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Project Management>Planning the Project


A brief introduction to project management planning:


What is project planning all about?

  • Confirming the scope and objectives of the project - which indicates:

    • Why you are doing the work 

    • What you want to achieve

    • What the boundaries are

    • What is included and excluded

  • Estimating what resources you will need to deliver the outcomes of the project

  • Assessing the risks to the project (e.g. what could go wrong) and establishing if a contingency plan is needed (e.g. if the something could go wrong what can we do to prevent it or reduce the likelihood of it happening)

  • Identifying the constraints e.g. what might make your job more difficult, or affect its outcome, or assume the process will not change during the life of the project

  • Indicating the assumptions you have made about your project e.g. you have assumed that there will be no changes in the process whilst the project is underway

  • Defining the main outcomes you want, and what the quality must be – This will involve identifying the major outputs. Who will 'own' them, or take responsibility for them. How you will check the output’s quality and who will do this

  • Producing a project plan of the work to be done, and to indicate how long it should take (see work breakdown structures that can help you do this). It is usual to great a Gantt chart or spreadsheet to manage the plan. Popular software to great and manage the project plan is Microsoft's Office Project (click Office Project 2003 to read about its features or buy the software from Amazon)

  • Considering if IT systems are needed to support your Project e.g. a system may be needed to record and capture data to produce a report, which may be used for monitoring and evaluation purposes. 

    It's important to consider IT early, as systems have lead times for development and testing. However, you may be able to design your IT solution using an off the shelf package such as Microsoft's Office excel or Office access (Click Office Access 2003 or Office Excel 2003 to read about the features or to buy the software from Amazon)


All of the above information needs to be pulled together in a plan.


Once the plan has been drafted out you need to add key milestones to help you measure the progress of the project and set key points in the lifecycle.


The completed plan is then used to monitor, control and measure the Project’s progress.

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See also


Go to Analysis Knowledge Base
Go to Process Change Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base

Analysis Techniques
Project Management
Process Change


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Project planning software - Create Gantt Charts:

Create Spreadsheets:

Create Databases:

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