The PM² Alliance Project Canvas
What is the PM² Alliance Project Canvas and how to use it?
Research shows (and experience confirms) that one of the top causes of project failure is related to inadequate project definition. It is therefore essential to initiate projects properly, bringing together key stakeholders to define and document the project idea and its key dimensions appropriately.
The PM² Alliance Project Canvas is an easy-to-use tool that can help individuals or teams visualize the key elements of a project and capture them in one single page.
PM² Alliance Canvas is based on the original Open PM² Canvas, but has been further improved by the PM² Alliance community of practitioners and has been optimised to be used in three different ways:
- As a starting point for the project, i.e. early in the Initiating Phase.
- As a way to summarise the results of the Initiating and Planning Phases.
- As an excellent project management communication asset and can be used in PowerPoint presentations or as a handout during Steering Committee Project Team meetings.
It has already been translated into several languages (Portuguese, Greek, Spanish, Croatian, Romanian, Italian, Turkish), while translations in additional languages will be release on a monthly basis.
The PM² Project Canvas addresses the needs of those who is looking for an effective and efficient way to organise brainstorming sessions and document their results for further analysis and discussion.
And although the PM² Canvas can be easily filled-in even by a single person, it is more effective to involve several team members or stakeholder from the beginning in order to capture more perspectives and ensure their commitment and buy in.
Why is it useful?
The PM² Alliance Project Canvas is particularly simple and easy to use, and understood by all project stakeholders. As a communication tool It can be used both in face-to-face and online communications.
It is also worth mentioning that PM² Alliance Project Canvas can be used throughout the project. It can be used for visualising the project, for high-level monitoring and controlling and re-planning, while at the end of the project it can be used as a basis for project review and the identification of lessons learned.
Note, however, that even for small projects, the PM² Alliance Canvas is rarely adequate to replace all other project management documentation as it does not allow enough detail to be captured. Therefore, use the PM² Canvas as a complementary tool to all other PM² recommended artefacts.
How to use it?
The PM² Alliance Project Canvas consists of 14 elements. Below you will find brief definitions and use instructions for each element:
- Project Scope: Indicate your project’s scope, clarifying what is in and what is out of.
- Outputs/Deliverables: Identify the project’s main deliverables – the outputs of the project.
- Desired Outcomes:.
- Benefits: Present the measurable benefits achieved from the successful completion of the project. Benefits should be directly related to the project’s outcomes.
- Assumptions and Constraints: Document the key assumptions made and identify constraints that will affect the way we can manage the project.
- Milestones Schedule: List the key dates and events that will define your project’s timeline.
- Stakeholders: List the key project stakeholders and place them in the Influence/Support grid.
- Risks: Identify the events that could have a negative impact on the project and find ways to avoid them.
- Governance and Team: Present the project’s Governance structure, name the members of the project management team and assign them the PM² Roles.
- Budget: Indicate the project’s estimated budget, expressed as effort (e.g Work Days (WDs)) or in monetary units (e.g. €).
- PM² Handbook: Define the project management approach, the project management Artefacts to be produced and other artefacts and any specific rules that will be applied.
- Work Breakdown: Present a basic breakdown of the project into smaller components (e.g. deliverables or work packages). Also include Business Implementation and Transition Activities
- Critical Success Criteria (CSC): Establish measurements to determine whether the project has met its requirements. They be should be measurable at the end of the project.
- Critical Success Factors (CSF): Identify the factors that are critical for the project’s success so that the project team can focus their management efforts on those.
Interested in learning more?
Follow the link below to redirect to the PM² Alliance publications. There you can find the PM² Project Canvas in printable PDF and PPTX editable format along with additional material that will be particularly useful for your project.