The most critical step in the Project Lifecycle is the creation of the Project Plan. This document acts as a “yard stick” by providing the basis upon which to assess the performance of the project. In this newsletter, we will describe how to…
Create a Project Plan in 3 easy steps!
The Project Plan lists all of the activities required to complete the project as well as the milestones, dependencies, resources and timeframes involved. The following diagram depicts the 3 critical steps involved in creating a Project Plan:
To create a Project Plan, you first need to define the Work Breakdown Structure (“WBS”). The WBS lists each of the phases, activities and tasks required to undertake a project. You will then identify the resources required to carry out each activity listed. And finally, you will construct a Project Schedule which describes the flow of tasks and the timeframes involved in completing each task specified. A more detailed description of each of these steps follows:
Step 1: Define the Work Breakdown Structure
The first step taken when creating a detailed Project Plan for your project, is to create a comprehensive Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The WBS lists all the phases, activities and tasks required to undertake the project. Identify and describe each phase, activity and task required to complete the project successfully. Depict the order in which the tasks must be undertaken and identify any key internal and external project dependencies. Also list the critical project milestones, such as the completion of key project deliverables.
Step 2: Identify the Required Resources
Having listed all of the tasks required to undertake the project, you now need to identify the generic resources required to complete each task. Examples of types of resource include: full-time and part-time staff, contractors, equipment and materials. For each resource type, identify the quantity required, the delivery dates and the project tasks in the WBS that the resource will be used to help complete.
Step 3: Construct a Project Schedule
You have now collated all of the information required to build a detailed Project Schedule. To construct your schedule, you need to:
- List the phases, activities and tasks
- Sequence the phases, activities and tasks
- Add key internal and external dependencies
- Allocate relevant completion timeframes
- Add additional contingency to mitigate risk
- Assign resources required to complete tasks
- List critical delivery milestones
- Specify any assumptions and constraints
And there you have it! By following these 3 simple steps, you can create a comprehensive Project Plan to increase the likelihood of success of your project. If you would like to download a Project Plan template to help you to create Project Plans quickly and easily, then click here.