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Document company processes in a form of Project Schedule

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Chary Chary
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Dear all, I just would like to check one idea with you. I am looking for a good way to document internal company processes. The traditional way to do such thing - create some flow chart with additional description. My experience though is that it does not work for anything quite complex  The good example of the document, describing process is PRINCE2  If you look at PRINCE2 however, there is no overall flowchart diagram in the book. It contains a bunch of diagrams on different pages with links to each other. There is a reason why there are some companies, who are trying to further clarify PRNCE2 by creating such a diagram for instance https://www.quanta.co.uk/sites/default/files/docs/prince2_process_model_v1.1.pdf Or books like:  PRINCE2 Made Simple, or PRINCE2 in Action: Project management in real terms I was always wondering, that if PRICE2 requires further clarification, then there is something wrong with the original book.  I have had my PRICE2 practitioneer certification, but even straight after exam I don't quite understand how all PRINCE2 works together and which procedures exactly Project Manager is responsible for If I imagine myself as a new Project Manager, walking into the organisation, I would expect some document, which describes how they do certain processes. I would want to know 
  • What activities are to be done
  • in which sequence
  • who is involved each of the procedures, preferably in a form of RACI matrix (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted with, Informed.)
  • I would want to know for each of the procedures which tools are involved
  • I would want to be able filter all activities in different ways:
    • By responsibility (e.g. find all procedures, for which project Manager is responsible for or cunsulted with)
    • Find all tools, which are required to be used 
    • find all procedure, where a certain tool is required
  •  Find a breader description of how to do every particular task, if needed.
But if one thinks of this, all of this falls very well into project schedule.
  • Procedures - activities
  • dependencies - links
  • Roles involved one can assign as resources.
  • Tools one can assign as resource as well
  • References (links) to detailed project description can be put is a activity note
 And then one has a power of a project management software (e.g. MS Project) to filter and analyze this document further  The only thing which is not that straight forward - how to document splits in decisions and some loop activities. which you have in flow charts sometime. Any thoughts on this? How do you guys document your processes? P.S. I must say I also accept, that I may have some prefessional deformation after using too much of project scheduling tools. But somehow I often just don't understand things, untill they are put in a project schedule.  

Replies

Yes Evgeny, and besides it models conditional networks (if ... then) and multiple loops if to enter their probabilities.

But the author of this discussion meant Microsoft Project that does not have these capabilities.

Evgeny Z.
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Vladimir,

I think Spider has other advantages to document processes:

1) It has possibility to insert notes/comments for dependencies, so one can put why one process depends on the other one

2) Due to multiple WBSs, it is possible to present the same processes from several points of view

3) You have a Spider Viewer, which costs no money for those, wjo just want to check the process

 

Anoon Iimos
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IMHO, "Loops" are a day-to-day occurrence in any normal EPC project for example. Loops happen (literally) even before the development of any project schedule. Just imagine trying to create a so-called project schedule even before basic and detailed engineering are finished. Isn't the attempt to create a project schedule before Engineering and Procurement are completed is a loop itself? The fact is: Sometimes "Construction" is even started while "detailed engineering" is still in progress in the "drafting board". "Loops" are normal and you can practically live with it. And that's a fact.

The only problem is showing Loops.

Schedule shall finish and loops with unknown number of times is unacceptable.

When modelling projects we define the probabilities of the return and certain number of loops that may happen (each with lower probability).

Anoon Iimos
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Yes, a "Project Schedule" is Everything in ONE. However, perhaps you can just imagine design or engineering works. Of course there are many varieties when creating a design, but you must ultimately come out with one final design. "Scheduling" in concept, should be similar to "Design". The difference is, Scheduling is always variable from start to end (process). And most of the time, Schedules were only copies of previous or similar (failed) projects. Again, just imagine a copied "Design".