PM Themes – 4

Effective planning ensures that the Project Manager> can effectively communicate >with all the staff working on the project, which in turn will help them to effectively control the project. Subsequently the $1fourth theme> essential to Project Management is the $1plan theme>. For the purposes of this article we will define the plan as the means by which the final product is to be presented to the owners. ie Where and when things are to be done, $1who> is to do them, $1how long they should take and $1how much they should cost.

Who is the planning for?

Don’t think he planned painting that floor too well!
Don’t think he planned painting that floor too well!

As a Project Manager without a clearly defined plan> you really would be setting yourself up to fail> in the project. However, the project plan isn’t just for your own use. The process of drawing up the $1project plan> will require input from many different $1personnel> - all of which need regular access to the plan so that they can measure their $1individual contributions> toward the culmination of the plan. After all, without knowing what is required of them, what $1resources> they need to achieve a given outcome, when it is needed by and the other $1targets >they are working to - you can hardly blame them for any shortfall in $1their performance. Your plan gives them a $1minimum standard to perform to - plain and clear for all to see.

A plan - not just a series of charts.

It can be all too easy for a Project Manager to fall in to the trap of thinking that a series of diagrams and charts> showing timelines>, $1cost analysis> and $1management structures> will constitute a plan. They do not! A plan needs those things but it also needs detailed descriptions of the $1aims and objectives >to be met and as necessary itemizing in great detail the $1quality standards to be adhered to. The project plan also needs to include specific details of the $1risks likely to be encountered and how they are to be dealt with.