In order for any project to have a successful outcome, a project needs a solid foundation. Before the work starts there must be the coming together of minds to agree the project objectives, scope and detailed activities to produce a working project plan. This will describe from start to finish how it will be done and in what duration it will be finished.
In the design of the project plan, the Project Manager is responsible for ensuring the process is completed with sufficient rigour and team involvement. There are a number of different ways in which a project plan can be established. Whether one desires to use software that has been pre-planned or a course of action that calls for self-designation origin, all have certain commonalities that might include:
- Measurable Goal Setting. There must an idea as to where the project is going and in a given timeframe what is to be accomplished. The goals must be obtainable and able to gauge. A given time frame must be set to complete a specific sector of the project assigned to certain individuals and that responsibility must be monitored, measured, and a record kept of events by an appointee. This is especially important in situations where each portion of the project relies on completion of another.
- Identifying deliverables. Deliverables can be defined as changes that were made or something new that has been added to accomplish the goals. At any rate, the deliverable should be identified, stating what different steps were used, apart from the original, to meet the achieved goals. Make sure that deliverables are given to an authorized individual and approved.
- Schedule Planning. Deciding how to use the timeframe that has been given to complete a project to meet the specified goal is important. This route will help one to understand what can be reasonably accomplished, use time wisely, provide extra time for the uncertainties, and to lessen overextension of oneself.
- Support plans. These plans include the process that will be used to accomplish the goals of the project. What approach will be used? What are the requirements for reaching the goals of the project?
- Back up plans. For every project that is planned there has to be some type of back up plan. If any part of the original procedures fail or has to be completely changed, there should be another avenue available to take its place. This will lessen the amount of set backs, reassuring that the time allocation that has been set for the project to be finished is met.
Benefits of Project Planning
- Timely completion of project. Time is of the essence and with project planning one can be assured that the project will be completed on target.
- Uninterrupted work flow. In addition, project planning will lessen the disruption of work and allow for continuous progression without a lot of delays.
- Cost Control. The expenditure for the project will be decreased because the monies have been previously allocated and planned to the last penny as to what will be spent on what and when.
- Decreased changes. A work in progress is unsuccessful if there are many changes that have to be carried out and reworked. Project planning reduces these occurrences to the minimal.
- Keeps management informed. Project planning keeps management informed with timely reports as to the status of the project. No one has to guess or wonder what is actually going on, but information will be provided through memos, emails, etc.
- Stability. There is strength among the assigned workers when there is a project paln. Each individual has a clear understanding of what he or she is responsible for and when it is due. Project planning assures that the participants are running the project, instead of the project running them.