What is arguably the most important part of a project plan?
The project plan is the entire work product that includes all planning documents for the project and spans the entire planning process. There are several elements that make up a project plan.
Explaining the project plan is the first step in creating a project plan because it provides direction to the project. The project plan is key to ensure that all stakeholders are aligned.
In step two, roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders need to be defined in order to determine who is accountable for which part of the plan.
Step 3 is to hold a meeting that initiates the planning process and brings all stakeholders together. Topics to discuss are vision and strategy, ground rules etc.
The next step, the Scope Statement is considered to be the most important aspect in the project plan because it sets the foundation for the project and describes the outcome of the project. It should include: business need and problem, project objectives, benefits of completing the project, project scope, key milestones.
Once the deliverables have been set in the previous step, a scope baseline needs to be developed that breaks down the deliverables into a hierarchy from high level to low levels of detail.
Step 6 involves developing the schedule and cost baselines which includes identifying resources, estimating timelines and cost, considering resource constraints.
Next, baseline management plans are created that outline the steps the team will take when changes or variances arise – it involves a review and approval process.
Developing a staffing plan is step 8, which is similar to a Gantt chart, but only shows the time periods where each resource is needed during the project.
Next, it is important to analyze the project quality and risk. A quality plan is developed that becomes the baseline for quality reviews by setting standards and metrics. Project risk management is also important to understand how the team will take action with high-risk events.
Finally, the Communications Plan determines means of communication, how issues are escalated, and where information is stored.
- The Staffing Plan
- The Scope Statement
- The Communications Plan
- Quality Plan