Thanks to the Recovery Act, the EERE portfolio of financial assistance grew eight-fold, resulting in a broad range of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology projects. Regardless of the type of the Recipient or the technology focus, DOE expects all Recipients to meet basic requirements of accountability, oversight, monitoring, and reporting.
Good planning at the outset of a project helps ensure strong performance during implementation. One tool in particular that DOE believes is particularly useful is known as the Project Management Plan (PMP).
The PMP sets forth how a Recipient will carry out, monitor, and control a project to achieve the stated objectives. Although the content of a PMP will vary according to the complexity of a given project, every PMP should contain certain essential elements: an executive summary; a plan for addressing risk; project milestones; financial information matched to planned tasks; criteria for measuring success; decision points; and communications requirements.
One Recipient in particular created a comprehensive PMP containing all of these elements in just five pages. The Recipient is developing technologies related to improving energy extraction in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). The key features of this PMP are as follows:
· One page executive summary providing a high-level overview of project objectives with discussion of how a go/no go decision will be employed at a key juncture;
· Description of tasks to be accomplished including planned duration and budget amount;
· Risk management plan including a table describing specific risks linked to individual tasks and sub-tasks and an assigned risk level along with mitigation strategies for each;
· Milestone log in table format with tasks, specific milestones, and completion dates;
· Gantt-style project timeline chart with tasks and sub-tasks; and
· “PERT” (Project Evaluation and Review Technique) chart showing interrelation of tasks and associated go/no go decision points.
The PMP not only formed a baseline for determining project progress, but it also helped the Recipient in its quarterly reporting to DOE. It provides an illustrative example of a PMP that is concise and informative as well as useful to all stakeholders in the project.