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Project management planning  

Project management planning


Sometimes project management planning is ignored in favor of getting on with the actual work, because some managers do not realize the value that lets save time and money and avoid many problems. In this article a simple look at the phase is given to help project managers and project teams to understand importance of the planning process and its steps.

The process is an activity that project manager undertakes to identify project goals, define project deliverables, make project assignments, and design project schedules for the purpose of developing the project management plan. The process consists of several steps.

If to be simple, the process includes the following steps :

  • Setting project goals. This step starts with conducting interviews with project stakeholders to understand their needs. Project manager communicates with stakeholders to identify their true needs that create real benefits. This stage is one of the most sophisticated stages because project manager should do his best to understand stakeholders’ needs and identify respective benefits. After interviewing with stakeholders has been conducted, project manager creates a list of needs in which each need is marked with a priority. The most prioritized needs are used to define project goals. Project manager can use various techniques (such as SMART) to set project goals with reference to the needs. The step results in generating a list of project goals.
  • Defining project deliverables. By using the project goals list, project manager in cooperation with project team creates a list of things which current project should deliver in order to meet the goals. Project manager uses templates to create the deliverables list in which every item is associated with a particular goal. PM templates can be also used later to estimate delivery dates and setting durations.
  • Developing project schedules. The manager needs to create a list of tasks and jobs required for achieving project deliverables. At this phase, project manager identifies the following parameters for each task:
    • An amount of effort (hours or days) required for completing the task
    • Human resources who will perform the task
    • Financial resources required for completing the task

If during the course of the stage , project manager suddenly detects some issues that cause insufficiency of human/financial resources and improper task deadline identification, he should immediately contact stakeholders to discuss the issues and generate solutions. After solutions are developed and implemented successfully, project manager can create schedules that allow defining time-frame for each task.

Shared calendar program
  • Developing supporting plans. This step of process aims at creating supporting plans that allow current project to be better planned in terms of communication, resource availability, and risk mitigation. Project manager in cooperation with project team and under supervision of project stakeholders develops the following supporting plans:
    • HR management plan
    • Communications management plan
    • Risk management plan

The listed steps are common guidelines to be used by project managers and team leaders. You can modify and supplement these steps with your ideas. PM software can be used for this purpose.

VIP Task Manager has advanced tools that help you undertake the process from very beginning through the end. It features such tools as Task Tree and Task List that allow you to create to-do lists, make project assignments, build project trees and task hierarchies, manage human and financial resources, and develop supporting plans. You can make your project management planning and scheduling efforts and design project schedules by using Calendar view of the software.

The shareware supports user collaboration which means resources of your project can access one and the same project database and collaborate with each other in real time. The tools will allow sharing project data and notifying concerned resources of changes.



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