Align the Team
Our work is accomplished by teams; our projects are successful based on the effectiveness
of the team delivering them. To that end Initiating and Aligning
the team is the first item in project management. During initiation and alignment
the team is identified and the project is defined. The responsibilities of the project
manager and team to deliver the project are established. The
Initiate and Align worksheet (docx 50KB) is used to focus and record the efforts
of this phase.
- Project Summary
- Capital Program Management System (CPMS)
Initiate the Project
Initiation is the process of defining and authorizing the project or phase, selecting
the project manager and identifying the project team. Region or organization management
provides the team with the initial project information, project phase, legislative
milestone commitments and project boundaries (limits).
- Review the Program Item Number (PIN) from the Project Summary or the legislative
budget. Verify the needs (baseline and contextual), deficiencies, purpose and
goals the project is intended to address.
- With region program management, review the Capital Program Management System
(CPMS) for specific limitations on the project (funding, scope, scheduled milestones,
and timing) and its performance.
- Develop a Project Description for use
initiate and align worksheet (docx 50KB) and project management. This is
a formal statement that specifies a high level "product" or "outcome" the project
is intended to produce. It may be as simple as the Program Item Number (PIN)
or Work Item Number (WIN) description, or it may be more detailed, depending
on the complexity of the project and the goals of the project manager. It generally
includes the following characteristics:
Establish a draft set of Boundaries
for review and planning.
- It is a statement of the desired condition at the end of the project;
hence, it describes an "end result" and should be capable of being seen.
- It is a "project" objective, not the duty of an individual.
- It establishes a common goal toward which all project activities and
- The project description should be consistent with the Work Item Number
(WIN) description(s) from the Project Summary. That is, while the project
description for use in the project management plan may provide more detail
than the project summary, it should not change the scope or intent of the
project as stated in the Project Summary or legislative budget description.
In addition, the Project Summary provides the following data to include
in the project description:
- Type of work
- Functional class / Contextual classification
- New/Reconstruction (yes or no)
- National Highway System (NHS) status
- Type of roadway
Use the project description and boundaries to begin the Team Identification
- the identification of functional areas for the project team - including specialty
groups, consultants, etc. if needed to support the delivery of the project.
Review the project description, boundaries, major milestones (from CPMS),
functional areas, specialties and recommended team members with region or organization
Enter the project description, boundaries and functional areas and specialty
groups on the
initiate and align worksheet. (docx 50KB)
- Validate "boundary" parameters.
- Identify which parameters are "fixed" and which are "flexible".
- Determine the acceptable range of variation for those parameters deemed
- Anticipate possible changes to boundaries.
Align the Team
Alignment establishes the team's understanding of how they will work together
and commitment to successful project delivery. Alignment builds the team foundation
by defining roles, responsibilities and performance measures. This step creates
a sense of esprit d’ corps, lines of communication and a sense of cooperation
and coordination within the project team.
The project team is a designated group of people, including specialty groups, consultants,
contractors, and others, who will work together under the direction of the project
manager to perform and complete the work of the project.
Once the project description and boundaries are agreed upon with region or organization
management, the project manager identifies the specific team members needed to manage
and accomplish the work assigned. The team members then work together to further
define a team mission or assignment, major project milestones, team roles and responsibilities,
operating guidelines and measures of success.
During this phase, the project manager (or team member assigned) begins work with
the appropriate specialty groups to develop
internal scope of work agreements (pdf 100KB)to define roles and project responsibilities.
Scope of Work agreement template) (docx 50KB)
- Assemble the project team. Share the project description, boundaries and
major milestones (from (CPMS) with the project team. Note: The
Initial Schedule Development process (pdf 100KB) document and
map (pdf 50KB) provide additional guidance for team alignment.
- Working as a team, develop and agree upon the
Team Mission - the specific work the project team is assigned
to perform by the approved Work Order Authorization. For example, the project
description might be "construct an additional lane in each direction from MPxx
to MPyy", the team mission might be "Design and develop a bid package for the
construction of an additional lane...etc." While the project description identifies
the end product or outcome, the team mission relates only to specific work deliverables
and tasks needed to accomplish the assigned scope of work.
- Use the mission statement or scope of work to verify the assembled team
has the required technical, administrative and management skills needed to accomplish
- Review the major Milestones as
set up in CPMS. Six of the milestones from CPMS are identified as "major" milestones
for the reason that they are "reportable" to our external stakeholders e.g.
Legislature, Office of Financial Management (OFM) and the public. The six major
milestones, in the sequence the typically occur, are:
Work with specialty groups to begin developing an
Internal Scope of Work agreement (pdf 100KB) that identifies who will do
what work and when the work will be completed.
(Internal Scope of Work agreement template) (docx 50KB)
Identify the work that will require the services of consultants or contractors,
follow procedures according to the
Service Procedures Manual or
Manual , respectively.
Define Roles and Responsibilities,
or "who will do what". A "role" is the specific title or position; e.g., team
leader, designer, permit coordinator that is assigned the responsibility; "responsibility"
is defined as the deliverable expected of the team or individual; e.g., hydraulic
analysis, environmental permits, traffic report. Roles and responsibilities
must be mutually understood and agreed to during the initiate and align phase.
- Project Definition Complete
- Begin Preliminary Engineering
- Environmental Documentation Complete
- Right of Way Certification
- Advertisement (Ad date)
- Operationally Complete
- Not all of these milestones are always applicable to every project,
e.g. projects that do not require right of way will not require right of
Major milestone definitions are available in the
Project Control and Reporting Manual (pdf 3MB).
Along with the major milestones, region or organization management and the
project team may identify project specific milestones that need to be monitored.
These milestones identify specific elements of the Pre-Construction, Right
of Way and Construction phases and the dates by which they will be accomplished
in order to consider the project or phase successful.
Deliverable Expectation Matrix (pdf 20KB) identifies and defines several
interim milestones to help plan and deliver the project. This matrix was
developed to communicate the expectations for a range of project development
deliverables and to lay out the general order for a PS&E project.
Roles and responsibilities are defined at the appropriate Work Breakdown Structure
(WSDOT Master Deliverables List). They may be defined by teams or functional
areas or to an individual. Based on the needs of the project, the team may develop
a project table of organization or or
Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) (docx 50KB). The RAM associates the
project organizational structure to the WBS to ensure each project element is
assigned to a person or team.
Identify and agree upon Measures of
Success for the project. Review the Capital Program Management
System (CPMS) file, project description, team mission/assignments, major milestones,
- Identify the goals, deliverables and outcomes (i.e. critical success
factors) and the corresponding measures of success; the metrics that indicate
the project team progress and performance toward those critical success
- Involve all specialty groups in the identification of critical success
factors and measures of success. Capture the associated measures in the
internal scope of work agreement (pdf 100KB).
- Review the draft list of critical success factors and measures off success
with region or organization management.
Define the specific indicators, signals, threshold values, etc., that will
be monitored and reported in order to provide timely and accurate visibility
of project team progress and performance in meeting each of the measures
- Enter measures of success and any corresponding milestones on the
initiate and align worksheet (docx 50KB). Examples include:
Develop and agree upon team Operating
Guidelines, which describe how the project team will govern itself.
They identify the functions most commonly performed by the team and guidelines
to steer it to provide those functions. Operating guidelines may be combined
with the project communication plan. Examples of team operating guidelines are:
- A general plans review (60%), of major project elements and constructability
conformance that requires minimal or minor revisions.
- An Ad ready PS&E package review process that results in a minimum
number of errors, addenda and change orders during the construction
- Open communication within the project team, with management and
stakeholders that produces effective and timely project progress and
- Minimal or no environmental compliance violations as a result of
clearly defined environmental goals and guidance.
- Team decision-making process
- Team meetings (structure, frequency, etc.)
- Communication (methods, uses, frequency, protocols, etc.)
- Team performance measures
- Team issues and conflict management
- Team assembled, Initiate and Align worksheet and draft charter completed.