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Can I ask you a question?
In your opinion, what would you get from your project management colleagues if you asked them for a sample of the project management plan?
Well, I bet most of them would send you a schedule created with MS Project or (even worse) MS Excel. Some will send you a sample project charter, and others will even send you a project status report based on MS Powerpoint or something similar ...
Try it out! Am I right? I guess, yes...
Few may know that a well developed and created project management plan is much more than the examples above. And even fewer could send you a sample since they have already created a project management plan for their projects!
After studying this guide, you will be asked for this support in the future as you will be an expert in creating a relevant project management plan and have the appropriate tools and techniques.
Here we go:
The Concept of the Management Plans
Management plans document the strategy and approach for managing the project and project processes in terms of scope, timing, cost, quality, resources, communication, and risk, as well as Procurement and stakeholder management.
This means that each knowledge area has its own management plan that documents the strategy and approach for project management in that specific project. These plans are essentially a set of documents with processes, procedures, practices, and standards that the project team will follow to ensure consistent results.
When creating a management plan, ask yourself always this question:
"How do I define, plan, manage and control the scope (or schedule, costs, quality, etc.) of my project?"
You think ahead and document how you will manage each knowledge area (and ultimately the project) based on its specific needs, How you will manage each knowledge area during execution, and how you will monitor and control each knowledge area. These efforts should cover all aspects of the project.
You also need to think about who is involved in the project and how you will behave. Managing these people, evaluating their work, and motivating them. Management plans are necessary and unique to each project, The format, and level of detail of management plans should be adapted to the needs of the project and the style of the project leader, and the organizational influences.
If you have not yet created management plans for your projects in practice, this concept can be difficult to implement in the beginning. However, you will quickly realize the benefits of creating management plans. Therefore we want to illustrate the concept with an example:
With regard to the cost management plan we would ask ourselves the following questions (and answer them in the cost management plan!):
"How will we ensure that all costs are identified and estimated?"
"Who will be involved in the cost estimation?"
"What methods for estimating the costs that we will use? "
"What historical records, processes and organizational requirements must be used or met? "
"Which estimation tools and techniques will we use? "
"What is the appropriate level of accuracy?"
"How will financing and cost constraints be constrained in determining the budget?"
"Which data, metrics and measurements do we need for cost planning?"
So far to the planning part.
The executive part of a management plan focuses on the processes and procedures involved in carrying out the work.
The executive component of a cost management plan answers questions such as (but not limited to):
"Which cost data is needed?"
"Who is responsible for the collectionof the cost data?"
"Where will we collect the raw data that will later be used for monitoring and control?"
The monitoring and control component of a management plan defines the processes and procedures to measure project progress, compare actual project results with the plan, and determine how to deal with deviations that require change.
The Project Management Plan - understanding its Purpose
What we have discussed in the previous section applies to all the specific management plans (Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Communication, etc.) you will develop for your project throughout the planning phase and iterations. And all those single management plans (plus some additional components we will discuss in a second) combine to the so-called Project Management Plan.
The Project Management Plan is more than just a workbook to determine what work needs to be done. The Project Management Plan is a continuous document that controls the following elements:
■ Provide Structuring
The Project Management Plan is developed to create a structure within which the project can develop until successful completion. It is a careful but accurate collection of documents that serve as a reference point for all project execution, monitoring and control, and project or phase completion.
■ Provide documentation
A truly successful project requires a documented Project Management Plan. Documents provide a historical overview and the reasons why decisions were made the way they were made. A Project Management Plan must include documentation of the assumptions and constraints that influence the development of the project management plan. Both the size of the project, the application environment within which the project operates, and the business environment factors can all influence the level of detail provided by the project management plan.
■ Enable communication
Project Management Plans are documents that provide information and explanations as to why project decisions have been made, as documented. The Project Management Plan serves as a source of communication between stakeholders, the project team, and management to communicate how the project is managed.
■ Provision of baselines
A Project Management Plan contains several baselines. As the project progresses towards completion, management, stakeholders, and the project manager can use the Project Management Plan to see what has been predicted in terms of cost, scheduling, quality, and scope, and then compare how these predictions will compare with actual project progress.
The Complete Guide for developing a Project Management Plan contains the following sections:
- The Concept of the Management Plans
- The Project Management Plan - understanding its Purpose
- Preparing for the Project Management Plan development
- Application of tools and techniques
- Use of a project management information system
- Components of the Project Management Plan
- Putting it all together
- Exercise: "What are the specific actions required to create a project management plan that is bought into, approved, realistic, and formal?"
- Baselining the Project Management Plan
- Benefits of a Project Management Plan
- Project Management Plan Example and Template
- Tailoring Tips for your Project Management Plan
- How to create a customized Project Management Plan - Step-by-Step
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Thanks and kind regards,