Effective Project Management Plan

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Effective Project Management Plan

effective project management plan

Project management involves the management of a variety of tasks and the people responsible for those tasks. It includes planning and scheduling tasks and controlling the budget associated with delivering an end-product, in a finite time period. The final outcome will produce a significant change in an organisation or community and that change is what sets project management apart from business-as-usual management.

The project management plan is not just the schedule, although clearly this is an essential item, but is a plan for how the project will be managed so it includes:

A summary describing the aims of the project and the expected benefits, including any assumptions or constraints.
The processes that will be used to monitor and report on the status, and handle risks, change, quality etc.
Documentation of the scope, requirements and budget as well as a time and dependency-based schedule such as a Gantt Chart.

In its simplest sense a project management plan will include the following elements:

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Project aimsIf the final deliverable of a project does not meet the requirements of the client then it has not been successful. Therefore, you must establish what those requirements are (and prioritising them).
Project deliverablesThese are the tangible items that will ensure the needs of the client are met and will include time estimates.
Project scheduleA list of individual tasks along with how long they are estimated to take, who will complete them, any inter-dependencies and any important milestones along the way. There are many software packages to help you do this efficiently.
Resource requirementsThe project schedule will enable you to justify the project’s resource requirements for time, equipment, budget and people. Identify individuals by name or skillset along with their responsibilities within the project.
Communications planWho needs to be kept informed about project progress and how will this be communicated? Typically there will be various reports with differing levels of detail for different stakeholders that cover progress and planned work for the next period
Risk management This involves the identification, monitoring and mitigating of risks.
Quality guidelinesYou need to know what level of quality is expected and required so the definition needs to be detailed and measurable. It also needs to take into account available budget and resources.

Putting together an effective project plan is essential but so too is sticking to it throughout the course of the project or adapting it as needs change, whichever is most appropriate for a particular project.

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