Top 3 Project Planning Steps

ProjectManager.com

Planning is super-important to project management and you want to get it right the first time. Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you how.

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

project planning with project management software tools

In Review: Top 3 Project Planning Steps

Before you can take your plans online with a Gantt chart, you have to have a plan. Jennifer said that plans don’t have to be an overly complex procedure.
She noted that project plans can be simplified by following these three steps:

  1. Paint a picture or set a vision outlining what it is your building or delivering and then what those deliverables are
  2. Create a timeline detailing the deadlines, phases and milestones in the project
  3. Put together a team, know what skills you need and who’s available

Boiled down to three words, it’s: what, when, who. If you can answer the three questions, then your plan is sound and your project is closer to success.

Pro-Tip: Prior to even the planning, there are ways to get your project started on the right foot. One, you have to take responsibility for the project and you need it from your sponsor, too. Plus, understand the drivers of your customer and what they need from the project.

Thanks for watching!

Transcription:

Today we are talking about the top three project planning steps, and planning is one of the most critical phases of the project. Plans can get very complex, but what I wanna talk about today are some ways that you can make them more simple.

But first of all, let’s talk about a plan. So plan can be demonstrated through either a diagram or a list of steps. And when we talk about the plan, what we’re really talking about is, what is the project? What are we actually delivering through this project? And when is it due? When are the major milestones? When are the critical steps all along the way? And who is involved? Who do we need to deliver this project?

So a plan is basically a better way to manage everything that you have to do and everywhere you have to be during this project. So let’s talk about the three steps.

Remember in your project, you have a specific start date and end date for this entire project. And through the project, you’re delivering a unique result and some people like to call that a deliverable.

So the first step is to paint a picture, set a vision for the people on your team, not only in your team, but your stakeholders and any vendor partners. Let them know the story of this project. If you’re building a building and it happens to be a school, let them know why that school is so important.

Then you take the time to create a timeline for each of the components. For instance, if it’s a school, you have the foundation, you may have the framing, you may have the internal things like the utilities, even the roofing, landscaping, different parts of this project, and each one of those parts has different times that they’re due. They have critical dependencies and they have milestones that you want to identify for the project.

The third step is to build a team. Identify who do you have and who do you need for this project. And also clarify what skills, what training, and what expertise do they need. And also, make sure they’re available during different times of the year or different situations, they may or may not be available.

And I found as a bonus to go back for your project team and paint that picture again. Let them see themselves in the picture and let them know why they’re so important to this project.

So 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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