The purpose of Managing a Stage Boundary process has two parts:
- The Project Manager has to provide the Project Board with an overview of the performance of the current stage, update the Project Plan and Business Case, and create a Stage Plan for the next stage.
- This information will enable the Project Board to review the current stage, approve the next stage, review the updated Project Plan, and confirm Continued Business Justification.
The objective of the Managing a Stage Boundary process is to:
- Assure the Project Board that all products in the current stage are produced and approved.
- Review and update, if necessary, the usual documents, which are the Project Initiation Documentation, Business Case, Project Plan, and Risk Register.
- Record any lessons in the Lessons Log that can help in later stages or in future projects.
- Prepare the Stage Plan for the next stage and Request Authorization to start the next stage.
Remember that Managing a Stage Boundary begins near the end of the current stage and before the next stage. If the current stage is forecast to go out of tolerance, then the Project Manager will create an Exception Plan instead of a next Stage Plan, and the Project Manager will request to complete the current stage instead of asking to continue with the next stage.
The Managing a Stage Boundary process provides the information for the Project Board to evaluate the project at strategic points so they can decide to stop or to continue to the next stage, and check how the project is going according to the original plan.
Remember, the Project Board is the one that controls the project and the stage Boundary process, and provides them with the necessary information to do this. So what does the Project Board consider?
- They will consider the Continued Business Justification of the project.
- They wish to confirm that the stage has delivered all its planned products and benefits.
- They will consider the next Stage Plan.
- The will consider if the project should be allowed to continue or to shut the project down.
It is important to remember that a decision to shut down the project should not be seen as a failure. It is the correct thing to do if the project becomes too costly, risky, unjustifiable, etc.
There are 5 activities within the Managing a Stage Boundary, and they are:
- Planning the next stage
- Update the Project Plan
- Confirm what has been done and forecast planning for the next stage.
- Update the Business Case
- Business Case must be updated with the latest costs of the last stage, plus up-to-date forecast for the next stage. It will be used by the Project Board.
- Report Stage End or do the “Produce an Exception Plan” activity in this process.
- Stage Plan: The End Stage Report requires information from the current Stage Plan.
- Project Plan: The Next Stage Plan requires information from the Project Plan (part of the Project Initiation Documentation).
- Exception Report: The Exception Plan requires information from the Exception Report.
- The next Stage Plan or Exception Plan is created.
- The End Stage Report gives an overview of how well the stage performed.
- The Business Case and Project Plan are also updated
- Request to Project Board. The last thing the Project Manager will do is to send a request to the Project Board to continue with the next stage or go back and complete the current stage.