You have a big project and you know that the basis of successfully executing lies in the project management plan.
The pressure is rising. But there is no need for you to get overwhelmed because all you need is some guidance on how to write the project management plan.
Writing a project management plan will help you present important elements such as goals, objectives, timelines, and so on. If you know how to put those ideas and plans in writing effectively, you’ll be able to have everyone on your side in no time. To speed things up, these tips on how to write a proper project management plan will save you from stressing about how your plan will turn out. Let’s get started!
Identify Clients’ Needs and Expectations
Clients are the ones who need to accept your plan and see potential in it. Instead of writing and rewriting the plan numerous times, talk to the clients at the very beginning.
Discuss with them their goals, ideas, the value of the project, expectations, budget, timeline, etc. Ask anything that will help you determine what they want.
Having this information clearly defined from the very start will instantly give you pointers on what you need to focus on and in which direction your planning should go.
Write everything they say and prepare a basis for your plan. Use a Scope Statement Document to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Set Out Goals
Based on research, the executive leaders claim that a lack of clear goals accounts for 37% of project failure.
Clear goals help you plan out deadlines, requirements, and tasks that need to be fulfilled.
There is an organizational goal-setting tool used by Google and Intel. It is called Objective & Key Results (OKRs). This goal setting technique can help you identify and set your goals.
You can create a project plan board for your goals to have an overview of your ideas and how the process should go to meet the planned goals.
What is important during the goal-setting phase is that you also prioritize them. If you don’t prioritize the goals it will affect the project process.
Discuss Your Plan with Your Team
Every project consists of a team of people who will be designated to execute that plan. Those people are just as important as the project manager.
Get in touch with your team and express your ideas and goals. Ask them about the timeline, whether they find it manageable. Consider their ideas and suggestion.
In this way, you’ll look at your plan more objectively. If your team agrees with your ideas, you’ll know that you can look forward to successful cooperation.
Create a Schedule
A project schedule can sometimes be the toughest for project managers to determine. The reason why is that you need to calculate how much time each task demands in order to determine the final deadline.
You need to think about deadlines within the project as well as the final deadline. Setting just the final deadline will give you too much space to improvise during the project execution and that is not advisable.
Creating a clear schedule will also make the project more manageable and give the team a better structure and organization.
If you want to visualize your schedule, try out the Gantt chart tool. Those who are visual learners can have a better understanding of the project’s organization if they can see and follow up on the timeline.
Firm milestones are a must for a successful project. They need to be in line with the timeline.
Every team member should know their timeline and milestone because the work they do affects whether the project will be developed according to plan.
Stating milestones in advance will help you show the clients that you have a specific plan in mind. It will also help your team members understand their duties and obligations.
These project planning steps will help you meet the goals as well as meet the set deadlines.
Not to mention that milestones make it easier for the project manager to keep track of the project process.
Identify Potential Risks
As much as we would all like that everything goes according to plan, you should still understand that no plan is risk-free.
Write down all potential risks and issues that can affect the project execution. For example, an employee getting sick and not being able to work.
Why is identifying risk so important? Because it gives you the time to think about solutions in advance and prepare yourself for some other options.
You need to think about steps that help you to prevent those risks as well as to manage them if they do happen.
Outline the Project
Before you start writing the final plan, it is better that you write the outline first. Having all this information about the planning process can be confusing, so it is normal that you go back and forth and make some changes.
However, it is better that you correct the outline than the final plan.
It is very helpful to have some guidelines before you start with the plan.
Write and Present the Plan
Once you’ve finished all the previous steps it is time to get to writing. You’ll realize how setting out all the important elements of the project and outlining the plan will help you to write the plan easily.
When you’re all done with the writing and you feel confident about your planning and writing skills, it is time to present the plan and get that approval that you deserve! Good luck!