What Is Planning In Project Management?-Who starts a project without planning? This is the second stage of every project because without it, your idea for the project just remains an idea. Planning is what fosters action to turn an idea into a project.
Planning in project management is more like the heart of the project life cycle and this is the stage of the project that tells everyone involved in the project what you are expected to achieve at the end of the day and how you would achieve it.
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Planning a project can really be difficult and overwhelming and if this is done wrongly, it can jeopardize the project and this is why we have written this well-detailed article to help you to properly plan any project, execute the project and come out with success at the end of the day.
In this article, we will be looking at:
Table of Content
- What is planning?
- What is planning in project management?
- Why is planning in project management important?
- How to plan a project
- Final note
Let’s look into the article…
What Is Planning?
There are a lot of definitions about planning and this is because people have viewed it from their own perspective but one thing that is common among all the definitions is that planning that planning is goal and future oriented.
Planning is the process of making advanced decision on future events. Planning starts with setting goals or objectives then laying down actions that should be followed in achieving the set goals.
Planning involves deciding ahead and beforehand on what is to be done, how it is to be done, when it should be done and who is to do it.
What Is Planning In Project Management?
In the life cycle of project management, planning is the second stage after the idea for the project has been defined and in this stage, the project manager will create a detailed document that contains information about all the aspect of the project.
Planning in project management is the heart of the project life cycle and this is where the plans for the project are documented and every detail about the project is laid down. In planning a project, the project manager will create project plan to help coordinate the project properly.
The project plan is going to help manage time, risk, changes, cost and other things pertaining to the project. This is sometimes the most challenging stage in project management.
If you must know, planning in project management shouldn’t stop at the second stage as it is supposed to be a continuous process as long as the project is ongoing in order to ensure the success of the project.
Why Is Planning In Project Management Important?
Just like we have mentioned earlier, planning is one of the most important aspects of carrying out a project and there are lots of reasons you have to plan properly before executing a project.
Let’s look at some of the reasons:
- It helps to know who will perform specific tasks
Planning in project management will help the project manager and the team identify who will perform specific tasks and how these tasks will be carrying out.
- It helps to facilitate control as the project progresses
Planning in project management should be a continuous process as it will help you monitor and be in control of the project as it progresses.
- It helps the project sponsor and any stakeholders know what the project is all about
A comprehensive project plan gives full detail about the project. It shows the scope, cost, risk, budget and timeframe of the project so this will give the project sponsor full information about the project and why they should sponsor it.
- It helps to manage risk
For your project plan to be effective, it must entail risk management. Through planning, you get to determine the possible risk associated with the project and how you can deal with these risks if they eventually occur.
- It helps to outline the resources needed for the project
Planning in project management will help to determine the resources that will be needed for the successful execution of the project and these resources could be materials, staff and equipment and it will also estimate the cost of these resources.
Also, planning will ensure that these resources are used efficiently to ensure optimum results.
- It shows the budget for the project
Planning in project management will not be complete if there was no budget involve. The budget helps to link all the cost that would be incurred in the project and relate them to the outcome of the project. This will help to know if the project is worth embarking on or not and what adjustments are to be done.
- It helps to facilitate communication and provide a central source of information
Through planning, the project manager will be able to provide information to the stakeholders and team about the project and facilitate communication for the success of the project.
How To Plan A Project
We have looked at why you should plan in project management and you must have seen the importance of planning. In this section of the article, we are going to give you some tips on how you can plan a project to ensure the success of that project. This can be different for project managers but you can take a few steps from these tips.
- Determine project goals
When planning in project management, the first thing to do is determining what you want to achieve with the goals you want to embark on. The goals of your project will serve as a drive to carry out the project as it is the reason for the project.
Setting goals for the project will help you know where to start from with your project plan. The project goals will also help you identify the project sponsors and stakeholders. The stakeholders could be anyone interested in the project and it could clients, customers or end-users.
- Define the scope of the project
For you to carry out any project there has to be a scope for the project. The scope for the project shows what the project team and every other person involved in the project has to do in order to meet the project goals.
This scope serves as a guideline and course of action to follow which the team is not supposed to act outside of. In some cases, it can be seen as a limit or boundary for the project to monitor and control the activities of the project team.
- Break down project into a list of deliverables
When planning in project management, you will have to set out a list of deliverables as this list will help you break down large projects into smaller and easier task that you can assign to certain team members.
The deliverables are like the expected outcome or services the project team will be producing and when listing these deliverables, you should also estimate the timeline for the completion of these tasks.
- Assign roles and responsibilities
Here, you will have to name all individuals involved in each of the task and let them know their roles and responsibilities in details. This will help the team members know what they are supposed to do and start work immediately to meet up with the project deadline.
Try to allow the team members for the project air their opinion also as it will help make room for creativity and this will increase the efficiency of work and propel the success of the project.
- Assess the project risk
Risk assessment is very important in project planning as it helps to evaluate the possible risks associated with the project and what can be done when it eventually occurs.
Through assessing the risk, you will be able to know how best to manage the project risk so as to minimize the impact any major threat may have on the project.
- Create a budget
You wouldn’t want to assign money to a project and it yields nothing at the end of the day this is why creating a budget is important. This will help you assign the necessary amount of money needed for the project according to the deliverables and milestones of the project.
Through this budget, your project team will be able to understand what they need to work on the project.
From all we have said, you must have understood the importance of planning in project management and how you can plan a project.
For effective planning in project management, you will require excellent communication skills, the ability to consider a wide range of options at any given time and also giving attention to detail.