Project Guide

For the support of JAMK research, development and innovation activities

Implement!

The implement phase of a project starts with familiarising oneself with the approved project plan, the financing decision, and instructions from the finance provider. The financing decision contains numerous terms and conditions upon which the payment of finances will be based. It is important to go through the financing decision immediately it has arrived from the finance provider. In such cases it is possible to file a request for corrections should you notice any errors in it. It is vital to understand right at the beginning of the project what can and cannot be done with the project’s finances.

The Director will reach a decision regarding the launch of the project by issuing a decree through the project management system, signing it, and then delivering it to the financial services project accounting team. After this the financial administration operatives will open a project number in the accounting system.

Drawing up contracts

The tasks, responsibilities, and roles of various actors were agreed upon during the project planning stage. However, it is important that these were prepared in writing. When applying for financing, agreements of intent are signed, and these are converted into cooperation agreements no later than at the launch of the project. Familiarise yourself with contract templates and make use of the expertise of the JAMK lawyer.

Reporting to the finance provider

The financing decision names when and how reporting about the project should be provided to the finance provider. Project indicators are usually sent to the finance provider through the electronic system used by them. Interim reports are, as a rule, made part of the payment applications. In addition to electronic administration the documents are also almost always delivered on paper. For more information on the process of payment application processing, see the JAMK Process Manual.

Steering group meetings

As indicated by its name, the steering group is literally a group that steers. It does not have legal power of decision, as the applicant organisation is always legally responsible for the project. The steering group does not only assess the work of the Project Manager, but steers the project in issues concerning its content. It is worthwhile to use the majority of the time at the steering group meetings for joint and genuine deliberation of activities. It does not serve its purpose if only the Project Manager talks and everyone else listens. Issues should be considered together.

The discussion of administrative issues should be kept to a minimum at meetings. These are handled together with a call for a steering group meeting. Follow-up and interim reports, payment applications, and similar items are appended to the call and the participants will review these in advance. The reports mentioned above are discussed in a meeting only in relation to deviations and if there are any questions about them.

Project file

The official project documentation is archived in a project file that is stored by the financial services project accounting team. These documents include:

  • Financing application and Project plan
  • Financing decision
  • Contracts
  • Payment application documents, including interim reports, follow-up reports, procurement documents, and commissioning forms
  • Steering group minutes
  • Final report

The project accounting team archives the documents at the end of the project for the time period specified by the finance provider.

Assessment during the execution of the project

Plan – Do – Check – Act. The continuous improvement cycle of quality management is also efficient during the project, while it is being carried out. Carry out the assessment of both the project management and the achievement of targets. As a minimum, you should carry out the assessment that is stated in the project plan, but do not forget less official channels that can provide valuable information to support your work. Project assessment is targeted at learning and making use of what you have learnt. Spread the word about good practice. Record all of these in the project management system.

Keep an eye on changes in the operating environment and assess whether they have any impact on the execution of the project in compliance with the plan. Should the project plan require any change, first discuss this with the R&D Manager of your school. Then contact the finance provider in order to find out what options exist for updating the project plan. You should also take into account all the contracts that have been concluded in relation to the execution of the project.

Tips

  • Draw up written and clear rules of the game that have been agreed with the participants as to how to act in this project. Make these rules the ‘rules of the house’.
  • If nothing is heard about a (partial) participant, this does not necessarily mean that everything is all right. Remember to keep in touch regularly.
  • Reserve sufficient amounts of time. Project schedules are usually too optimistic.
  • Do not assume. Ask and discuss.
  • Make use of the expertise and experience that is available through the various JAMK fields.

 

Updated 30.8.2012