Develop the Project Plan

In order to have a successful project, a project plan must be created. The plan assists project leaders and members to identify the key milestones, project deliverable dates and resources allocation. 

  • Draft the scope statement.

  • State the purpose and goals with project sponsor.

  • Identify all of the deliverables produced on the project, and, therefore, all the work to be done.

  • Take large deliverables and break them into a hierarchy of smaller deliverables. That is, each deliverable starts at a high level and is broken into subsequently lower and lower levels of detail.

  • Identify roles and responsibilities.

  • Hold initial kick-off meetings

    • Business vision and strategy (from executive sponsor)

    • Project vision (from executive sponsor)

    • Roles and responsibilities

    • Team building

    • Team commitments

    • How team makes decisions

    • Ground rules

    • Identify how large the group should be and whether sub-groups are necessary

  • Develop the schedule and cost baselines.

  • Create baseline management plans. Once the scope, schedule and cost baselines have been established, you can create the steps the team will take to manage variances to these plans. These management plans usually include a review and approval process for modifying the baselines. Different approval levels are usually needed for different types of changes. In addition, not all new requests will result in changes to the scope, schedule or budget, but a process is needed to study all new requests to determine their impact to the project.

  • Review the staffing for the duration of the project.

  • Analyze for quality and risks.

  • Develop change contingencies.

  • Engage usability experts

  • Communicate!

    • Determine who on the project team wants which reports, how often, in what format and using what media.

    • Identify how issues will be escalated and when.

    • Determine where project information will be stored and who can access it.

Note: For complex projects, a formal communications matrix can help determine some of the above criteria. It helps document the project team's agreed-on method for communicating various aspects of the project, such as routine status, problem resolution and decisions.

Once the project plan is complete, it is important not just to communicate the importance and contents of the project plan to the executive sponsor. This communication should include such things as:

  • The review and approval process for the project plan.

  • The process for changing the contents of the plan.

  • Next steps—executing and controlling the project plan and key stakeholder roles/responsibilities in the upcoming phases.


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