A project management plan is actually quite simple to create when broken down into simple components. Let’s say you’re going on a vacation with your extended family, and everyone has a separate set of things they’d like to see and accomplish. Developing an itinerary is a great idea, but what is the best way to create one that meets everyone’s needs? First, you might have to think about how much time you have, how far apart the locations are, and how many places each person wants to visit.
A project management plan in the workplace is no different. First, you’ll want to begin with a basic project schedule. What makes for a successful plan is formulating it based on what you need, what your timetable is, and who is on your team. Keep in mind this article only walks you through the project schedule which is part of a larger project management plan. Once you have a set schedule that contains dates and activities, you can move forward with developing a broader plan (this can include risks, budget details, the project scope, and higher objectives).
Before you start putting together a project management plan, you first have to have a complete understanding of what your end goal is. From there, you want to do research to determine what complications you might run into. Who is your project contact or client? It may be a good idea to communicate with them and ask as many questions as you can. Then, spend time with your team members and find out who is best suited for each necessary task. What knowledge do they bring to the table, what talents do they possess? Taking the time to think out your project before making a plan is the first step to success.
Draft a Timeline
Take note of how many tasks need to be accomplished by a certain deadline. Then, make a rough outline that designates roles to each person on your team. Think of it as a sketch. You can’t sit down and expect to draw a portrait without addressing scale and proportions. The same principle applies. The first thing you must do is to establish an outline, and then you can fill in the details as they come up. After you have an idea of what your project management schedule should look like, present it to your team and ask them for feedback. You never know what you might be missing, and it’s always best to get second and third opinions.
Modify Your Plan as Needed
You might think that the process of creating a project management plan ends when the work begins. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If there is one thing you can count on, it is change. Variables come into play, unexpected problems arise, and extra challenges demand more attention. This is why it is so important to create an open plan that makes room for modifications. As you work on your project schedule and begin working on a larger plan, make sure to have frequent meetings with your team. Save time for monitoring as well. Even with so many tasks on your plate, it is crucial that you ensure that your plan works throughout.
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