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Chapter 2 – The Project File

Part 3


Technical term Definition
Project file (project manual) A document or a collection of files, forming the foundation of the project which is to be planned. (Danger of confusion: The project manual is not the project management manual!)
Project management manual Sets out all the base organisation’s project management standards.
Comprises binding guidelines extending from the start to the finish of a project.
Inclusion of forms, work and process methods.
Project report Gives all parties involved in the project an overview about the actual state of the project.
Project progress reporting Documents the progress of the project since the last report.
Chronological representation (history log) Quotations and minutes of the meeting are documented word by word.
Systemised summary (records log) Documentation of key interim results.
Project controlling The on-going acquisition of current data relating to time, expenditure/costs and performance/quality (for project control), evaluation of variance analyses and, if necessary, the initiation of measures. Controlling can comprise very different activities, depending on the controller’s authority.
Configuration management Detailed and complete compilation and documentation of project results and their systematic updating when changes in the project take place.
Change management Assessment of all change requests, especially when they affect project objectives.
Documentation management Provision of all necessary documents for every question. Document management is not responsible for the content of the documents.

Test yourself!

Now it's time to check your knowledge.

Answer the following questions for yourself. Please take your time and think carefully about what you would answer before revealing the solution.

What content should be included in the final report?
  • Planned and achieved quality, deadline and cost objectives
  • Reasons for deviations
  • All the things that went well and badly for the team
  • Consequences for future projects
  • To-do list
What is the difference between a systematic summary and a chronological representation?
  • Systemised summary: Documentation of key interim results
  • Chronological representation: Quotations and minutes of the meeting are documented word by word
What is a document requirements matrix used for?

It compiles stakeholder information requirements in a list and specifies report type, frequency, summarisation and distribution. It ensures that the information recipients are provided with the correct quantity of information → enough to give them an idea of what is going on but in summarised format to ensure that they can retain an overview.

Which content and which format should a project report have?

Overview of planning parameters such as deadlines, costs, project progress and status, e.g. through:

  • Cockpit report with MTA, information about deadline adherence and costs, plus information about the quality of the project deliverable
  • Milestone trend analysis, extended milestone technique: Provides an at-a-glance overview of whether key project deadlines will be met or not
    It can be used as a derived (from network diagram) or original (estimate) tool
  • Traffic light reports highly simplify overview of the situation
    The traffic light colours can be used to denote project status, finished work packages, interim results, materialising problems and counter measures and for significant project activities in the subsequent month
What is the difference between a project management manual and the project manual?
  • Project management manual: sets out all the base organisation’s project management standards
  • Project manual: contains all project-relevant documents such as reports, agreements, drawings etc. one handbook per project (also called project file)