12 Essential Project Planning Concepts that Work

12 Essential Project Planning Concepts that Work

What are the constituent plans? 

A Project management plan should be created and should include a description of the following areas, among others, at planning stage to guide the Project Implementation Team (PIT) execute the planned activities.

1-Project Implementation Plan:

The creation of a comprehensive Project Implementation Plan (PIP) is critical to the success of the project. The PIP will include a complete list of all activities required to complete the project scope, milestones, estimated activities durations, dependencies, resources required to undertake the project. 

Creating a detailed project Implementation plan is an important step in the project lifecycle because it is a basis for estimating project duration, resource requirements like budget, HR; and identification of key stakeholders, risks among others. A detailed WBS should be developed to achieve this.

2-Resource Plan:

Following the creation of a PIP, a detailed assessment of the required resources to undertake the project should be made. The required human resources to perform identified activities, hardware, software, equipment, material, service, and goods should be listed and the amount of each resource quantified. 

Finally, the resource usage should be scheduled to provide the Project Manager with a complete view of the total amount of resources needed for each stage of the project.

3-Financial Plan:

Should describe the total quantity of financial resources required during each stage of the project and required to transit to support. The total cost of each item of hardware software, services, goods, equipment, and material should be calculated, as well as the total cost of undertaking each activity within the project plan.

4-Quality Plan:

Should be developed to ensure that the project deliverables meet set quality requirements. This plan should explicitly list the quality targets to be achieved, and a suite of Quality Assurance and Control activities are scheduled to ensure that the required level of quality is achieved throughout the project.

5-Risk Plan:

Managing project risks is a critical process within the project lifecycle. To mitigate risk effectively, all foreseeable project risks should be identified and rated in terms of their likelihood of occurrence and potential impact on the project. The risks should be prioritized and a set of actions identified to reduce the likelihood of each risk and its impact on the project should it occur. 

A plan should also identify risk owners and frequency of analyzing them. Dedicated meetings should be planned to discuss project risks. More details are found in the Risk Management Support Guide.

6-Project Information Security Management Plan:

Should describe how information security management will be implemented to ensure that project information and information systems involved in the project are secure. More details are found in the Information Security Support Guide.

7-Acceptance Plan:

The key to end-user satisfaction is in giving approval from the user that the deliverables meet the quality criteria stated in the quality plan. An acceptance plan should be created for each deliverable produced by the project. It should provide a schedule of Acceptance Reviews to be undertaken for each deliverable within the project.

8-Communication Plan:

Should describe the information to be provided to project stakeholders to keep them informed of the progress of the project. Stakeholders’ categories should be listed and their requirements for information clearly defined. A schedule of communication events and activities should be laid out to ensure that the right information is communicated to the right people at the right time.

9-Project Stakeholders Management:

Should describe how stakeholders will be identified, analyzed (for their interest and influence) and specify their specific requirements.

10-Procurement Plan:

In consultations with Procurement Disposal Units within MDAs, a procurement plan should be developed and processed to enable procurement of items (such as products, services, goods) required for the delivery of the project objectives. PPDA regulations should be followed.

11-Scope Management Plan:

Should describe a process of how scope changes will be managed. Define how change requests should be raised, analyzed, approved and tracked.

12-Project Transit to Support Plan:

In consultation with the Project Owner (the focal point from the would be an end user of the final project outcome on the project) develop a plan how the project outcome will smoothly be transferred into support phase. Things like knowledge transfer should be emphasized.

13-Change Management Plan:

Projects always result in organizations reforms. A change management plan should be developed to ensure stakeholders’ buy-in.

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