It is important to emphasize the “project life cycle” aspect of a PMIS. Most projects will go through pre-proposal, proposal and execution phases generally carried out by various teams over a fairly long period.
We cannot stress enough the importance of having a PMIS that covers the entire “project life cycle”. This is the essence of a good portfolio management process.
Some companies use a contact relationship management system (CRM) for the development and proposal phases. In this case, access to the assumptions and constraints identified, as well as the associated documents must be made available to the project management team.
Assumptions and constraints are often elements not covered or ambiguities in contractual documents. The project management team has the obligation to clarify them during the project initiation phase, ideally during the customer kick-off meeting. And we all know how busy the project initiation phase is. Therefore, all information must be known, accessible and complete.
We have all experienced at least once the unfortunate consequences of a disconnection between the pre-project and execution phases, between the assumptions and the contractual documents. In many cases, this translates into a poor customer experience, cost and time overrun.
The ideal time to discuss the assumptions with the client is the initial kick-off meeting. This is the only meeting in which most of the stakeholders will participate (procurement, contract, project management, engineering). And it's still the honeymoon between the client, the engineers and the entrepreneur 😊.
The diagram below shows the key information that needs to go from one phase to another in the PMIS.