Did you know you could learn to plan a project in 10 simple steps? Jason Westland, CEO and Founder of ProjectManager.com, has managed billion dollar projects in his career as a project manager. His book will guide you through the project planning process so that you can plan for all of the items step-by-step.
To plan a project, you need to do more than just create a loose schedule of to-do items. You need to plan resources, finances, equipment, risks and project communications to name a few.
Here are some snippets from the book…
Create a Project Plan
The creation of a comprehensive Project Plan is critical to the success of the project. The Project Plan identifies the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of processes, activities and tasks to be undertaken to complete the project. It identifies the sequencing, duration and dependencies of tasks as well as the generic resources and financial expenditures required to complete the project.
Create a Resource Plan
Following the creation of a Project Plan, a detailed assessment of the resources required to undertake the project should be made. The required labor, equipment and materials should be listed and the amount of each resource quantified. Finally, the resource usage should be scheduled to provide the Project Manager with a complete view of the total amount of resources needed for each stage of the project.
Create a Financial Plan
The Financial Plan describes the total quantity of financial resources required during each stage of the project. The total cost of each item of labor, equipment and materials is calculated, as well as the total cost of undertaking each activity within the Project Plan.
Create a Quality Plan
To ensure that the project deliverables meet customer requirements, a Quality Plan is developed. This plan explicitly lists the quality targets to be achieved, and a suite of Quality Assurance and Quality Control activities are scheduled to ensure that the required level of quality is achieved throughout the project.
Create a Risk Plan
Managing Project Risk is a critical process within the Project Lifecycle. To mitigate risk effectively, all foreseeable project risks are identified and rated in terms of their likelihood of occurrence and potential impact on the project. The risks are prioritized and a set of actions identified to reduce the likelihood of each risk and its impact on the project should it occur.
Create an Acceptance Plan
The key to customer satisfaction is in gaining approval from the customer that the deliverables meet the quality criteria stated in the Quality Plan. To ensure that customer acceptance is sought for each deliverable produced by the project, an Acceptance Plan is created. The Acceptance Plan provides a schedule of Acceptance Reviews which are undertaken to gain customer acceptance for the completion of each deliverable within the project.
Create a Communication Plan
A Communications Plan is a document which describes the information to be provided to project stakeholders to keep them informed of the progress of the project. Each stakeholder is listed and their requirements for information clearly identified. A schedule of communication events and activities are laid out to ensure that the right information is communicated to the right people at the right time.