June 5, 2012 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Project Plan Development
7 Tips on How To Create the Perfect Project Plan in Project Management
By Cora Systems
If you fail to plan you plan to fail!! It is essential that before you start a project, you must put an adequate amount of planning into it before it gets off the ground. It may be tempting to go at the project all guns blazing with a power of motivation behind it from an optimistic project team. However taking this hasty approach could have severe knock on affects on the success of the project. Planning is a fundamental rule to flawless project management.
What is a project plan in one sentence? A project plan is a means of how to undertake a project within a set timeframe, breakdown of tasks, and selected resources.
I have gathered a selection of tips on how to create the perfect project plan, they include:
- Goals and objectives: The goals and objectives of the project need to be gathered in order to start on the project plan. The ideal method of collecting this information is by having a meeting where everyone’s needs are taking into consideration. Those needs are then prioritised. From here the selected needs are transferred into clear goals
Project deliverables = project goals: Once the goals have been set, you need to complete an assessment of what the project must deliver in order for the goals to be reached.
Project tasks and WBS: Having decided on the deliverables of the project, a schedule of the tasks should be developed. Also called a work breakdown structure, it is core to project management. By putting an adequate amount of time and energy into the work breakdown structure will ultimately save you effort later by avoiding time and cost overruns. To build a WBS it would be advisable to start with the major tasks and from there breakdown into the minor ones.
Identify roles and responsibilities: Nominate an individual with the necessary experience to take on the role of project leader. Preferably this experience should be around the concept of the project. Next identify the project team. You need to decide the number of human resources needed to complete the project and ensure that the correct balance is there with skills, knowledge and expertise. Lastly outline the roles and responsibilities of the resource on the project, the starting dates and estimated duration of their work.
Develop the project scope: This piece of documentation is probably the most important document within the project plan. It will document what the project is to deliver at completion and the time and expenditure set in order to reach the project goals. It is not uncommon for a project scope to change as the project progresses.
Communication: You could have a perfect project plan up to this point and see it all fail due to poor or lack of communication. The communication plan is a key part of the project plan. The communication plan should consist of the communication channels that will take place and the times at which the communication will take place. All this information will come together to ultimately show who needs to be informed throughout the duration of the project and how the information will be delivered to them.
How the risks are to be managed: An unexpected risk could put a spanner in the works. It is essential that all possible risks are highlighted and where possible, have solutions in place to deal with them. Ignoring a risk will not make it go away so it is important to have a plan in place before they have an impact on the project
Developing a project plan takes time and patience. It is important that the people involved put in the essential level of work in order to develop a plan that will stand strong. The team that develop a solid project plan will have more direction than the team that allows the project to take its own course of action.
Established in 1999, with over 12 years of experience in Project Management Software, Cora Systems have developed a highly functional, web-based system. Our skills and knowledge have enabled us to become a world leader in Project, Portfolio and Performance Management Software. We value our extensive client base and provide a comprehensive range of services to ensure our customers gains the full value and benefits from using ProjectVision. www.corasystems.com
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