Secrets of a Successful Project Plan

Are you ready to plan your next event? You have all ideas ready to go, but you are struggling to put them into a project plan? This short course will help you understand the function of a project plan, and provide you with practical steps to creating an effective project plan.

Planning for Impact

Lecture Notes

As we have established earlier, some of the key elements of the project plan are cost (budget), quality (product or service specification) and time (milestones and delivery dates). Between those three, there is a certain amount of tension. In other words: You cannot have it all!

This tension can be displayed in the form of a triangle of cost, quality and time (Graphic 1).

If one side of the triangle changes, the other two will automatically be affected.

For example: Let’s assume the project manager is asked to complete the project earlier – in other words, LESS time.

This may mean that the quality might suffer as resources rush to complete the job. Alternatively, the project could be accelerated if the costs are allowed to increase (for example with additional resources).

For another example, let’s assume the project manager has to accept a cut in costs. This will likely affect the quality, as he may not be able to pay certain suppliers, and it may affect time, as fewer resources may take longer to complete the project.

During the creation of your project plan, you will need to evaluate the possible risks related to the “magic triangle”. An effective project plan will consider the best combination to balance these three components, and consider contingencies for the most likely to be at risk.

This evaluation should be based on the client’s priority deliverables of the projects.

The project manager asked to finish the project one week early. How will this impact the magic triangle?

  • Costs will increase, quality will remain
  • Nothing will change
  • Costs will decrease, quality will decrease
  • Time will remain, quality will decrease