Permits and Approval Controls

Micro Learning Unit

Many projects require a variety of authorizations and permits, as well as a-priori approval of the deliverable before any progress can be made on the project. Some of these authorizations and approvals are internal—ones given by managers or other bodies involved in the project. Others are external—ones obtained from bodies that are not related to the organization or project, such as standard permits from governmental authorities.

Any permits, approvals and authorizations needed for the project should be noted explicitly in the work plan in order to facilitate proactive efforts to obtain them and to keep track of their status. Close attention should be paid to any of these permits, approvals and authorizations needed shortly in order to verify that all those involved in the process are aware of the requirements and are working towards fulfilling them.

It is best to appoint a responsible party to track each permit, and to manage these permits as a work package composed of different tasks. Completing these tasks will lead to receiving the required permit. Ensure that all parties involved in completing these tasks understand their importance as part of good and professional project management.

Considering these permits to be only “bureaucratic evils”—meant only to provide formal approval and not truly important—misses the point and is detrimental to the project’s success.

It is important to identify early indicators of problems in the project and therefore identify and monitor:

  • Approvals that should have been received and have not yet been received by distribution according to the type of approval and according to the approving party (internal / external, individual / body …)
  • Percentage of corrections required until each approval is obtained