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What is Planning in Project Management?

What is Planning in Project Management?- The main reason a lot of projects fail is improper planning. Some people start projects without making any plans at all, and this means that the random events that happen after then are what control the project.

In project management, the most important part is your plan. Your plan is the guide you have to follow. If you abandon your plan mid-point, it is likely that the project will not turn out as you want. What is planning in project management?

What can be considered a good plan in project management? How do I carry out project planning easily? What is project planning and examples? If you want the answers to these questions, this article will be of very good use to you as it is made up of information gathered from various sources across the web.

This article contains all the information you need about planning in project management, project planning and its steps, planning phase of project management, why project planning is important and the five stages of planning in project management.

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I like to explain very thoroughly, so I will start by introducing what exactly project management is and why planning is crucial to its success.

What is Project Management?

In simple terms, project management is the application of knowledge, brawn, skills, processes and methods to achieve or successfully carry out a project. It is the process by which the project is done using team work, skills, knowledge and anything else to ensure success.

What is Planning in Project Management?

Planning in project management is the process of mapping out your project idea and organizing it into stages. It indicates who does what and when what gets done and at where. Planning in project management is not different from any type other planning.

The only difference it makes is that the plan is very crucial to the success and smoothness of the project, in project management.

Why Is Planning Important In Project Management?

Planning is important in project management for many reasons. I will be talking about some of them.

  • Guidance
  • Solutions
  • Organization
  • Preparation

Guidance

The biggest mistake you would make in whatever you do is allowing random thoughts and circumstances to control your action. Most times, you act on impulse, making mistakes and going in the wrong direction. This will lead any project straight to failure. A good project plan will give the project stakeholders good guidance.

It will also reduce how much thinking you have to do while carrying out your plan. This will in turn, reduce mistakes and help the project cross the finish line safely.

Solutions

A project plan already has solutions to most of the problems that your plan may contain. No matter how well a project plan is woven, it is bound to encounter a few problems across the way. The project leader and members or stakeholders are to envisage as many possible situations as they can. Including the solution in your project plan in case any of the problems arise will give your project a seamless ride, helping you not to get stranded at any point.

Organization

Your project plan helps you to go along in steps; very organized steps and procedures. This means that your project will not only be a success but will be carried out very neatly. Without a project plan, there will be chaos in stakeholder meetings. What should come before what? It is not different from trying to build an estate without a plan. Along the line, there will be arguments deciding what colour or what structure the buildings should have.

This should not happen in a project. One advantage of planning in project management is that all of the argument and most of the decision making is already done before the project starts.

Preparation

What will we need if this problem arises? To explain this, we will be using a car project as an example. If your project is about building a model car, then this is how a good project plan can get you prepared.

First is to decide what materials are needed. Who can easily get the materials and what is the fastest way to do so? How large will the model car be? You cannot wait until you are cutting the canvas before deciding how big your model should be. That will be the first step to leading your project to doom.

After deciding what materials are needed and who will get them, proceed to discuss the size of your model car. After deciding on a size, talk about the model design and check the dimensions and discuss the power and materials that will be enough to power the vehicle.

After this, you can discuss the cost and how you can manage finances throughout production. After completing the project plan, conduct a revision and make amendments where necessary. All of these is considered adequate preparation for almost any type of project, and this is at the centre of project management.

Steps To Take When Planning in Project Management?

This section explains project planning and steps to take when planning in project management.

  • Initiation/Introduction/Considerations
  • Member accumulation and intimation
  • Goals Identification and Isolation
  • Expectations outlining
  • Creation of Schedules
  • Project plan drafting, editing and finalization
  • Inclusion of other possibilities and plan B.

Initiation/Introduction/Considerations

This is considered the first step of project management. It occurs before the project starts. It can be called a preamble to the beginning of the project. This may involve penning down the project idea and listing relevant stakeholders, usually by someone who is very important to the success of the project. The initiation process can also be considered the awareness stage of planning a project.

Member accumulation and intimation

The next process involves informing the members and stake holders of things such as meeting dates and how to plan your project. Arguments may ensue during information but you must avoid it as much as you can. Arguments are unnecessary as you are only informing them of the project and what it entails.

Any objections will be raised during the meeting. In this stage, you are also required to inform each project member or stakeholder of what their tasks may be. You are to make sure that each stakeholder at least understands what the project is about; this will save time and explanation or project introduction during meetings.

Goals Identification and Isolation

Confusion is what arises when things are unclear. During the early stage of your project planning, decide what exactly your goals are. Do this with your team. When the project plan is being executed, it is natural that new suggestions will pop up. You need to make sure that only the ideas that are relevant to the goal of your project should be considered. Listing your goals in very short sentences would be ideal.

Expectations Outlining

What is your project expected to deliver?

Is there a pass mark or deadline for submission or is it a gradual process of submission? List the expectations of your project. Using the previous example, the model car; is it expected to undergo a test after completion?

What does the test entail? Is there a particular speed you expect the car to hit? Are there particular products you must use or processes you must follow? These are expectations you should outline.

Creation of Schedules

This can be considered a timeline of your project. When will the project start? When will the materials be purchased? When will the money be disbursed for purchase? When will it be completed?

This part is all about when what is done. Do not create very tight schedules but make sure that there are frequent meetings throughout the project process. This is to keep project members and stakeholders interested in the project.

Creation of Project Plan (Project plan drafting, editing and finalization)

This is the most important part of any project, and it is what determines the success of the project, alongside the determination of the project stakeholders/members.

If this project plan contains any major loopholes, the project will face a serious problem and may possibly fail, and on the bright side, if the project plan is perfect, then there will be a very smooth and easy process till the project is completed. Some people carry out projects without plans, and this often leads to waste of time and resources and moreover, failure of the project.

Inclusion of other possibilities and plan B.

Are there any risks that you expect when the project plan is being carried out? Include them in the project plan itself. You will surely encounter a few problems during the project. Some may be expected and some will not. What to do? Take care of the expected ones.

Draft a plan B that explores a completely new way to carry out the project. It may not be useful in the end, but is a great way to recover from any loss and complete your project before any deadline.

Conclusion

What is planning in project management? This is a question often asked by students or people who are new to project management. A good plan is a prerequisite for an easy ride during any project. This article helps by talking about the importance of planning in project management and will be of great use. Kindly leave a comment if you found this article useful.

References

Wikipedia.com

Quora.com

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