Setting the Project Stage
A play begins before the actors ever say a word. The stage must be set properly. The lights are prepped and the props and costumes are ready to go. The atmosphere of the theater itself prepares the audience for the magic about to happen. Only then is the audience ready to leap into the world of the play and be transported for a few hours by the story.
In the same way, planning documents for a project will prepare the project team and the stakeholders to jump into the world of a project. Whether the purpose of the planning document is to obtain funds or define the project for the stakeholders or just a brainstorming effort before the charter, the planning must be executed as carefully as the lights and props are set before a show. If they are not, then the actors stumble on the stage and the audience loses focus. Everyone ends up going home disappointed, and for a project that means the funding and the resources disappear in a cloud of smoke.
There are key elements that must be recorded in a planning document in order for the project to get off the ground. There are some points that will help the project be successful if they are included and developed properly. Lastly, there are parts of the planning document that will assist the project manager in getting buy-in from stakeholders. After all, if there is no funding, then the play will never be shown to an audience.
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