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Project Forecast Checklist


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Project Forecast Checklist Developing a forecast for a project means making an attempt to predict the future of the project in order to cope with rapid changing environment. In this Project Forecast Checklist we present common steps for developing project forecasts. Please use it as an additional guide in your project planning documentation.

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  1. Identify the Need for Forecasting.
    • Use an environmental analysis to identify factors that influence your company’s environment.
    • Review identified factors to determine the nature of their impact (neutral, negative or positive).
    • Analyze current status of the company’s strategic goals and objectives.
    • Establish correlation between the factors and the status.
    • Review ongoing projects and identify how they’re dependent on the status.
    • Determine whether there’s a need to examine ways for managing identified factors in order to mitigate their negative impact to the company’s projects and strategic goals.
    • Decide on the need for making forecasts of future changes in the project environment.
  2. Choose Things for Forecasting.
    • Analyze the project environment to define what things are affected critically by identified factors.
    • Identify how project plans are affected by those factors.
    • Make a list of project parameters that you are going to forecast (they could be performance, cost, resource need, changes in customer expectations, others.).
    • Identify current status of selected parameters.
    • Check if there are any existing forecasts of the parameters.
    • Choose a forecasting method such as:
      • Delphi technique
      • Monitoring method
      • Lessons Learned method
      • Relevance Trees
      • Cross-Impact analysis
      • Scenarios
    • Engage project teams in participating in the forecasting process.
  3. Identify Time Horizon.
    • Establish exact start time and finish time for your forecasting activity.
    • Assign a team that will do the forecasting process.
    • Set time horizon for the process (note that higher time horizon entails more accurate forecasting results).
    • Remember not to exceed the overall time available for your projects; otherwise your forecast will be useless.
    • Develop a schedule that explains what time the team has to step through the process and develop a complete project forecast.
  4. Setup Forecasting.
    • Set assumptions and constraints for your forecasting model.
    • Identify and measure boundaries for the model.
    • Define scope of the forecasting process.
    • Identify people involved in or affected by the process.
    • Be sure your implementation team has all necessary tools, systems and equipment to make forecasting.
    • Get approval for forecasting from senior management teams.
    • Identify resources required to do the process and then request these resources for approval.
    • Develop a budget sheet that shows the total amount of money required to acquire and utilize necessary resources.
  5. Implement the Process.
    • Engage the team in performing the forecasting process under the requirements defined at the previous steps.
    • Analyze your forecasting model to check its fitness to your project.
    • Conduct meetings and workshops with the team to discuss interim results and solve open issues.
    • Be sure that assumptions and constraints are counted by the team.
    • Review process performance to make sure the team follows the schedule.
    • Develop a team performance report on results produced after the process is done.
    • Have a project forecast made after the process is done.
  6. Use the Forecast.
    • Conduct a meeting with the seniors to discuss the forecast and identify further actions.
    • Focus on key points the forecast presents.
    • Summarize how the forecast correlates with the actual situation in your project environment.
    • Develop and agree an action plan for ...

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