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Project Management Planning
How To Benefit From A Project Management Plan
Having a project management plan can be one of the best ways to manage an ongoing workload of different or diverse projects that need to be managed on a regular basis. It can help you better manage multiple projects in a time and cost effective way.
This can also help prevent a bottleneck or backlog of work that could result from an unexpected delay or problem caused by one or more projects. An example of this would be if someone were running a web design company with a small team of five team members. All of which are needed to complete each project and the workload suddenly doubles as a result of an unexpected increase in holiday sells.
By having a project management plan you can coordinate hiring temporary staff to help complete the increased workload while also adjusting your customers expectations so that they will have realistic expectations as to when their jobs will be completed.
When Do You Need A Project Management Plan
In general when you have a large project that will require more resources than you currently have on-hand to complete the project yourself then you could probably benefit from using a project management plan to help you complete the project systematically and in a timely manner. Also if you are building a business that requires more than one person with jobs that require multiple steps to complete them you could also benefit as well.
How To Create A Project Management Plan
Even though almost every business no matter how large or how small, can benefit by having a good project management plan in place to allow them to start and complete all of their work project in a timely and cost effective manner. There actually is no one size fits all structure however there are some basic steps that should be included to ensure an effective plan. Here is a short list of the basic steps that should be included.
Step 1.) Clearly identify the Goal to be achieve. You should make sure that you have all of the needed information and that you have a clear understanding of exactly what the end result should look like. This will involve getting a good understanding of all of the work breakdown structure (wbs) which is simply the tasks and deliverables required.
Step 2.) Identify the resources needed. This should include all of the team members and materials that will be needed for the project. Your team members can be your most valuable resource. This makes it very important that you make sure that you have the right people on your team.
Most projects run much smoother when you have your entire team involved in the planning process, they can often make valuable suggestions and recommendations to help ensure that the project runs smoothly.
Step 3.) List any and all constraints such as timelines and budgets. If you are working on a project that requires you to give an estimate for the cost of the job, this is where you should be able to get a good estimate of how much work is going to be involved and how much the total cost of the job should be.
You should also be able to estimate the total time that will be needed to complete the job and a good rule of thumb is to always include a small margin for error on both time and cost factors.
Step 4.) Plan, Track and Manage - Next its time to develop a plan of execution that will outline how the project should be completed. This should include the order that each task should be completed along with an estimate or timeline for each task.
By including these components this will ensure that you are able to clearly identify the end result needed, break down the project into manageable tasks, monitor how well the work is progressing and make changes or corrections when or as needed.
Even though a project management plan can be develop by using some very basic items like a pencil and paper. Most people and company's find that having a software program greatly enhances the process. With a software application you can share and update information and the project status with members even when they are traveling or working from remote locations.
One of the strongest features of a system is that it will allow all of the team members to collaborate effectively and that can make the difference between a project running smoothly and being completed on-time or it going over budget and beyond the expected time line.