The project planning process is holistic and encompassing. It is at the heart of project benefit viability.
What’s more, project planning is a great ways to bring the project team together.
Be Prepared … Be Ready, Willing and Able
Here are 4 reasons why project planning is essential. The effort put into project planning can make or break a project, so we wish to share a useful mnemonic for remembering the project planning process:
prêt Adj. Disposé, en état de. Synonym bon Anglais ready
The project planning process should follow a particular sequence. It is …
The identification of the project’s products — the product breakdown structure.
Listing the resources needed to deliver each product.
Calculating the effort and costs associated with each product.
Setting time-scales for the project.
PRȆT: products … resources … effort … time-scales.
Follow these steps and you’ll be ready to move on!
Stick to the Project Planning Process
Sometimes the project planning process is overlooked because the sponsor exerts pressure. They assume time is of greater importance than cost and scope.
Don’t be bullied.
The project plan must begin with a reasonable understanding of what the project intends to deliver. That is, its products. Only then can we consider what resources are needed and the likely effort and costs.
It’s no wonder that so many projects take longer than expected to deliver, suffer from cost overruns or simply don’t deliver what was required of them when these 4 basic steps aren’t followed.
Of course, even when you follow these steps the plan may fail to meet one or more expectation of cost, time, and scope. Perhaps cost and scope is fine but the time-scale is too long.
Consequently, the plan will need to be reviewed and refined. This could take several iterations which is why we should always aim to plan in outline for the whole project and in detail for the next stage. As the project makes progress more information is available and our estimates prove more accurate.
Are you ready?
Do teams design projects in your organisation? Or, is the project manager solely responsible for project planning?
Creative Commons image courtesy tableatny.