Planning is the most important phase of project management. It includes planning to manage time, risks, changes, quality and plenty of other factors that one faces during project execution. In short, it provides a framework for achieving project objectives. Thus, for a successful project execution, a proper planning is required.
Here are a few planning tips for a project manager.
Jot down the project plan
The first part of planning a project is to jot down the whole plan in a structured format. It is important to take time to think and analyze what needs to be done to solve a particular problem, or to execute a project. Having a framework for the project or task makes it easier to executive a project. There is no such “standard “format of writing a project plan and it can be changed or adapted to suit a particular situation.
Project plan can be a good communication medium
A well crafted plan can become a powerful communication medium. It helps to ensure better success rate as it helps in understanding the project requirements and helps in staying focused on the timelines and deadlines.
Break the whole plan into separate phases or stages
Segregating the whole project into small phases or stages helps creating a logical sequence of activities necessary to achieve project goals. The completion of each phase helps in achieving a milestone and gives a sense of accomplishment which helps to set the pace for the subsequent level.
Develop checklist for the large tasks
This is an important task that needs to be followed especially when handling large projects. This activity checklist or planning worksheets includes all the steps that need to be carried out. It helps team members to identify and estimate status of the required tasks to be accomplished as each stage of project execution.
Keep time to do the rework after quality control activity
As a project manager, one will take all precautions to ensure quality standards; there may be requirements for rework; possibly due to changes in client specifications. It is therefore better to allocate time for potential rework into the project schedule. This time could also be used as a buffer in case or some unexpected developments.
Planning to manage project risks
While dealing with a particular project, it is important to identify the possible risk factors and potential threats that are associated with it. It is important for a project manager who plan to control and mitigate these risk factors.
Plan for process improvement
Planning for process improvement serves as a strategic investment in disguise. It ensures in improving processes for future projects. Thus always take note of the improved processes that are developed during the project execution.
These are some of a few tips which could help a project manager to plan projects for better results. It is by no means a comprehensive list and if you wish to add some of your thoughts, please do so.