10 Steps to Create a Smart Project Plan

The success of any project is much dependent on a good plan. Project managers are usually tasked with this responsibility. However, if one is new to the industry, it might sound a bit tricky. A project plan is a document meant to direct how a project will run from the beginning to the end. Plans may differ from one business to another or from one project to another. Despite this, you need to understand that there’re critical steps that every project manager should include in their planning. An effective project plan helps to eliminate confusion and any form of inconveniences during project implementation. Here are the 10 steps to create a smart project plan:

  • Project Scope.

This is the first step of coming up with any workable project plan. The scope refers to what you are intending to achieve in your project. In most cases, your boss will define for you. Again, the team leader or the project client can define the scope of the project for you. It should spell out what needs to be done and highlight various aspects of the project.

  • Research.

A project manager should then research the particular project. Researching will help you to get various facts about the project and project location before going far with the planning process. Fill the information gaps in the information that is originally provided. Some of the critical information required for the project is available in the paperwork provided by the boss, team leader, or the project’s client.

  • Work Breakdown Structure.

Here, you’re supposed to develop a work breakdown structure. The project should be subdivided into smaller tasks and timeframes. It is important for accountability because each task is assigned to an individual who remains answerable.

  • Make an Outline.

Outlining your plan is necessary for the approval of any project plan. The outline contains a clear layout of the process to follow. You need to include timeframes for various milestones and deadlines.

  • Involve Your Team.

At this point, you need to talk to all the team members. This is necessary because they are the ones responsible for project implementation. Go through the project outline with the team and think of any necessary tasks you can add to it. Discuss various project supplies and resources required in the project. 

  • Draft.

Next up is to draft the entire project while factoring in the outline you created and the feedback you received from the project team. The draft should be easy to understand and accurate. The draft should be detailed and the tasks should be laid out in order. This step will take you some time but ensure not to leave it out. It helps the project manager to better focus on the project.

  • Apply Your Project Management Tool.

If you have a project management tool, you should apply it at this point. You need to input your tasks and subtasks correctly to guarantee accuracy. Creating milestones and deadlines is also a brilliant idea. Again, you should assign tasks and responsibilities before sharing the information with the relevant stakeholders.

  • Finalize the Design.

Finalize the layout by verifying the information you’ve entered into your project management system. Ensure that this information is easy to read and understand. This makes it easier to achieve the project goals or outcome. What you have at this point should be useful equal to the final version of the plan.

  • Get Feedback from the Team.

Before you begin working on the plan, give your team a chance to go through it and suggest improvements. The team members should have access to the project management software you’re using to be able to review the plan and contribute their ideas. Make necessary changes that may affect the project implementation process.

  • Continue to Plan.

Doing you’re a perfect plan doesn’t always guarantee a smooth project flow. You might be faced with uncertainties such as health or delayed supplies. If that happens, you’ll need to make changes to your plan to accommodate the change.

Final Thoughts.

Whenever you have a project, don’t think of it before you come up with a smart plan. Any effective plan should be simple, measurable, achievable, reliable, and time-bound. Follow the above steps to be sure that your project plan will give the expected outcome.

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