Introduction to Project Management: Asking the 6 basic questions
As Wysocki (2009, p.22) explained in his book, these six basic questions bear a valid summary of a wide
range of Project Management methodologies which are in use. As he further stressed, some Project
Management methodologies do not tend to bring forth tangible deliverables while they seem to
overburden the Project manager with irrelevant processes. The Project Management Book Of Knowledge
(PMBOK, 2008) being a globally recognized standard provides 5 key process groups encompassed in 9
Knowledge areas within which Wysocki’s basic six could be logically linked to.
What business situation is being addressed?
Addressing the first question, the response could as well be referred to as the Business case that must be
justifiable throughout the duration of the project. There must be an organizational problem to be solved or
a business opportunity to take advantage of (Wysocki, 2009, p.24), before every other step ensues in
project management. The answer must hold a tangible business solution which is typically embedded in
the PMBOK’s Initiating process group.
What needs to be done?
This question sets in when the client must have identified a business situation to be addressed. It also
addresses concerns within PMBOK’s Initiating Process group. Considering that in a typical scenario, the
client may have basked in the euphoria of wants instead of needs (Wysocki, 2009, p.52), it is the project
proposer’s task (here the project manager) to bring to common terms, the client’s wants and his actual
needs. This is not generally easy to identify for both negotiating groups but it a very significant question
that would require a mutual agreement. The project manager must ensure that he fully agrees terms with
the client on what needs to be done since this question defines the input deliverables and layout for
subsequent PMBOK’s Process groups.
What will be done?
This question comes in as a...