2 minutes

Project management is a group of interrelated processes, namely:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing, and
  4. Monitoring

In this article, we are going to focus on project planning and explain its most basic facts.

Project Planning Defined
According to TechTarget, “Project planning is a discipline for stating how to complete a project within a certain timeframe, usually with defined stages, and with designated resources.”

Steps in Project Planning
As the definition states, project planning has defined stages and the following are the steps that most project managers follow in project planning:

  1. Do some research about the project.
  2. Clarify essential matters from the client by asking tough questions about their organization, processes, and risks. These matters may impact the project so you need to know about them.
  3. Talk to your team members and discuss about the goals. Ensure that each of them understand the team’s goals as well as their roles and responsibilities in the work tasks to be performed to achieve the goals.
  4. Write it!

Writing a Project Plan
After getting all the information that you need, put them all together as a project plan using a project management tool that works for you. The Nutcache project management system has various features that are useful in any project. Use its collaborative tools to communicate with your members. Its time tracking feature can greatly help keep track of your virtual team member’s work hours. It is easy to use when it comes to sending project estimates as well as invoicing the clients. Its reporting tools are effective in helping project managers achieve the best decisions.

A project plan is prepared during the earliest stages of the project preparation and is modified as the project proceeds. It normally includes the following information:

  • Stages of the project.
  • Group activities with scope, time-scale and cost.
  • Tasks or activities to be delivered and who are accountable for them.
  • Milestones, or the major events that starts the next stage.
  • Deliverables or the output being defined in the business case.
  • Evaluation or reviews where deliverables are being checked against its criteria or goals.
  • Interdependencies happen when one deliverable depends on the completion of another deliverable.

Project Summary
The project summary states what the reader wants to know about the project. It is a short narrative, which is usually 350 words or less, that will be simple and easy to read as various sectors in society will read it to check if the project will be useful to them.

As such, the first paragraph should capture and clearly explain the essentials about the project. It should address matters like the importance of the work and to whom it may gain interest; the problem that is being addressed in the project; and how the project is going to solve the problem. This paragraph need not be more than three or four sentences long. A shorter project summary that can stand alone to explain the most essential details of the project would be the best.

Project planning is a crucial part of any project. Without a plan, all projects are doomed to fail.