Assumption log

Every project is planned by taking a collection of assumptions and constraints into consideration. These assumptions and constraints may exist before the implementation of the project or they may emerge as the project progresses.

According to PMBOK 7 and other project management references, assumption logs are project artifacts in which project assumptions and constraints are recorded throughout the project's lifecycle. They are categorized among project logs and registers.

Assumption logs are used for many project activities that have a pitch of uncertainty inside of them.  So it is a natural artifact to be used in activities related to the uncertainty performance domain. Assumptions and constraints are also an integral part of planning processes so in the planning performance domain it is widely used as input and artifact. 

An assumption log is a document that needs to be verified and updated continuously as the project progresses.  At the stage when the project charter document is being developed, the assumption log contains more general things in a summarized manner, and details begin to be recorded as the project progresses. They are useful while planning and executing the project work, delivering the project outcomes, and handling uncertainty.

Process groups in PMBOK 6 standards section is now one of the commonly used project management models recommended in PMBOK 7 with the change of the standard. The assumption log here can be an output of a process and input of another process. However, in PMBOK 7 assumption log is mentioned as a project artifact that can be used as a part of several performance domains. An assumption log is categorized under the log and register artifacts section. They are used as an artifact in;

What is an assumption in project management?

Sometimes we may not have any evidence or supporting data about something, but at the same time, we think it's true. That's exactly what is an assumption. When managing a project, you may assume that you have a team with enough skills to complete an activity. It is very important to list these assumptions at the beginning of the project and also verify and update these assumptions as the project progresses because the assumptions always have an amount of uncertainty in their nature. If there is uncertainty, it strongly signs that there are definitely risks also. Again, similarly, incorrect assumptions also pose a risk to the project. Therefore, the project manager needs to carefully determine and manage the assumptions.

What are project constraints?

Project constraints are the limitations that can affect the performance of a project. They are usually clearly indicated by the sponsor, management, or the customer at the start of the project (such as time constraints, cost constraints). A project manager should carefully manage the limitations without sacrificing the project objectives. In order to meet the constraints and not exceed them, the project manager should be realistic and direct his team to the right actions. Constraints limit the options of the project team, however, there are always some options, and the important thing here is to be aware of them.

See also:

Change log