Project Management Plan Template

It was once said that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. In the business world, this is definitely a true statement. Too many people nowadays, especially where management is concerned, find themselves just getting through the day without planning ahead. They watch the clock, do what is right in front of them, and don’t put a lot of thought into planning the next stage of the project.

In fact, if you stopped many first-level managers and asked them how far ahead they were planning, they might actually tell you that they were ‘too busy’ to plan ahead or to think about things that are going to go on tomorrow! This is a common problem, but it is not a new one. It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day affairs of our lives, and when we do, we tend to lose sight of the end goal, as well as planning ahead for how to get there.

In times like this, however, it is important that you remember that the energy you put into planning will eventually have a direct correlation to success… If you plan well, explore your options, and execute the plan in the best manner possible. Planning is absolutely essential to success. Nothing good in business really ever happens by accident, and you will likely find this to be true in your business as well. Anything good that is accomplished by someone is generally planned… and the more energy that is put into planning, the more successful the project, task, or operation tends to be.

But why does planning play such a huge part in success? Why will planning tend to contribute to positive results, while the absence of it tends to do the opposite? Those are great questions, and the following thoughts may help to explain the reasons behind them.

1) Planning Lines You Up With A Specific Goal

If you don’t plan, then you are usually going to end up ‘reacting’ to events rather than ‘acting strategically’ to get to a specific place. Planning a project tends to keep you in line with your original goals, which is why it tends to correlate directly to success. Keeping the goal in mind is definitely a secret to success, and planning a project based on what you want the outcome to be is a great way to set yourself up for eventually arriving there!

2) Planning Keeps You Organized

If you don’t put time and effort into planning a project, then you are likely going to experience problems along the way due to disorganization. Putting thought into how to streamline the process, however, can really make a difference where efficiency is concerned, and if you take it upon yourself to plan for a project completely, then you will often find ways to cut out unnecessary issues or problems that may arise along the way.

3) Planning Reduces Cost

Putting a lot of effort into the planning stage can also save you money along the way, which will help to keep the project, as a whole, under budget and on track financially. Managing funds may not always be part of planning a particular project, but if it is, then you will quickly find that planning everything out beforehand will highlight many potential monetary problems, and will allow you to plan for getting everything paid for before you actually spend any money.

4) Planning Highlights Possible Problems

One of the best things about putting effort into the planning stage is the fact that it highlights potential problems before you get to them. Some of these problems may be able to be sidestepped altogether, though knowing about them beforehand will definitely give you a leg up of they are problems that you will need to solve.

This project management plan template ensures that you have included every section necessary for the success of your project. The importance of this plan cannot be over-emphasized and the project manager must take sufficient time to make sure that each section is described in detail so that everyone on the project team knows what is expected. It will ensure that your project management plan includes all of the known major project tasks in sufficient detail to generate work packages, and that all of the project activities are in their chronological sequence and that the task interdependencies are clear.

Key Points

  • The project management plan is a comprehensive document that defines each area of your project.
  • The final document will contain all the required plans you need to manage, monitor and implement your project.
  • Your plan must also describe the deliverables and benefits it brings to the organization.
  • The introduction to the plan provides a high-level framework and summary of the project objective.
  • The remainder of the plan is made up of a series of plans for each functional area. For example: human resources, scope, schedule, budget, quality, risk, communications, contract and supplier management.
  • In the case of smaller projects, this plan can serve as a self-contained planning document, but in larger projects it makes more sense to create a series of subordinate plans for each functional area.

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