How To Write A Project Plan Example
How To Write A Project Plan Example – 1 TIPS AND SKILLS FOR SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2 What does a project manager do? Team 10 Mastered the Art and Science of 11 Meetings in 40 Hours Out: Continuous Learning by PM
Every project tells a story about its goals, team, timing, and deliverables—and getting the story right requires detailed project planning and management. Some of these stories are short and to the point, while others are epic novels with twists and turns.
How To Write A Project Plan Example
Regardless of length or game level, every story is based on a story arc or outline—or as we call it in the project management world, a project plan.
Top Project Plan Templates Download: 7 Samples
Project planning is the process of defining the scope of the project, the objectives and the steps required to complete the work. It is one of the most important processes in project management. The result of the project planning process is a project management plan.
A project management plan—also known as a project plan—is a document that describes the process your team will use to manage the project within its stated objectives. The purpose of the project plan is to determine the steps and resources to complete the project on time and on budget.
A project plan communicates essential information—such as deadlines, tasks, and key milestones—to all project stakeholders and is integral to project success. This is usually displayed in the form of a Gantt chart to ensure that work stays on track.
Project Management Infographics: Better Planning
Poor planning can lead to some pretty ugly consequences—from missed deadlines and budget overruns to team burnout and customer frustration. That’s why it’s important to establish a solid process that you can use to plan any project.
Planning a project doesn’t have to be difficult. These basic project planning steps can help you write a plan that is both realistic and objective.
A project plan is more than a dry document with a date. This is the story of your project, and you don’t want it to be a long story! So make sure you know all the facts before you start creating a project plan.
Conference Project Plan
Understanding the workings of a project will help you determine the best process and identify any problems that may stand in the way of success. Conduct your own research to dig deeper:
Dive into any communication relevant to the project. Review the scope of work and related documents (perhaps an RFP or notes from sales calls or meetings with your client team). Be thorough in your research to uncover critical project details and ask thoughtful questions before committing.
If you want to surprise stakeholders with outstanding project delivery, you need to know how they work and what they expect. Schedule time with your key project contacts and ask them some tough questions about processes, organizational policy and general risks before creating a project plan.
Real Life Examples Of Project Milestones
This will give project stakeholders confidence that your team has the experience to handle any difficult person or situation. It shows that you care about the success of the project from the start.
The final step in the research phase is to take the time to learn more about the people responsible for the work. Sit down with your team and meet them:
Understanding these basics for your team will help you create a thoughtful plan that takes into account their work styles and bandwidth. After all, a happy team delivers better projects.
Project Plan Guide
Now that you have gathered the initial details of the project, the next step is to create a rough draft of your plan. Take some time to think about the discussions you had in the pre-planning phase and the methods your team can take to meet the project’s goals.
Sit down with pen and paper (or whiteboard) and outline how the project will work at a high level. Make sure you have a calendar to check the dates.
If you are at a loss where to start, start with who, what, when and how to start the project. Any solid project plan should answer these questions:
Your Complete Guide To Project Planning
The first review can be very rough and look like a work breakdown structure, as mentioned in our chapter on project estimates. Make sure your project plan outline includes the following elements:
Considering these factors will help you avoid surprises – or at least minimize them. And remember, you’re doing this as a draft so you can use it as a conversation starter for your team. Not finalized yet!
You don’t want to put yourself or your team in an awkward position by not agreeing on the approach before presenting it to your client. This is why a project manager cannot be the only one writing a project plan.
Work Plan Template
Once you’ve created a basic outline of your plan, communicate those rough ideas and thoughts to your team. This allows you to invite discussion about what might work rather than simply dictating a process. First of all, every project must begin with a clear communication of the project’s objectives and the effort required to meet them.
Make sure you get input from your team on how they can complete the tasks at hand without breaking the budget and team morale. As a project manager, you may opt for an agile approach versus waterfall, but when it comes down to it, you need to know that the team can realistically execute the plan.
You can use this time to review the project plan to rethink your own thinking and encourage the team to take a new approach to the work. For example, if you’re working on a blueprint for a website design project, can designers start creating visual concepts while the wireframes are being created? Or can you have two resources work together on the same task?
Try This Change Management Plan Template
Brainstorming ideas from the team and having an open conversation about the methodology not only helps you create a more accurate project plan. It makes everyone think about the project on the same terms. This type of buy-in and communication builds trust and gets people excited about working together to solve a goal. This can do wonders for the greater good of your team and project.
At this point you should feel comfortable enough to put together a solid project schedule using the tools that work for you. (Ahem, works nicely for many happy customers.)
Any good online project planning tool will help you formalize your ideas and present them in a consistent, visual format that’s easy to follow and follow. Make sure the tasks, duration, milestones and dates are crystal clear and try to keep your project plan simple. The easier the reading, the better!
Project Plan Template
Be as flexible as possible in how your project plan is presented. There are no absolutes when it comes to understanding what happens when you and your team figure out how to format your project plan.
Remember, people absorb information in different ways. While you may be partial to the Gantt chart, others may prefer to see tasks on a list, calendar, or even a Kanban board. You can work out all these variations if you take the step to create a solid plan.
It gives you the ability to quickly and easily create and adjust a project plan using a simple drag-and-drop feature. It also comes with customizable views to suit each team member’s work style. Try it and create a project plan for free!
How To Write A Project Plan
If your team currently loves charts and isn’t ready to use them yet, try our free Excel Gantt chart template.
You’re almost done! You’ve done your research, outlined your approach, discussed it with your team, and created your formal project plan.
Now it’s time to do your due diligence. It’s easy to throw things into a plan, but you need to make sure you get it right.
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Your team needs to know the reality of your plan as it stands after you’ve created it AND you want to make sure they’re comfortable with the details. If they don’t, things will fall apart quickly!
Always review your final plan with your team before distributing it to stakeholders. Why? Because as you formalize the rough outline of your plan, things like dates and tasks—and tasks—will change.
Here are some things you may want to discuss with your team as you review the final plan together:
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There’s nothing more embarrassing than delivering a plan with a bug or a promise you can’t keep. Taking a few minutes to get agreement from your team will give everyone peace of mind about your plan.
Once you’ve validated the plan with your team and received full sign-off, you’re ready to share your project plan with stakeholders.
When providing your project plan, be sure to provide an executive summary. This can come in the form of a project brief or project charter. An overview of the overall approach, resources, assessments, timelines and associated review times will help inform the plan
How To Write A Project Management Plan (& Free Templates)
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