The Power of Planning

PMI Chennai Chapter

Rajakumar is a Senior Consultant working in a reputed IT company. He has successfully managed multiple customers' strategic projects. He has gained expertise by managing different types of projects including end-to-end Development, Maintenance & Support, Production Support and Hybrid. Currently he is a faculty member in the Project Management Academy. He trains and mentors potential project managers and project leaders in his organization.

Do project managers really need to plan for project activities? Is it really worth the effort? What do we lose if we simply execute the project? When a PM practices current trends like agile and DevOps, do they still need to plan, or do these trends discourage it?

Alexis recently progressed in his career and has now taken up a project manager role for a new project. It will be executed from a different city that he is transferring to. Alexis wants to make sure that his new project is completed successfully. Before moving, he gets advice from Sam, his senior project manager. Alexis wants to jump into project execution activities as soon as he reaches the new city, but Sam advises against that—telling Alexis to follow the project management process groups of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling and closing.

Alexis asks Sam to explain the significance of planning. Sam starts with a simple example: He asks Alexis how he will go to the office on the first day at his new location. Alexis says he will check Google Maps the day before to find the shortest and best route between his residence and office. Sam asks: If there are any unplanned hindrances in that route, what will Alexis do? He replies that he will take an alternate route.

Sam explains: “You have planned on identifying the best route and have a thought process on what exactly you will …

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"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."

- Lewis Carroll