The Essentials of Project Planning
A lot of projects are complex, time- consuming, and complicated because there are a lot of considerations to look into. It is important to look into how much resources each task requires and how long it would take to complete it. There will inevitably be dependencies between tasks which need to be identified to mitigate risks involved in the process.
In essence, there are so many things that should go into the project planning process. While it is impossible to get down to the details because these are dependent on the project at hand, there are certain essentials you should always pay attention to. In this article, we’ll identify the essentials in project planning:
Time and Money
It is critical to look into the resources you have at your disposal. One of the first things you need to look into is the resources allocated for the project. Is the deadline realistic? Is there a certain level of flexibility with the due dates to take into account factors that may be out of the project manager’s direct control? The worst thing is to plan a project that has no room for errors or slippage. Be realistic and expect that no amount of contingency planning can make the process perfect.
Money is also a big factor. In many cases, projects require you to get access to third party services, tools, and other capabilities. The project manager should also have sufficient funds for miscellaneous fees which can include anything from office materials to travel expenses.
Who are the stakeholders in the process? Is the project for the benefit of the company in-house or is it for a client? Whatever the case, the management executive and the project manager should have a good relationship. At the very least, they should communicate with each other effectively. The project is bound to fail if the management has unrealistic expectations or if the project manager doesn’t explain the complexities of certain parts of the process.
In certain instances, the project manager may be given the liberty to choose his/her own team members. But oftentimes, they need to manage a team that was assigned by the management. The key element is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team member and assign them to appropriate roles. It is also very common for personality clashes to occur in the team setting. It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that everyone can work together despite their differences.
There are various project management tools available in the market today. At the early stages, the project manager should already know which techniques are best for the project. It can be a combination of Gantt charts, critical path analysis, and cause and effect diagrams. More advanced systems may be implemented in highly complex projects. Whatever the case, the planning techniques should be rock-solid, effective, and efficient.
All the factors outlined above are the essentials in project planning. Get them right, and your project will be a success.