Project Planning is one of the first activities you need to do when starting a new project or while trying to effectively manage a project. If you happen to be new to project management, or perhaps merely want to brush up on planning tactics before you start a future project, learn the tips shared here.
What exactly do we mean by project planning? Why is it so crucial? What are the critical actions you must do in order to complete an effective plan? These are simply some of the questions you might have and a few of the questions we’re going to try to answer here. We will try to answer these types of questions by introducing the top strategies for the planning phase – these top strategies will address all of these questions.
The very first thing you must do is to avoid getting right into the particulars of the work and instead focus on making sure you have a solid plan in place. If you’re a beginner to project management, this is the first primary difference you will discover between being a team member and a team leader. Your job as a team leader is usually to just do that – lead. In an effort to direct the work, you should realize that now you are overall responsible for all activities on the project and are accountable to make sure the proper individuals are working on the appropriate things in the proper order! This can be difficult and is an issue that will surely call for planning! Planning is defined as simply the process where you figure out how you’re going to manage all the aspects within the project. This includes, but is not limited to, defining how you will manage the scope, schedule, budget, human resources, communications, risk, change and quality. Planning is very important to help you complete the project as productively as possible, and minimize both the time required to complete the tasks and also the total cost. Development of the entire project plan is a somewhat comprehensive venture – on this page we’re going to concentrate on the tips we think are the most crucial and the ones which will give you the most benefit.
The Top Tips During the Project Planning Stage Are as Follows:
- Build The Project Team
You need to start building the team very early on – even if it is just a part-time assignment to your project! Do not wait until you have finished the complete plan entirely on your own. On large projects, the team is everything – be constant in your quest of building a strong team. Your team is the most powerful asset you will have as a project manager. Never forget this!
We cannot stress just how critical it is to assemble a powerful team. It’s your responsibility as the leader to continue to build up your team. Team improvement is one area that must take place constantly all through your project, not only at the beginning. To be able to grow your team, make sure you carry out team development exercises.
- Make use of Team Participation for Completing Your Project WBS
The work breakdown structure (WBS) is a deliverable-based description of your project scope. The work breakdown structure essentially describes the total scope of the project in a hierarchical style. Developing the WBS is a very crucial project management step that allows you to get a complete understanding of everything that needs to be completed. Even knowledgeable project managers frequently do not take full advantage of the value of a correctly-produced work breakdown structure.
You must engage your team and use team participation tactics as a way to prepare your project WBS. This technique will assure you encompass all scope items and don’t miss any, but almost more importantly, this will create team buy-in. The real importance of making use of team collaboration has been always to generate a sense of ownership among your team members. The successful companies would recommend getting the team together in your project war-room, convincing all people to turn off their cell phones and doing away with all other interruptions. At this meeting, sit as a team, display a blank screen on the wall and formulate your WBS. Many prefer to use mind-mapping software programs for this activity.
- Employ Team Collaboration for Creating Your Estimate & Schedule
In my opinion, the planning stage provides the project manager with the ideal opportunity to develop team buy-in. As mentioned above, this is often best done by engaging the team members very early within the planning process via collaboration activities. This can be a great strategy. It is best to have the team involved with estimating the costs and schedule they’re going to, in the long run, be responsible for. You would be amazed how highly effective this is – I have experienced it’s benefit frequently. It’s remarkable how hard the team will continue to work towards reaching their “own” obligation instead of a due date that has been handed down. It’s a significant difference – utilize the potential of this in your favor. If you incorporate the team in the development of the project budget and schedule, you’ll be light years ahead.
In conclusion, the top tips that will help you to produce your project plan are to first create a powerful team and then involve the team in the planning activities that will follow. The team will really help you in creating the strategies that will be used to deliver the project. Once you’ve formed your core team, be sure to involve them throughout the planning process so that you can both develop the best plan possible and create team buy-in. Ultimately, your planning endeavors will lead to a project work breakdown structure as well as a written document, referred to as the project management plan, that will highlight how you will manage each and every aspect of the project such as scope, schedule, budget, HR, quality, risk, change, project requirements and communications. You will have to customize the components of your project management plan for your particular project, but these are often the most common.
Technological innovation is inevitable for any company today, since it is involved in everything we do. From basic chores done at home to the most complex works done in various companies, they all need Technology for the tasks to function well. For example, think of toasting your bread or warming your food in the oven, these sorts of things are using technology. So, when it comes to project management, you can actually raise a project’s success rate by making use of modern technology. Modern technology has put old techniques in modified forms in our computers. With the latest software available today, we can now manage every part of our project with a few clicks away.
The technology that is used today for project management has also made it possible for a project manager to keep a close eye on its every aspect. Back then, there are times when you have to look at big paper sheets and charts to know where your resources are located. Today, you do not have to look at those and carry with your big sheets containing that kind of information. You also do not have to use pencils and markers to mark the important phases of your project.
Now, you are able to update each and everything in real time. These tools can help save time for the project managers. Furthermore, this can help them spend more time in focusing on the most critical components of project management.
Different Ways the Technology Helps to Do an Effective Project Management
Technology affects project management in various ways. If you are not using this modern technology, then you might not be able to contend with your competitors in the industry. For example, the use of 3D illustration allowed people to see in real time where their projects are currently standing. You can even see where your project has reached through a graphical 3D picture, and you can also see the status of activities, resources and its timelines. These graphical illustrations greatly helped in understanding the development and its process, as well as what resources have been used along the way.
Here is another scenario: Imagine if you have just started to work on a new website for your company. You will need many people to work on this project, but it is not necessary that all of them work at the same time and at the same place.
How will you then manage the people who are located in different places but working on the same project?
Modern technology can certainly help you in the specific scenario. With the help of collaborative platforms, everyone contributing to the project can interact with each other and see what others have done. This also creates an environment of competition among other departments, thus making them work faster.
Now you can store all the proceedings, as well as the progress of your project in one place so anyone who is authorized will be well-aware on what is the status of the project. You now manage your project from your personal computer without even asking everyone, individually, about its status. Whoever is working on the project can update the information in a collective database, which is also accessible by every person involved in the project. Moreover, you can even assign tasks to individuals or teams through these modern software or applications.
Lastly with technology, the modern weather forecast techniques and information can now be given through realistic timelines for your projects. You can also comprehend what weather threats you will face while working on that project.
Modern software or applications may have changed the way we deal with project management. However, everything still depends on how you are going to effectively use it at your advantage.
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