Project Plan Services (PPS) offer a number of project planning platforms including integration with your existing business practices, custom builds to suit your requirements, training and ongoing support to ensure optimum uptake and engagement of the project planning solution.
What is a Project Plan?
A project plan is a series of approved, formal documents used to guide project execution and project management. The primary uses of the project plan are to document planning assumptions and decisions, facilitate communication among project stakeholders, and document approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines.
A project plan also referred to as a project management plan, presents a project’s who, what, where, why, how and when, providing full guidance over the project execution, reporting, management and end goal. The plan would look to also consider resource management, communications and risk management whilst reviewing and managing the budget, expenditure, baselines and results.
Why? - What is the problem or value proposition addressed by the project? Why is it being sponsored?
What? - What is the work that will be performed on the project? What are the major products/deliverables?
Who? - Who will be involved and what will be their responsibilities within the project? How will they be organized?
When? - What is the project timeline and when will particularly meaningful points, referred to as milestones, be complete?
Due to the vast details involved in a project plan, many project managers and organisations look to integrate a project planning software that supports their business and project strategy. Allowing them to plan, execute, manage and report on the full life-cycle of a project.
How to Create a Project Plan
To ensure the success of any of your projects, a clear project plan is essential. Without this plan, projects are more likely to run into common project management issues such as missed deadlines, overspending of budget and scope creep. Though writing a project plan can often feel like a tedious task when you and your team want to hit the ground running, the effort will be highly rewarding throughout the project life cycle. It will also allow you to own templates to expedite the process for your next project.
You can outline any project plan using these key steps:
Define your project’s stakeholders, scope, quality/success baseline and criteria, the key deliverables, milestones, and requirements.
Create a project charter, work breakdown structure and a statement of work.
List the necessary project resources, such as personnel, equipment, salaries, and materials, then estimate their cost.
Organise your project team and define their roles and responsibilities.
Identify potential risks and assign deliverables to your team members, who will perform the tasks required and monitor the risks associated with them.
Develop change management procedures and forms.
Create a communication plan, schedule, budget and other guiding documents for the project.
Project Life Cycle Phases
Whatever the size of your project, there is always the potential for it to be very complex. It is important to break down all the necessary factors within the project plan to understand what is needed and when, creating a phased approach so nothing gets forgotten or implemented at the wrong stage.
The Association for Project Management outline the following five phases of project management and of a project plan.
This first stage of a project is to define the business case and justify the project goals, how these will be achieved and the scope of the work. This ensures the project stays on track and any changes are controlled. In this phase, those involved in the project will be assigned their responsibilities.
Ensuring you have documented the requirements and aims in detail of your project will allow you to monitor and understand the timescales and constraints along with the criteria that will constitute a successful project and will be used to manage the expectations of the stakeholders.
The project plan includes details about how the project work will be carried out, how it will be monitored and controlled, how communication will be facilitated and information about costs and timescales. But once a project is underway it is typically the project schedule where most attention is focused.
All tasks need to be scheduled in the most efficient order to ensure tasks with inter-dependencies are completed when required and to enable several tasks to be performed in parallel. There are many project management tools available to assist with scheduling, one of the most common being the Gantt Chart.
The person or group assigned to carry out a task will need to know, in detail, what the task involves as well as any dependencies and timescales, and will also need to understand the criteria by which each task is deemed complete.
Once there is an approved end product the project can be formally closed and a final review held to learn from both the successes and the mistakes and take that experience forward to the next project.
What is Project Planning Software
Project planning software has become an invaluable tool for project managers in recent years, as it provides them with the ability to maintain and automate the varying components both holistically and in detail.
Project planning software is a great tool to facilitate project management processes such as schedule development, team management, cost estimation, resource allocation and risk monitoring.
Beyond that, planning software also allows managers to monitor and track their plan as it moves through the execution phase of the project. These features include dashboards, for a high-level view of the project’s progress and performance, and in-depth reports that can be used to communicate with stakeholders.
Choosing a Project Planning Software
We offer an innovative approach to Smartsheet training to ensure you enrol your team on the best course that suits their needs, experience and competency levels with project management platforms.
Our complimentary Knowledge Assessment is offered to all clients, our expert training team will guide your team through a series of questions and activities so they can best understand the business requirements for training and support.
Creating a Project Plan with Smartsheet
Aspire Defence Services
"Excellent training session with good structure and a relaxed training technique. I would recommend to other organisations, the course trainer was very open to questions and happy to help with any queries."
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