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Project Management Centres on Planning and Control

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Project management centres on planning and control of all what’s involved in delivering the end result. It is a process that each person on a project team must embrace, understand and execute, regardless of the experience level (Haughey, 2014). If a project is to be completed successfully, the planning and execution both must be implemented properly. Poor planning will not result in appropriate execution and control processes nor the achievement of the project’s targets (Globerson, 2002).

The project manager originate the project management plan by following inputs from the key stakeholders and project team. A project management plan is defined as an approved, formal document which defines the execution, monitoring and controlling of the project. It could be a summary or a detailed document and might include baselines, subsidiary management plans, or other planning documents. The document is used to in order to define the approach project team is taking to deliver the project management scope of the project intended (Sabyasachi, 2017).

One of the critical factors for a successful project is to have a well-developed project plan. Below is a 10-step approach to create the project plan.

Step 1: Explain the project plan to key stakeholders and discuss its key components.

Project plan includes: Baselines: Baselines are also knows as performance measures, because the entire project’s performance is measured against them. These are the project’s three (3) approved starting points that include the scope, time, and cost baselines known as the Iron Triangle.

Step 2: Define roles and responsibilities.

Not all stakeholders can review all documents. Therefore, it is necessary to determine who on the project requires to approve which parts of the plan. Some of these key players are:

  • Project sponsor.
  • Designated business experts.
  • Project manager.
  • Project team.
  • End users.
  • Others, such as quality and risk analysts.

Step 3: Hold a kick-off meeting.

The kick-off meeting is an effective method to bring stakeholders together discussing the project. Some of the topics that might be included in a kick-off meeting:

  • Business vision and strategy.
  • How team makes decisions.
  • Roles and responsibilities.
  • Team commitments.
  • Team building.
  • Project vision.
  • Ground rules.

Step 4: Develop a scope Statement.

The Scope Statement should include:

  • Business need and business problem.
  • Benefits of completing the project.
  • Key milestones and the approach.
  • Project justification.
  • Project objectives.
  • Project scope.

Step 5: Develop scope baseline.

Once the deliverables in the Scope Statement are confirmed, they should be developed into a work breakdown structure (WBS) forming the scope baseline that covers the following elements:

  • Identify all the deliverables on the project, and therefore, identify all the work that needs to be done.
  • Take large deliverables and breaks them down into a smaller deliverables.
  • The lowest level is known as “work package” and can be numbered to match the activities and tasks.

Step 6: Develop the schedule and cost baseline. The steps involved in developing the schedule and cost baselines are:

  1. Identify the activities and tasks needed to produce each of the work packages to create a WBS of the tasks.
  2. Identify the resources for each task.
  3. Estimate how long it takes to complete each task.
  4. Estimate cost of each task using an average rate for each resource.
  5. Consider the resource constraints.
  6. Determine which tasks are dependent on other tasks, and develop critical path.
  7. Develop a schedule, which is a calendarization of the entire tasks and estimates.
  8. Develop the cost baseline, which is a time-phased budget, or cost by time period.

Step 7: Create baseline management plans.

The management plans include a review and approval process for modifying the baselines. Different levels of approval are usually required for a different type of change.

Step 8: Develop the staffing plan.

The staffing plan is a chart which shows the time periods, monthly, quarterly and yearly, that each resource will come onto. It’s similar to other charts such as a Gantt chart without showing tasks, estimates, beginning and end dates nor the critical path.

Step 9: Analyze project quality and risks.

Project Quality: Project quality ensures that the end product meets the customer specifications and one that a sponsor and a key business expert actually wants to use. Project Risks: Risks are events that may or may not happen, but could have a considerable effect on the final outcome of a project – if it were to occur.

Step 10: Communicate!

One important aspect of the project plan is the Communications Plan.

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