If someone says that written documentation is not important in a project management documentation process, then they are entirely wrong. A project manager’s primary job is to deliver the results of the project on time — and this involves managing a lot of work simultaneously. Documenting all the processes employed for a project is crucial to ensure proper error detection should the project fail to deliver the expected results.
Project documentation is a process by which project managers record all the fundamental components and relevant documents needed for the successful execution of the project. It involves documenting the project's requirements, goals, results, risks, timeline, and budget. A project management professional also keeps a record of all the different tools and methods used by the project team to achieve the project goals.
The major categories of project documentation are as follows:
Some of the key benefits of project documentation are as follows:
A fixed work plan
A project management professional is often faced with complex projects. And the best way to tackle a complex project is to have a proper action plan in place. However, one cannot always remember every detail of the plan, so it is important for the team to keep a written document with all the highlights of the plan.
Real-time problem solving
The project management plan is a major component of the project documentation process. Often, a project works on multiple projects at a time, and they need to guide their project team to document everything to keep themselves updated. A project manager can maintain a live document that will be updated regularly, and if there is any problem, that can also be addressed in this document in real time.
Checks the feasibility of the project
The feasibility report is an important part of the project documentation process, and it contains all the requirements of the project. It helps a project manager evaluate the project and determine if it is feasible or not. The important parameters that are used in this report are economic factors, the technology used, and legal and operational feasibility.
Cuts down the total number of meetings
If the most important details of the project are kept in a document that is shared with everyone on the team, then one does not need to call meetings to discuss minor details. This document has all the tools, methods, and techniques that the team should use to achieve the goals of the project. In this way, project documentation makes it easier for team members to understand what needs to be done and how it should be done for better results.
Serves as precedence for future projects
A project management professional needs to do written documentation of each project to ensure they have a record of their past work. This record helps them make plans easily and accurately for similar projects that come their way in the future.
Facilitates smooth communication
Often, projects fail to yield the required results, and if they do, they are usually delayed. This is because of poor communication between the project manager and the stakeholders involved in the project. By documenting well, a project management professional can keep the stakeholders updated about the progress of the project and incorporate their suggestions on the way to ensure the timely and effective completion of the project.
Helps in training new team members
During long-time projects, it is normal for teams to reshuffle their members and include some new faces. This is done to ensure proper distribution of work or to fill another team member. Time is of the essence in project management, and the team members could not afford to spend extra time training new members. Project managers can make use of the project documents, which can help new members catch up and know what to do and what methods or tools to use in the process.
Project managers often find themselves bogged down with multiple tasks while executing a project. This may lead to them overlooking their duty of documenting the project under the misconception that written documentation is not important in a project management documentation process. However, documentation of projects is very important for them if they want to upskill their project management skills. A well-managed project management document will help project manager tackle problems they face in future projects.
Furthermore, it also builds the credibility of a project manager among their peers. It helps in setting a platform where team members can communicate and discuss the complexities of the project. Project managers also use this repository as a benchmark for assessing action plans for future projects. One can also tailor their project based on these documents and make informed decisions.
In a nutshell, it can be concluded that written project documentation is essential in the project management process. It helps project managers easily communicate with the team, troubleshoot problems during the project, and maintain a repository of references.
So if a project management professional such as a project manager wants to develop the skill required for proper project documentation, they need to get a PMP Certification. To get this certification, one needs to get PMP certification training. They can go with the training offered by StarAgile. StarAgile's PMP® Certification Training is based on the current best practices mentioned in the PMBOK Guide—6th Edition and is aligned with the latest PMP Examination Content Outline.
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