Project Planning

Once your project is initiated and you have become familiar with the different sections in the Projects / Workspaces app, it is now time to start planning your project. 

Project Charter
Communication Plan
TDNext Tools
Project Tasks
Milestones
Baselines
Links
Risks

Project Charter

UDIT-PMO recommends that you use the Project Charter template to formally outline your project, including defining the scope of what you want the project to achieve, as well as the people involved, milestones, budget, and possible risks. A written plan helps set expectations and confirms commitments and accountability among project team members and between the team and other stakeholders. The Project Charter will also help populate many of the fields within your project in TeamDynamix. At a minimum, all projects in the planning phase should have a Project Charter and a Project Plan.

Communication Plan

A communication plan is another tool created during project planning and is helpful in identifying what messaging should be sent to the project team and stakeholders. It should be reviewed regularly by the project manager and re-evaluated and updated at regular intervals. 

You can use your own communication plan or this template. A communication plan usually consists of the following:

  • Details about the project’s stakeholders.

  • Project stakeholders and project team communication needs (i.e. what they need to know about the project, changes to their work processes, etc.). 
    Tip: It is best practice to consider your stakeholders by their role in the project and not as “individuals.”

  • A schedule that identifies when communications should be sent (by month, week, or day).

TDNext Tools

Resources, Stakeholders, and Contacts are individuals that are members of your project team. The following are details about each. 

Watch the TDX Resources, Stakeholders, Contacts video and review the Viewing Projects in TDX article to learn more about the resource types and how project details will display to different types of users.

Resources

  • Only Project Managers can add or modify resources.
  • Alternative PMs can add, remove, or shift participant schedules.
  • Alternative PMs cannot change the Project Manager resource.
  • Resources must be added in order to assign tasks.
  • Resources must be added in order for them to view all project details on the Client Portal.
  • Depending on their TDX security role, Resources may not be able to log into TDNext, therefore they will only be able to collaborate in the Client Portal.

Removing a Resource

  • Option 1

    • Within the Resource section, click the Actions dropdown and select Remove Resources.

    • Select the resource name you want to remove and indicate who you want to delegate any ownership or open items to.

    • Indicate if associated materials and schedules should be deleted or transferred.

      Note: This will remove the user from the Resource listing.

  • Option 2

    • Within the Resource section, click the resource name.

    • Click Deactivate.

      The resource name will remain on the Resource listing, but “inactive” will display next to the name. This means the resource will no longer be able to access the project details.

Stakeholders

  • Identify roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders that are not resources (RACI: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed).
  • Records in this section do not allow tasks to be assigned to the individual (see Resources).
  • Records in this section will auto-populate in any Notification fields in the Project Details, Feed, Issues, and Risk sections.

Contacts

  • Provides an overview of all resources on the project (stakeholder names will not display).
  • Can export to Excel.
  • Can add an external non-UD user as a contact. External users will not have access to TDX. If a non-UD team member requires access to TDX, they must have a UD account created.

Project Tasks

Next you should list the important tasks for your project. Tasks can be high-level or detailed. Projects / Workspaces has several options for you to capture tasks.

Plans

  • Also known as schedules.
  • Document key tasks and deliverables that need to be completed within a specific time frame.
  • Ability to create a card wall, waterfall plan or use a pre-existing template.
  • Ability to track time, add attachments and issues

Card Walls Plans

  • Are good for small projects. 
  • Make edits in real time.
  • Ability to add new columns.
  • Can view details within each card.
  • Drag and drop status updates.
  • Create subtasks and check them off when completed.
  • View the Task archive: Click the Archive button to make a card disappear from the card wall view; at the same time, it will appear in the Archived section of the card wall. The Archived section can be made visible from Settings (next to the filter).
  • Ability to track time
  • Can add attachments and issues.

Client Portal Users

  • Client Portal users cannot see the Card Wall view in the Client Portal. 
  • When viewing, the plan will display as a list of tasks with details: Title, Start/End dates, Est.Hours, % Complete, and Resource name.
  • Client Portal users can only add Alerts and make comments to a task within a card wall plan. If assigned a task, Client Portal users should leave a detailed comment with the task status and update the PM or necessary team members in the Notification field.

To learn more about Card Walls, watch the TeamDynamix Card Wall Overview video.

Waterfall Plans

  • Are more commonly used for larger projects.
  • Can export from one project and import into another.
  • Large edits require a check-out/check-in process (does not update in real time).
  • Smaller edits (i.e. updating % complete) can be completed without checking out the plan.
  • If necessary, email IT-PMO@udel.edu to do a force check-in if another user checks out the plan and fails to check it back in.
  • Similar to Excel/Microsoft Project.
  • Ability to configure columns.
  • Add Milestones.
  • Date shifting.
  • Add predecessors.
  • Add external predecessors from other projects.
  • Ability to create custom fields.
  • Click and drag rows to the appropriate location as needed.
  • View additional task details about the task when you click on it.

The views available include:

  • Gantt charts
  • Burndown charts
  • Resource allocations

Client Portal Users: Client Portal users can only add Alerts and make Comments to a task within a Waterfall Plan. If assigned a task, Client Portal users should leave a detailed Comment with the task status and update the PM and/or necessary team members in the Notification field.

Tip: After checking in a waterfall plan, click on the task to include additional details about what is needed.

Note: Total percentage completed is calculated by the Est Hrs column. If no hours are entered in this column, the percentage completed is calculated by each individual percentage entered in the % column. If hours are entered in the Est Hrs column, TDX will automatically monitor and send a system generated email (if Task hours are exceeded) and recommend adjusting the estimated project hours or estimated plan hours.

Use the PMO Waterfall Plan Project Template

Not sure what to include in your Waterfall Plan? No problem!  PMO has provided one for you to modify and make your own.

  • In Plans, create a new plan, then select the Waterfall Plan radio button
  • At the question, “Do you want to create this plan from anything?”, select Use a plan from an existing Project Template.
  • Click Save.
  • From the Project Template dropdown, select PMO Project Template.
  • Click Create.
    The project template will now be available within your project to customize to your needs!

Tip: Automatically update the Plan Start Date from the template plan by clicking the Shift icon. This shifts the entire plan’s dates based on the existing durations and predecessors already included in the PMO Project Plan Template.

shift project plan dates in TDX

screenshot showing how to shift project plan dates in TDX

Additional information

TeamDynamix also provides some additional information on Project Plans in their Assigning a Project Task video.

Converting Tickets into Tasks

  • TDNext allows you to convert an existing ticket into a project Task.
  • Once converted, the ticket is still visible in the ticketing app.
  • Status = Converted to Task
  • The Task within the project can be worked like a manually created Plan Task.
  • Because the ticket has been converted into a Task, its start date, due date, estimated hours, and responsibility cannot be edited. In addition, because the ticket has not been marked as being completed, the status cannot be edited within the ticket.
  • Updates to the Task do not reflect back into the ticket (feed, attachments, resources added, read by, etc.).
  • % Completed and Start Date will reflect back to the ticket.
  • Once the Task is updated to 100% complete, the Update option will be enabled in the ticket so that it can be officially closed.

Milestones

Any Milestones referenced in the Plan will display here with the corresponding status and % complete.

Baselines

  • This section shows you the history of the baseline for this project.
  • Baselines are created by the PM within the Project Details section (under Actions).
  • Start and End Date will be based on the dates listed within the General section.

Links

  • Serves as a repository for references to valuable websites (i.e. Google Drive/OneDrive documents, Test Environment URLs, etc.).
  • Project participants can link to websites, plus include background information and comments for other project members.

Risks

Lastly, include any Risks identified during Project Charter creation.

  • Track and manage all risks associated with the project.
  • Assign risks to a team member to monitor and manage.
  • Include risks that will show in a Risk Register chart.

 

Next, review the following articles: