Project planning is the process of developing a plan for a group or organization to carry out a specific project. This is done by breaking a project down into its smallest parts to better understand what needs to be accomplished and how it will be achieved. This helps to set goals, manage time and resources, and ensure a project is successful.
Whether you’re a project manager looking to implement best practices and tools or simply want to be more efficient in your role, the right approach to project planning can improve productivity across your entire team. In this article, we’ll share the key steps to effective project planning and how you can leverage these techniques to create a more effective workflow for everyone on your team.
When project planning begins, it’s important to get all stakeholders on board with the project and its scope. This is usually done in a project meeting, where all aspects of the project are discussed, including deliverables, milestones, budget and schedule. It’s also helpful to establish what the role of each stakeholder will be throughout the project (i.e. who is responsible for approving decisions, who will be consulted and how often they need to be updated) to avoid misunderstandings.
Once the initial project meeting is complete, a list of tasks needs to be created and prioritized. It’s also a good idea to include any risks associated with the project, so you can develop strategies to prevent or mitigate them. This will help to keep the project on track and ensure it remains within the original scope and budget.
Next, a timeline should be created for each task. It’s recommended to schedule the riskiest tasks at the beginning of the project, as this will give you more time to respond if an issue arises. It’s also helpful to set realistic expectations when creating a schedule. This helps to avoid surprises for stakeholders and minimize rework once the project is underway.
Finally, a resource plan should be created that includes costs and necessary resources for each task. This will ensure that all of the project’s requirements are met without exceeding your budget or overusing team members. It’s a good idea to consider utilizing a tool like Wrike that will provide easy-to-use, visual ways to see the status of all projects and resources.
Once the plan is set, it’s important to communicate it with all stakeholders and to ensure updates are provided in the format and frequency that stakeholders expect. It’s also a good idea for team members to reevaluate the project once it is completed, in order to learn from any areas of weakness and improve upon future projects. This is a vital step to ensure continued success and a positive impact on your business’ bottom line.