No matter what the reason is, there shouldn’t be any excuse for cutting corners in project planning as it is a sure way to fail any type of project. The initiation phase is the most critical stage since it establishes the core foundation on which the team, the project manager, the members, and the other aspects of the project depend on.
Importance of Project Planning
The most cited reasons for project failure are the lack of stakeholder engagement, communication, and clearer roles and responsibilities among the members. These could have been prevented if there had been proper planning at the start of the project.
Projects are time-sensitive in the sense that there is a deadline for each work tasks and goals. Hence, there is a need to plan and schedule the activities that need to be done in each stage. A rush implementation will lead to unnecessary financial expenses and waste of man hours. Project planning alerts the team on potential pitfalls that might happen. Besides, a properly planned project helps make a project manager’s job easy. It helps improve communication with clients. There is transparency of the work being done so it also increases the team’s integrity. It establishes an organized way to do the project thereby making the clients feel secured that they know the project is going the right way and will be completed on time.
Factors to Consider in Planning Your Project
Planning will always be a key component in any project. As such, it should be the first thing to do when undertaking any kind of project. Here are the factors to be considered by a project manager during the planning stage:
- Identify the project goals by identifying the stakeholders and their needs so that you can establish a clear set of goals and record them in your project plan.
- Work on the project deliverables as well as the schedule of delivery. Along with this plan, you need to create a list of tasks to be done for each deliverable as well as the resources needed and amount of time to be allotted for each task.
- Supporting plans need to be created at this stage:
- A Human Resource Plan consists of a list of the people and organizations responsible for specific roles.
- The Communications Plan shows who needs to be informed and how they will receive the information. This is usually a weekly or monthly report on updates of the project.
- The Risk Management Plan is essential and should not be overlooked. Identify as many risks that your project may encounter and be prepared for them to happen.
It is essential to invest time into a project planning process to ensure a successful strategy for your project. Planning doesn’t need to be complicated, it just needs to be well-executed for it to become effective. With proper planning that is followed by an effective implementation of the actions to be taken, the team is surely on the way to success.