What is Project Planning?
Project planning is used to organise various areas of a project. This includes project plans workloads and management of individuals and teams. An activity network diagram allows for the identification of critical paths and the logical dependencies between tasks.
Because project planning must be completed before the project can actually start, it is often inherently uncertain. The task duration is often calculated using a weighted average between optimistic, normal, or pessimistic cases. To anticipate possible delays in project execution, the critical chain method includes “buffers” to help with planning.
The project planning phase is the most important part of the project’s life cycle. It tells everyone involved where they are going and how they will get there. The planning phase involves the creation of the project schedule, documenting the project plan, and defining the project deliverables. This involves the creation of a set plan to guide your team through each phase of the project’s implementation and closing phases. These plans will assist you in managing time, cost, quality and risks. These plans will help you manage staff and external suppliers so that the project is delivered on time, within budget and on schedule.
Phases of the Project
No matter how large or small the project, it can be extremely complex. It is easier to break down the project plan into phases.
Initiation is the start of a project. The goals and objectives of the project are determined through a business plan and the feasibility study determines the practicality of it.
Planning: This is the most important phase of project management. It focuses on creating a plan that everyone can follow. This phase usually begins with setting goals. S.M.A.R.T. and CLEAR are two of the most popular ways to set goals. CLEAR.
Execution: Here your team does the actual work. Your job as a project manager is to create efficient workflows and monitor your team’s progress.
Monitoring and Control: This is done at the same stage as the execution phase. This phase measures project progress and performance in accordance to the project plan. Scope verification and control is used to monitor scope creep and track changes to the project’s requirements.
Closure: After your team completes a project, you move into the closing phase. The closure phase is where you deliver final deliverables, give project resources and decide the success of the project. The project manager is not done with major project work. There are important tasks to be done, such as evaluating the success or failure of the project.
Planning is essential
Although planning may not be the most fun part of managing projects it is essential for reducing failure and risk. Here are some reasons why planning is so important:
1. It improves project performance and success rates
Project leaders who don’t clearly define the project objectives and milestones are responsible for 37% of all projects failing. Before anyone assigns roles to the project, project planning includes a thorough mapping and organisation of the goals, tasks, and resources. Proper project planning can help you avoid most of the problems that can lead to project failure.
2. Plans inspire confidence
Good project planning doesn’t just neutralise negative project vibes. Everyone involved gains a boost of confidence.
3. It reduces the risk
Like change, project risk is a part of the work. Although you cannot control all possible risks, you can manage them with a project management plan. Your plan is a living document that allows you to keep an eye on your project’s progress. It is possible to look ahead and fix problems before they become major issues.
4. Risk Assessment
If you don’t plan ahead, you won’t be able to predict what obstacles you will face during the project. A good plan will allow you to do a risk assessment and create contingencies that can help you overcome them.
5. Improve communication
A description of communication protocols is part of a project planning document. This will ensure that your stakeholders, project team and decision-makers know when and how they should communicate with one another.
6. Keep going.
Projects are prone to get off-track. For example, people get sick and finish projects earlier than expected. It’s easier to adjust your project schedule as you go to keep the project on track.
7. Strategic Alignment
Because it makes sure that what is being delivered is correct and will provide real value for the business opportunity, project management is essential. Project management is essential to ensure that projects’ goals align with the business’ strategic goals.
8. You can save time and money
You can make sure that your work is completed on time and within budget with the right planning. Project management techniques allow you to map the project’s path from the beginning and determine where deadlines and projected spending will fall. This allows you to better allocate resources and avoid project delays and overspend.
This is a crucial step in gathering ideas from customers, vendors, top management and your own thoughts to create a learning environment. This requires us to do further research and identify any gaps.
10. Organises the work of a project and can be used for preventing extraneous work that could crowd out legitimate activities.
Planning is the link between the management functions that are required to activate a project, and the elements necessary for a successful project’s completion. Planning is about determining in advance what, when and how to take the actions necessary to achieve established goals. These concepts are essential for project managers who want to be successful.