What is a Project Plan and How to Write it?
A few months ago, I participated in a conference related to how documentation affects the success of projects. During the conference, one of the speakers asked “What is a project plan, how to write it, and what does a project plan include? Nobody answered those questions properly. Therefore, I decided to write this article. A project plan is the summit of careful planning by a project manager. It is the ace archive that aides how a project will run, as indicated by the supervisor’s aims for each key feature of the project. In spite of the fact that project plans vary from organization to organization, there are ten basic components or steps that ought to be remembered for a powerful project plan to maintain a strategic distance from disarray and constrained ad-lib during the project execution stage.
What Does a Project Plan Include?
Basically, a project plan includes the following critical documents.
Project goals and objectives are characterized in a project charter, yet they ought to be remembered for the project plan too to additionally clarify the objectives of the project. Each project goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevance to the Operations, and have a sensible time frame. If you don’t know how to set SMART Goals, you can check Smart Goals Examples.
Regardless of how a project manager decides to fuse the objectives into the project plan, the significant thing is to keep up an unmistakable connection between the project charter—a project definition document—and the project’s subsequent key document, its project plan.
Major Project Deliverables
Major project deliverables and key milestones represent the major components of project work to be completed. A project plan ought to specify these elements, define them, and set timeframes for their successful completion.
For example, if an organization undertakes a project to create a new personal computer, major deliverables could be the major parts and accessories of the computer.
Following those, most of the projects have milestones for engineering, procurement, coding, testing, and commissioning. They are related to both the product itself and the processes.
Milestone dates and timeframes help project teams to plan and manage work structures efficiently.
In this stage, it is important to link the milestone dates with work breakdown structures to improve the intelligibility of the project plan.
The project plan includes the project scope. Like project objectives, the scope is defined in the charter and ought to be additionally refined in the project plan by the project manager. By defining the scope, the project manager can start to show what the project’s objective or completed item will look like toward the end. In the event that the scope isn’t characterized, it can get extended all through the project and prompt cost overwhelms and missed cutoff times.
For instance, if you are managing a software development team to code a new software, you need to specify the features of the product and explain how the end product will be.
Work Breakdown Structure
A work breakdown structure (WBS) deconstructs the achievements and significant deliverables in a project into little pieces so one team member can be appointed obligation regarding every aspect. In building up the work breakdown structure, the project manager considers numerous elements, for example, the qualities and shortcomings of project colleagues, the interdependencies among errands, accessible assets, and the general project cutoff time.
Project managers are eventually responsible for the accomplishment of the project, however, they can’t take the necessary steps alone. The WBS is an apparatus the project manager uses to guarantee responsibility on the project since it tells the project sponsor, colleagues, and stakeholders who are answerable for what. On the off chance that the project manager is worried about an errand, they know precisely who to meet with regards to that worry.
Change Management Plan
A change management plan spreads out a structure for making changes to the venture. Despite the fact that task administrators will in general need to keep away from changes to the venture, they are at times unavoidable. The change management plan gives conventions and procedures to make changes. It is basic for responsibility and straightforwardness that undertaking supports, venture supervisors, and task colleagues pursue the change management plan. The change management plan is included in the project plan.
Risk Management Plan
Numerous things can turn out badly in a project. While foreseeing each conceivable calamity or minor hiccup is testing, numerous traps can be anticipated. In the risk management plan, the project manager recognizes risks to the undertaking, the probability those situations will occur, and techniques to respond to them. To detail this plan, the project manager looks for contribution from the project team, partners, and stakeholders.
Risk response strategies are instituted for risks that are probably going to happen or have significant expenses related to them. Risks that are probably not going to happen and ones that have low expenses are noted in the plan, despite the fact that they don’t have risk response strategies.
A communication plan defines the communication lines and preferences of the project. Much like the work breakdown structure, a communications plan allocates duty regarding finishing every part to a team member.
In this progression, it’s imperative to define how issues will be conveyed and settled inside the group and how regularly correspondence will be done to the group and the partners or the chief. Each message has a target group. A communications plan which is included in the project plan, helps project team members guarantee the correct data gets to the opportune individuals at the perfect time.
Stakeholder Management Plan
A stakeholder management plan defines how stakeholders will be identified and managed according to their power, interest, and legitimacy in the project. Sometimes stakeholders just need to get data. That can be dealt with in the communications plan. On the off chance that more is required from stakeholders, a stakeholder management plan defines how it will be gotten.
A project budget includes estimations to determine how much money is required to complete the project. The project manager is liable for planning project resources properly. For a project that has various suppliers, the project manager guarantees expectations are finished by contract terms, giving specific consideration to quality. Some task spending plans connect to the HR plan.
It is critical to estimate the cost of each deliverable to estimate the project budget successfully. Note that the cost of the project is related to its completion date.
How to Write a Project Plan?
There are some basic steps of how to write a project plan. These steps include setting the project goals, creating the project schedule, budget, and a number of plans. What is more, you need to define the key project stakeholders and be aware of all aspects that have the potential to drive your project to success.
In this article, I try to give an answer to what does a project plan includes and how to write it? Hope that it will be useful for the professionals working in the field of project management.
Dan Sanderton has 19 years of experience in the publishing world as an editor and writer, including his former role as marketing director of ProjectHills Consultancy, and now as Content Developer for PMI.