A06 - Populate the PMIS

Note: This is the old version of P3.express. The current version is available here.

When we have all the key roles in place, we start populating the PMIS, which is a form of high-level planning. At the end of this activity, we will know if the project is feasible and worth investing. This study can be done on one option (usually when the project belongs to external customers), or using multiple options (usually for internal projects) that ends with selecting the best one.

The Project Manager leads and facilitated planning, and gets a lot of help from everyone else. It’s best to do it in a workshop with all key team members available, instead of interviewing them separately.

This is how you can populate the PMIS:

  1. Prepare the Configuration Map: this is a hierarchical breakdown of the building blocks of the project, prepared as a mind-map. The Project Manager or PM Support conducts a facilitated workshop with all or enough team members, and they create the mind-map together. It might be required to bring in informed external people to help with this (e.g. other Project Managers from similar projects).
  2. Create the Project Files Directory: the Project Files Directory structure is the same as the Configuration Map, possibly with fewer levels. It can be a series of nested folders in a file system, or container structure in a document management system. This structure will be used to store all the technical and administrative files in the project.
  3. Update and reformat the Project Summary: the Project Summary is first created by the Sponsor, with limited pieces of information. In this point, the Project Manager uses the template to rebuild the document, and also adds the extra information.
  4. Identify risks and store them in the RIC Register: in this stage, you can focus only on high-level risks (both threats and opportunities). This should be done in a facilitated workshop similar to the one used for preparing the Configuration Map.
  5. Plan responses to risks and capture them in the RIC Register: plan the identified risks, as it might change the path of the project. This can be done in another facilitated workshops.
  6. Prepare a high-level Schedule Model: use a facilitated workshop with all team members to identify high-level activities, their dependencies, and duration.
  7. Add planned values to the Progress Register: first baseline the Schedule Model in the planning software, and then copy the high-level planned values to the Progress Register.
  8. Prepare the Business Case: the Sponsor should be involved in preparing the Business Case, while everyone else collaborates by providing the necessary information.

You may need to repeat some of these steps; e.g. identify more risks when you’ve scheduled the project.

If a feasibility study has not been done before, it will be entirely covered using the steps discussed in this activity. The main element that helps you check the feasibility is the Business Case. However, you may need to check multiple options before finalizing your decision about the feasibility of the project.

Normally, we expect alternative options to be evaluated in the program or portfolio management system and only the selected solution be considered here. However, if you’re still considering multiple solutions, you need to plan them separately using the steps here, and then use the generated information (specially the Business Case) to see which option is the best.

Configuration Map

The Configuration Map is a hierarchical breakdown of the product, created as a mind-map. It helps you understand what the project is supposed to produce, and will also help you prepare the Schedule Model and organize the Project Files Directory.

The highest level of the mind-map is the final product of the project. Then you break it down into its main functional parts, and each part into smaller building elements. You also need to add acceptance criteria of each node as a comment.


Project Files Directory

The project files should be organized, to make sure everyone is using the latest version of all files, the history of revisions is not lost, it’s easy to search for and find specific files or groups of files (e.g. the latest version of all structural designs in the project), and finally, that you can use them as references in your future projects.

There are two major ways of organizing the project files, and creating the “Project Files Directory”:

We discourage using personal computers for saving the Project Files Directory, as they won’t be accessible to everyone. Most cloud-based file systems (e.g. Google Drive) allow you to have a synchronized copy on your computer, while there’s also a centralized copy.

No matter how you manage your files, they MUST be organized based on the Configuration Map of the project. In case of using a simple file system, you should create a hierarchy of folders based on the Configuration Map, and use it to store files. There’s always one folder for the whole project, using the name of the project. Then there are two folders, one called “Project Management”, that contains the rest of the PMIS elements, and a “Product” folder that will contain the Configuration Map elements.

RIC Register

The RIC Register is a list of all notable risks, issues, and change requests you’ve identified in the project, with their planned responses, and historical information. The goal is to document each item as soon as it’s identified, and follow up on it until it is closed, with a proactive approach.

Schedule Model

The Schedule Model is simulated model of how your project activities can be executed, based on their dependencies. There’s only one Schedule Model for the project, while more detail is added to it every Cycle.

The WBS of the Schedule Model is based on the Configuration Map. More detailed activities are added gradually, at each Cycle, instead of all at the beginning.

There are two main purposes for having a Schedule Model:

Scheduling rules:


Progress Register

We measure progress to understand deviations, and try to reach the goal by recovering from those deviations.

Progress is measured based on the following two main variables:

Other variables, such as quality, are expected to be reflected in the two primary variables mentioned before.

Progress Register captures the following sub-elements:


Business Case

The Business Case explains the justification of the project for your company.

The Business Case has three main purposes:


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