What Goes Into a Project Plan?

ProjectManager.com

There are many parts that make up a project plan, and Jennifer Bridges, PMP, explains them all in this tutorial video.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

project plans for project management

In Review: What Goes Into a Project Plan?

Jennifer gets a lot of questions about project planning, and that’s why she’s made these tutorials, starting today with the basics.

First she noted a holistic approach to planning, not focusing solely on the product or the parts of the plan, like the scope and budget, but taking in the bigger picture.

That larger view of a project plan includes such required areas as:

  • Scope
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Quality

Then there are the critical areas, which include:

  • Budget
  • Risks & Changes
  • Resources

It’s only by getting a bird’s eye view that you can identify and then manage all the moving parts that make up a project.

Pro-Tip: When you’re planning a project one component that’s important, and is often left out, is the use of online project management tools. They’re crucial to a successful project, and you need to think about which ones are going to work best for you in the planning stages. Jennifer also has a video explaining the importance of tools when making the perfect project plan. While a tool in this case could be anything from sticky notes to a whiteboard, project planning software is best suited to managing all the moving parts inherent in a project plan. 

Thanks for watching!

Transcription:

Today, we’re talking about what goes into a project plan, and I get so many questions about planning a project that I decided to put together a series. And in this specific one, we wanna dissect different areas that we wanna be sure we include in the plan.

First of all, some people have a tendency to only think about the product, the product that they’re creating, they’re building, or they’re launching.

Then some people only have a tendency to think about the standard areas, the required areas like what is our scope, what is the time, how long is it gonna take, how much is it gonna cost, and what are the quality items or quality specs we need to make sure that we meet. But there’s more, there’s a bigger picture.

So, what we’re planning is we’re actually including all the things, the who, the what, the when, the where, and the how. So, we wanna make sure that we include these critical items, the items like the budget. So, for project managers who may not be as budget-focused, here’s an area where they can cause more damage to the project and also to their credibility.

So, you wanna be sure to plan this with your team. Include all the direct cost and the indirect cost. You also need to include things like travel, any kind of expenses, any kind of overhead or administrative. So, think through all of the details that need to be included in your budget.

We also want to think about the risk and changes, because we do know there will be changes and there are some risks. And for some projects, these can be quite excessive. Some people may live this out thinking, “Well, my project is so small that we don’t really have risk.”

Well, you can still have a small project and risk that occur to the small projects can be quite large. So, we want to consider those things, plan for them so that instead of reacting to a crisis when they do occur, we’re actually executing a plan.

We also want to think about the changes. What is the process to submit a change when it occurs? What is the process to evaluate it? And who actually approves those changes? We also need to plan for our people resources.

For instance, do we need specialized experts and do we bring them on board only when they’re needed? Or do we bring them onboard from the beginning to the end of the project?

We also need to think about how do we onboard the people to our project, how do we acclimate them to the project, let them know what it’s about and their important role as well as the task that they have to perform.

We also need to think about transitioning people off the project because the truth is that projects do either get delayed, they may get canceled, and then they naturally end.

We also need to think about that people may get reassigned to another project or they may get terminated. So, what do we do in those cases to transition to them off and transition their work? So, we wanna think about the bigger picture.

And if you need a tool that can help you plan your project then sign up for our software now at projectmanager.com.

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