How To Create A Simple Project Plan
How To Create A Simple Project Plan – Project planning is a critical phase of project management in which project managers define the structure and forecast of the execution phase, helping to identify and eliminate inefficiencies. It includes detailed information about each phase of the project while incorporating insights from each stakeholder. In addition, the plan must be flexible enough to help managers recover projects after occasional setbacks.
If you fail to plan, then you must plan to fail. This saying has more meaning in the project plan. Especially if you want to keep a wide range of stakeholders on the same page.
How To Create A Simple Project Plan
We provide a beginner’s guide to using a simple project plan template to scope a project. The template will help you divide the project into smaller tasks and plan them safely. You can get started by downloading this template in Microsoft Word and Excel formats.
Essential Project Planning Elements
This project plan template is a simple, user-friendly, easy-to-use document that project managers can use to gather all necessary project-related information in one place. This template includes all the essential details that project managers need to understand the progress of their project. Professionals using this template also require no technical training, allowing project managers to deploy them simply and immediately, speeding up the implementation process.
The company information section contains the company name, address, location, postal code, email address and contact name.
This section contains information such as project name, location, deliverables, scope, start and end dates and contains all information related to the project.
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Experts working on a project can list the activities and tasks they are working on, giving the project manager complete visibility into their resource’s task pipeline.
Resources mention the status of their task, which can be “In Progress”, “Completed”, “Pending” or “To be completed”.
A project plan is a document that outlines and defines a project in terms of goals, specific tasks and deadlines, and milestones (which are successes).
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In short, the project plan serves as the central driver for all project-related activities throughout its life cycle.
A project can have multiple milestones, tasks, schedules, and teams that work closely together from around the world. That’s why drafting a project can be daunting from the start. It helps to first visualize the broader components of the project along with timelines, milestones and goals. Special attention should be paid to the timeline, as it is the basis on which all other components of the project will be built.
While project managers are indeed responsible for creating the project plan, it is critical to allow all stakeholders to contribute to its development. By collaborating with the team, management and SMEs, project managers can create a more pragmatic and practical project plan.
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As the team is assembled based on the needs of the project in terms of skills and experience, proactive consultation is beneficial. It is common for the team to have access to the project plan during the implementation phase. A smart project plan, however, is one that involves the entire team in the planning phase. In this way, the team claims to be a co-developer of the plan and feels more responsible.
The plan must be clear enough for a stakeholder who later joins the project to quickly understand it. In fact, the ability to quickly present to external groups is one of the main factors that differentiates a normal project plan from a well-thought-out project plan. This is important because the project team must allay the concerns of stakeholders and build their trust.
Each project is different and therefore requires an individual approach. However, all project plans must contain the following essential elements.
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Considering the time and effort that goes into creating a project plan template, one might ask: Will the results justify the effort?
In a hybrid workplace, it is very important to ensure that employees know the entire project and their contribution from the very beginning. It clearly communicates to each team member their role in each phase of the project. This gives the team more flexibility in planning their work while keeping tight project deadlines in mind.
The more complex the project, the more benefit can be expected from a well-defined and detailed project plan template. Templates help you create a more customized, flexible and shareable project plan. Starting a new project is exciting – it can be tempting to jump right in and figure things out on the fly.
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But going in without a plan will cause chaos. At best, your team members will start billing without fully understanding how their work fits together. At worst, they won’t even know where to start.
Poor planning is cited as one of the main reasons for failed projects, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s dive into what a project plan looks like and how it should be written.
Is a structured document that defines the goals of the project and how those goals will be achieved. PRINCE2, a structured project management method adopted in many countries around the world, formally defines a project plan as “a statement of how and when the project’s objectives are to be achieved, showing the key deliverables, milestones, activities and resources required for the project.”.
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The project plan is prepared by the project manager (often based on a previously approved project proposal) and serves as the team’s guide and single source of truth. It is a living document that develops with the project, records all changes and decisions, and enables communication between project participants.
When most people hear “project plan,” they tend to think of a Gantt chart, but a visual timeline is only a small part of it. A detailed project plan should cover several important topics, including:
There are hundreds of examples of project plans online—many of them bright, colorful charts, spreadsheets, and timelines. They may be pretty, but are they practical?
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A project plan should not look like a slide from a sales kit. Its purpose is not to dazzle your audience, but to be as clear and informative as possible to get all stakeholders on the same page.
Is a unified workspace where you can not only plan, document and manage your projects, but also build your internal knowledge base, collaborate on internal documentation, onboard new employees, record meeting minutes and more. Instead of using a tool like Trello to manage your projects and separate software like Google Docs to document them, you can bring it all together in one place and collaborate without the clutter of files and folders, context switches, or silos.
Using a project plan template is an easy way to save time and ensure consistency in your project documentation. Although project plans vary from company to company, the high-level structure is generally the same.
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. It’s not something you write once at the beginning of a project and then set it in stone.
The project plan must be jointly maintained and updated by all stakeholders – which means it can’t be hidden away in a folder on your hard drive. Choose a project documentation tool that supports real-time collaboration and is easily accessible to your entire team.
Once you have the right tools, start with broad strokes and refine the details as the project takes shape.
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Start by describing the goals of your project – think of it as a business case that should answer the following questions:
Next, you need to identify the project’s stakeholders—those who are responsible for its success. Once you get initial buy-in from them, you can define roles and assign responsibilities. In some cases, one person may perform multiple roles, while in others, multiple people may perform the same roles.
Now is the time to break tasks down into manageable chunks. Think about the goals you set above and make a list of the steps you need to take to achieve them. These activities should be measured against specific milestones and organized chronologically on a timeline. Milestones don’t have to be exact dates, but the more specific the better.
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Much of the work up to this point can be done asynchronously, but at some point you need to bring all stakeholders together and coordinate the details. Use this opportunity to review the project plan and ensure that the team has the same vision for the project. Prepare a meeting agenda and share it with stakeholders in advance.
Once the first iteration of the project plan is complete, take the time to laminate it. No matter how thorough your research has been, it is very likely that some of your cost, time or scope estimates will need to be revised. But as long as you regularly review your project plan, update it regularly, and keep a log of all decisions, it can be a very effective tool for keeping your project on track.
Brings together all your team’s knowledge, documents and projects in one place. It is modern, simple and
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