GDPM Key Elements

Project Mandate

The project mandate describes the the purpose and the the approach of a planned project. The proposed content of a project mandate document looks as follows:

  • Summary
  • Mission of the project (mission breakdown structure)
  • Scope of the project (what is in and what is out)
  • Benefits of the project
  • Delivery approach (e.g big bang or step by step)
  • Project Organization
  • Major stakeholders
  • Project Resources (Financial, Personnel, Infrastructure)
  • Constraints
  • High level Project Plan (Milestone Plan)
  • Risks and Mitigation actions

Milestone Plan

The milestone plan is a central element of the GDPM method. It contains the milestones the dependencies and the deadlines together with a short description of the content of the respective milestone. An example of a mandate, milestone plan and responsibility matrix can be found in the reference section.

milestone plan


Milestones are the heart of GDPM. They represent an important achievement which is described in a way that everybody who is involved in the project has the same understanding. It is important that achievement is easily controllable.


Responsibility Chart

The responsibility chart shows for each milestone what organizational unit or project group is involved in achieving the respective milestone. There are eight distinguished roles a group, department or function can assume:

  • D: takes Decicions solely or ultimately
  • d: take decisions jointly or partly
  • P: manages Process and controls progress
  • X: eXecutes the work
  • C: must be Consulted
  • I: must be Informed
  • T: provides Tuition on the job
  • A: is avaible to Advice

Additionally you can define "project principles" and the associated responsibilities e.g. who is in charge for allocation of additional resources.

Activity Plan

The Activity Plan captures all activities which are required to achieve a particular milestone. Depending on the size and duration of the project one normally applies a "rolling wave" approach, meaning you just plan the activities of the next period and do not plan all detailed activities for all milestones at the beginning of the project. Classically you have one activity plan (sheet) per milestone, but you can also use standard PM Tools for task management and link your activities to the respective milestone.