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Practice Areas: IT Project Management, IT Strategy, Scheduling
Difference between Project Plan and Work plan
Network:1
Guys,
I am new to project managment and frequenty need to create IT proposal documents for client RFPs with project plan. But recently i was asked to to give work plan and then project plan in two different sections of the same RFP, my understanding was they were both the same and everytime I get this question it puts me in a swing.

Below is what the client is asking for in their words but the work plan details are asked under the section "Project Approach/Management" and project plan details are asked under the section "Project Plan" :

Project Approach/Management:
----------------------------------------------
Describe your Initial Work Plan and schedule, including a detailed timeline and milestones for all Phases of the project.

Project Plan:
-------------------
• Develop a project plan with dates and milestones to be used throughout the project.

I usually do 1 plan ( call it project or a work or implementation plan ) in an excel document with tasks, timeframe, resources, deliverable, milestones. Now that RFP requires work plan & project plan in 2 different section there has to be some difference. Can someone shed some light how the "initial work plan & schedule" is different from "project plan" IN THIS CONTEXT?


Thanks in advance, any help is appreciated.
Chris
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Network:573



Given your description, they sound like the same thing, although I would call it a project schedule, not a project plan. What I consider a project plan is a document that identifies major dates and milestones, and also outlines processes for how the project will be managed - risk management, change management, etc... Funny enough, when I share this with others, I call it the "Project Approach." Your best bet is to come up with what you think the definitions are and then clarify it with your client.
Network:1193



The best thing is to avoid ambiguity. Ask the customer what does mean. I am writing that because is the best way to not have problems. For example, if you will use PMI way to do things you will not find the definition for "work plan" in any PMI´s document. No matter people above have gave you great definitions.
Network:1
Ashlyn\Aaron\Sergio, thanks for your answers.
to start with unfortunately i cannot go back to the client and ask for an explanation. i have to educate myself and answer to the best of my knowledge at this point in this.

Aaron,

Q1. Do you think they are refering to work plan ( under project approach) as project plan\ project approach.

Q2. If yes then is project approach supposed to be wirttin a tool like MS project\ Excel or should i use MS word and have other things like risks assumptions also in it along with the different development phases?

Q3. If i use a tool like MS project for work plan then what tool should i use for Project Plan to avoid the same things being repeated again?

thanks in advance guys, just want to be clear on what the client wants.
...
1 reply by Aaron Porter
Jun 05, 2017 5:25 PM
Aaron Porter
...
The template for what I call the project approach that I've put together is in PowerPoint, because that is what works best for my company. A Word doc would also work. The sections/slides I include are:

* Project Outcomes and Success Criteria
* Project Timeline - milestones and high level schedule, in a table on the slide
* Project Stage Gates - criteria for transitioning between stages
* Project Stakeholders
* RACI/Roles & Responsibilities
* Communication Plan
* Tools & artifacts that will be used on the project (MS Project for the project schedule, time zone charts, go live plans, project web site, etc...)
* Process overviews - Issue management, Risk management, Change management, Testing, Go-Live, Post Go-Live Support

On my ERP upgrade project, I use a few tools for sharing the project schedule:

1) MS Project for the detailed schedule - most people don't look at this unless I put it up on the screen during a meeting.
2) A high level timeline that focuses on the critical path and milestones that I create in Visio and then paste into Word to share with the stakeholders. This gets the most attention from the stakeholders.
3) I also send out a bi-weekly status update that includes a simple WBS of milestones and dates, with stoplight indicators to highlight whether or not the milestones are on track.

I can't guarantee that this will meet your requirements, but if you take a similar approach, they won't be able to say that you aren't communicating the project details. If you can't get clarification before you do any of the above, can you create templates for what you think should be in the project approach and project schedule and send those to the client to see if they meet their needs?
Network:1
finally can any one if possible point me to online sample work plan documents and a project plan document.

thanks guys!
Network:573



Jun 05, 2017 4:34 PM
Replying to sameer sha
...
Ashlyn\Aaron\Sergio, thanks for your answers.
to start with unfortunately i cannot go back to the client and ask for an explanation. i have to educate myself and answer to the best of my knowledge at this point in this.

Aaron,

Q1. Do you think they are refering to work plan ( under project approach) as project plan\ project approach.

Q2. If yes then is project approach supposed to be wirttin a tool like MS project\ Excel or should i use MS word and have other things like risks assumptions also in it along with the different development phases?

Q3. If i use a tool like MS project for work plan then what tool should i use for Project Plan to avoid the same things being repeated again?

thanks in advance guys, just want to be clear on what the client wants.
The template for what I call the project approach that I've put together is in PowerPoint, because that is what works best for my company. A Word doc would also work. The sections/slides I include are:

* Project Outcomes and Success Criteria
* Project Timeline - milestones and high level schedule, in a table on the slide
* Project Stage Gates - criteria for transitioning between stages
* Project Stakeholders
* RACI/Roles & Responsibilities
* Communication Plan
* Tools & artifacts that will be used on the project (MS Project for the project schedule, time zone charts, go live plans, project web site, etc...)
* Process overviews - Issue management, Risk management, Change management, Testing, Go-Live, Post Go-Live Support

On my ERP upgrade project, I use a few tools for sharing the project schedule:

1) MS Project for the detailed schedule - most people don't look at this unless I put it up on the screen during a meeting.
2) A high level timeline that focuses on the critical path and milestones that I create in Visio and then paste into Word to share with the stakeholders. This gets the most attention from the stakeholders.
3) I also send out a bi-weekly status update that includes a simple WBS of milestones and dates, with stoplight indicators to highlight whether or not the milestones are on track.

I can't guarantee that this will meet your requirements, but if you take a similar approach, they won't be able to say that you aren't communicating the project details. If you can't get clarification before you do any of the above, can you create templates for what you think should be in the project approach and project schedule and send those to the client to see if they meet their needs?
Network:66752



Project plan is likely the project management plan
Work plan is possibly the schedule.

PMBOK 5
The project management plan contains the schedule management plan and the
schedule baseline. The schedule management plan describes how the schedule will be managed and controlled.
The schedule baseline is used as a reference to compare with actual results to determine if a change, corrective
action, or preventive action is necessary.

That is what I would go with if you can't ask further information
Network:177



Hi Sameer, don't get confused with the terminology, remember these three things really.

1. Work Plan is the same as Project Plan..both have the detailed work breakdown structure(WBS) and start, end dates, dependencies etc. Now, MS Project plan is usually a Project Plan(common terminology) and something in Excel like you mentioned could be referred as workplan just for the sake of differentiating these two docs.
2. Project Management Plan- as referred in PMBOK is an integrated plan that tells how you will plan out all the other areas of knowledge- example, communication, cost, schedule etc. and that is called Project Management Plan..not project plan.

Hope this helps.
Network:1
Guys, thank you so much all for your replies.
thanks
Sameer

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