Project planning is a key process in every project and you need the right tools to deliver your work successfully. Jennifer Bridges, our video host, shares 5 essential steps for planning success.
In Review: 5 Steps To Project Management Planning
In this video, Jennifer talked about the five steps you need to take to plan your project efficiently and correctly.
Those 5 steps are:
- Mobilize quickly. When you use the right tools and templates, you don’t have to start from scratch.
- Break down your deliverables and get input from your team on the tasks that are required.
- Create a timeline which specifies the steps necessary to complete the work.
- Look for resources, both people and equipment, tools and templates.
- Use project management software to share and collaborate with your team.
We hope that these 5 steps will help you be more effective in your planning.
Pro Tip: Don’t try to plan everything yourself. Involve your team in the planning process to distribute the workload, get team buy-in, and promote collaboration.
Take it further: Here’s a checklist of 20 tips to improve your project planning..
Thanks for watching!
Hello, I’m Jennifer Whitt, Director of ProjectManager.com. Welcome to our White Board Session today on “Planning a Project in Five Steps.” We get so many questions on planning projects, and how to get beyond Analysis Paralysis, and how to alleviate skipping, and go directly to executing the project. So, today what we want to talk about are, there are some simple things that you can do to get out of analysis paralysis, and begin planning to go towards execution.
I’d like to bold things down and make things simple. I love a picture. A picture to me is worth a thousand words. So, in essence, we’re trying to determine; how do we get from point A, to point B in a project? Point A being, going from the beginning of the project with your scope and objectives, to the end objective of the project, because as you know, a project has an objective. We’re doing this project for some objective.
If we work in planning, we come up with a course of action to get from point A to point B. The assumption here is that, the initiating has already started. You are working with an authorized project charter that authorizes the project manager to even begin working on this.
A lot of times we get ahead of ourselves in our projects, and we can begin working on that. The assumption here is, we have the authorization to begin the planning for this project, and we do have a project charter which includes a high level budget, a high level scope, timeline, and resources for this project. Now, the project manager is tasked with planning this.
Here are five steps that can help you move forward. Basically, we talk about creating the project plan. The project plan is to boil down in the different areas, what has to be done? How are we going to be doing it? Who is going to be doing it? We’re laying out processes so that the whole team and the whole project, stake holders, change control board, everyone knows how we’re going to deliver this project.
Again, you’ve heard us talk about, on several of our White Board Sessions, mobilizing. Mobilizing quickly, because when we talk with organizations and executives, or shareholders of these projects, they’re looking for things to be done in a synchronized way, and things to be done quickly. We talk about mobilizing with templates, anything that you can do to put in place, hopefully prior to the planning, but for sure in planning. You want to get there quickly, so get your templates in place, and begin working on your project plan so you’re not starting from scratch.
Number two. Break down your deliverables. So, in the project charter, you’ve given some type of scope, or again, the objective that you’re trying to meet. Now what we’re trying to do is, break this down into deliverables that have to be provided for this project. We also talk about, in several of our White Board Sessions, the concept of socializing. Socializing between all of our team members, meaning trying to collaborate more effectively, and get the input of others on our team. So, bringing that information back, we begin to determine the dependencies, the critical path, the issues, risks, and recourses required for this project.
We also create a timeline. How long is it going to take to get this project done? How long will it take us to get from point A to point B? Then, we go about assigning specific resources to produce deliverables, to get tasks done to produce those deliverables. The result is, by doing these steps, we produce, or we come up with our course of action to get from point A to point B.
I always like to look for resources. What are some additional resources that I, or you, can use for a project manager? We believe strongly in templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch. Take something that’s repeatable for your type of projects, or maybe for your organization or the specific type of project that you’re doing.
Also, starting with the resource matrix by knowing who is available in your organization for this project. Whose been tapped for this project, and any kind of organizational charts to know who are other resources and organizations, or what other organizations are we going to be interacting with? Those also have input into some other priorities that are maybe going on with your project.
Number three. We believe in project management software with document sharing so that in order to get these planning steps done, we are, as a project manager, going to have to collaborate with other team members; whether project team members, or change control board, or stake holders.
These are five steps that we believe are effective in planning your project.
At ProjectManager.com, we believe strongly in planning your project. We’ve incorporated some techniques in our software that will help you with your five steps. If you’re looking so socialize and mobilize and globalize for your project, start your free trial today!