Appendix D D-1
Appendix D: Potential Shortcuts for Low-Risk Projects
In Appendix C: Summary of Key Project Manager Actions and Results, we identified a set
of specific actions that project managers should take to help ensure the success of their projects.
These actions provide certain checks and balances that are essential, especially if the project is
complicated, controversial, highly visible, or managed by an inexperienced team. However,
there are certain circumstances when fewer safeguards may be needed. For example, if you are
both the project manager and the sponsor, it may not be necessary to build in sponsor approvals
in your project plans. Or if you are managing a project that is relatively small, employs time-
tested processes that have become a matter of routine for your project team, and will lead to the
deliverables whose need and feasibility are assured, you may be able to skip and/or abbreviate
several of the Key Project Manager Actions.
The table below shows how you might eliminate or abbreviate some of these Actions under
certain circumstances. Here’s what the symbols mean:
This symbol z
zz
z means that the Action should be fully completed.
This symbol
means that the Action might be abbreviated.
This symbol means that you might completely skip the Action.
Action
Low-Risk Example 1:
The project is needed
and feasible
You are your own
project sponsor
Low-Risk Example 2:
The project is
needed and feasible
The project is small
and routine
The project employs
time-tested activities
Initiating
1. Demonstrate Project Need and
Feasibility
——
2. Obtain Project Authorization
3. Obtain Authorization for the Phase
Planning
4. Describe Project Scope

5. Define and Sequence Project
Activities
z
6. Estimate Durations for Activities and
Resources Required
z
D-2 The Project Manager’s Partner
Action
Low-Risk Example 1:
The project is needed
and feasible
You are your own
project sponsor
Low-Risk Example 2:
The project is
needed and feasible
The project is small
and routine
The project employs
time-tested activities
Planning (continued)
7. Develop a Project Schedule
zz
8. Estimate Costs
zz
9. Build a Budget and Spending Plan
zz
10. (Optional) Create a Formal Quality
Plan
——
11. (Optional) Create a Formal Project
Communications Plan
——
12. Organize and Acquire Staff

13. (Optional) Identify Risks and Plan to
Respond
——
14. (Optional) Plan for and Acquire
Outside Resources
——
15. Organize the Project Plan
z
16. Close Out the Project Planning Phase
z
17. Revisit the Project Plan and Replan If
Needed
zz
Executing
18. Execute Project Activities
zz
Controlling
19. Control Project Activities
zz
Closing
20. Close Out Project Activities
z

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