How to create a powerful project management plan10 Oct 2021
Projects, like almost everything in the business world, need a solid foundation to succeed. That foundation is a project management plan — and creating one requires you to roll up your sleeves and make something truly powerful.
Every project is different, which means there's no blueprint for a perfect project management plan. Instead, you need the tools and know-how to be comfortable planning for anything. This is an opportunity to put your finest management skills on display, from flexibility to workflow management.
Planning like a pro
Here are a few tips to help you get started creating a powerful project management plan:
- Define clear goals and deliverables
Clarity doesn't just benefit project stakeholders. It also helps you set expectations and create a structure that can be referenced when questions or complications arise. That's why it's critical to begin any project management plan by defining overall goals and concrete deliverables as well as creating a project scope statement.
- Create a work breakdown structure
A work breakdown structure allows you to visually deconstruct a project. It's a way to create a path from Point A to Point B and measure your progress along the way. Creating a work breakdown structure will allow you to see all the tasks, deadlines, stakeholders and team members in play, no matter what the timeline or project scope.
- Visualise tasks
Although a work breakdown structure gives you an overview of your entire project, helping you manage people and deliverables at surface level, you may need to get closer to each task in order to keep up with the finer details. To do this, try visualising individual steps or responsibilities — for example, use a Gantt chart to keep track of task distribution across different timelines, or create a flowchart to minimise redundancy between work packages.
- Stay on top of your software
No matter what project management software you use, make sure you're comfortable with it. You need to know how to use it, adapt it to your current project scope and — perhaps most importantly — ensure other members of your team are utilising it efficiently. In addition, Entrepreneur recommended having a technical support team on hand to minimise time wasted on troubleshooting.
- Perform a risk evaluation
To set reasonable expectations and clarify the timeline for deliverables, it is important to perform a risk evaluation at the beginning of your project. This helps you anticipate what could go wrong and how to proactively address it. Wrike suggested organising tasks in descending order of complexity, allowing you to handle difficult tasks first when there's more time for unexpected hurdles.
Although these tips can help you begin planning your project management approach, there's an even better way to ensure everything goes smoothly: Take a project management training course. Whether you've been planning projects for years or are brand-new to the management landscape, there's always a new tip, trick or software to brush up on.