advice on how much project management work to do on a particular project, see the Project Sizing Calculator. This job aid helps you gauge how complex your project is and provides advice on which elements of the QNPM Framework to use for projects of different levels of complexity.

The individual plans for project management processes on the Resource page also include advice on scaling project management processes for projects of different sizes. See particularly the Risk Management Plan, Issue Management Plan, Change Control Plan, Status Reporting Plan, and Document Management Plan.

How important are stakeholders?

Many people are surprised to hear that the number one reason that projects fail is lack of organizational and stakeholder support.

The most important stakeholders are usually the Sponsor and end users. There can also be many other stakeholders. Even in a simple project, such as introducing an administrative change, there will likely be people who are indirectly affected and who should be informed of and potentially involved in your project.

You’ll find a set of resources for working with stakeholders in the Stakeholder Alignment section of the Resources page. It contains job aids for identifying common stakeholders in the Qatar public service and engaging them through consultation, shared decision-making and communications. It also provides guidance on working with more senior stakeholders in Steering Committees and Advisory Committees.

How do I get my new project organized?

The QNPM Framework walks you through the four key stages of the project lifecycle: Define, Plan, Implementand Close.

Start at the Define phase, and move through the phases in order, using the templates and job aids provided to help you organize at each step.

How do I start applying project management to a project that is already underway?

You can start using project management tools and techniques even when your project has already started.

Review the four phases of the project lifecycle to see which key deliverables have been missed to date. If your project has already started without a Plan, Budget, or Schedule, one of the best things you can do to protect your project from failure is to write these deliverables in the short term.

Your next priority should be to select other applicable elements of the QNPM Framework. The Project Sizing Calculator will help you select the elements of the Project Management Frameworkthat are most advisable for your project.

What makes projects take longer than expected?

Good planning at the outset will help keep projects on time.

When projects run overtime, it is often because time has been calculated based on an incomplete list of activities. There is also a tendency to be optimistic about how long activities will take.

Failure to properly identify risks at the outset is also an important cause of project delay. So are starting the project or any of its key activities late.

The tools and techniques on this website will help you avoid some of these common causes of project delay, helping you deliver on time and on budget.

What makes projects run over budget?

Good planning at the outset will help keep projects on budget.

Generally projects run over budget for three reasons:

  • Overly optimistic cost estimates
  • Schedule delays that translate into added costs and Change requests that come late in the project lifecycle, which can cost significantly more than changes early in the process.

Careful, realistic planning using the templates and job aids on this website will help you keep projects on budget and on time.