In project management, a project plan is a formal document that explains project goals, objectives, purpose, etc. Basically, it provides guidelines about strategic planning, procedure, work plan, employee management, schedule, and budget. Here I will explain how to make a project plan, elements of a project plan, benefits, and different types of plan templates.
Introduction to Project Plan Template
Like other project management templates and documents, a project plan template provides a standard pre-designed format that helps you to create your own project plan.
Moreover, it has core elements that a project needs to make a plan. These elements include project scope, timelines, stakeholders, budget, communication, and risk plan.
This plan is about the initiation, management, and conclusion of a project using certain methods and techniques to cover all its relevant aspects. There are multiple data, charts, and graphs that are included in this plan.
It is not possible to add such substantial elements with ordinary methods of documentation and regular features, infect there is typically formatted project plan document which especially devised for this purpose.
This planning template let you free from exploring too many complications and formalities to present statistical data, orderly arranging your material. Instead of manually adjusting everything, you just need to insert relevant data in its space and you are ready with a long page draft.
There are numerous things you need to add and formally present in a sequence that is globally acceptable and right in accordance with set professional parameters. In a detailed project plan, a list of significant necessary elements is present.
Some of the highlighted chapters of this plan are listed below here:
- Initial estimation of resources and their planning
- Charter of a team and available manpower
- Distribution plan of workload
- The estimated time frame for project completion
- Major strategies of working deployed managerial roles
- Mechanism of control and evaluation
- Roles and responsibilities
- Scope of project and its profitability
- Major threats and pointed risks
- Trending policies and factors which may influence your project
These are the necessary substances that help to make your draft look more professional descriptive in its composition. Using this sequence and order of elements, you can create such a plan for any kind of project industrial, construction, marketing, IT, or any other.
Core Elements of Project Plan Document
There are core elements of a project plan that are part of any plan. These elements include project scope, timeline, budget, and deliverables. But besides these, there are 10 other elements that must be included:
Business Justification & Stakeholder Requirements
It is important to identify and set project main goals, objectives, purpose of this project, benefits of this project, stakeholder needs, and what they want, before launching the project. All these steps must be conducted before Project Initiation Phase or PID.
Stakeholder requirements are very important in a Project plan because if your plan is not full filling the stakeholder’s requirements in terms of product, outcomes, or financial benefits, you can lose those stakeholders. You can also use a stakeholder plan for better management.
Project Requirements & Objectives
However, a project plan is a live document that needed constant reviews and adjustments to meet project objectives. If your project is not aligned with the objective then it will lead to financial crises.
Another important factor is project requirements, which includes what kind of resources you need to complete this project, human resources, material resources, labor, IT technology, infrastructure plan, maps, project budget, share in the market, marketing strategy.
Project Scope Statement
PSS is a core document that explains project backgrounds, their benefits, approaches, and methods, requirements to complete it.
This type of document helps to make agreements with external personnel and companies in terms of purchasing their services and products.
Project Deliverables & Deadlines
In this step, you have to identify and evaluate the project deliverables and deadlines of the project. You can use a scope statement document as a reference to draft deliverables. You can also add details on who will work on it and when. Establishing due dates helps team members to remind them to expedite progress on a task.
So, first, you should use the WBS template, which will break down the project plan into tasks that you can easily assign to team members or teams.
You can also use the Project Portfolio dashboard from where team members can get their daily tasks and submit reports there, as well as they can ask for assistance if needed or request for project change.
It is highly recommended to consult with stakeholders before making any change in project or task management.
Without a proper project schedule plan, you can not complete your project according to your plan on time.
In a schedule plan, you evaluate task completion time, project completion time, work schedule, employees roaster, and set task dependencies. This plan must be synced with project timelines from where everyone can watch on which phase their project is? And how much time is left to complete it?
Risk Assessment & Risk plan
Like other important project documents, risk assessment and risk management plans are also the backbone of a project.
Because without risk assessment you can not know what kind of risk factors their project could have and which type of risk management plan could work for known risk. In fact, without risk assessment, you can not make a counter risk plan and this can lead you to project failure.
You can also use a SWOT analysis template to drive your project’s strengths and weak factors. This technique will help you to make a better counter plan.
Roles & Responsibilities
Now, it’s time to set roles and responsibilities for team members, from top to bottom in order.
A better clarification helps team members and other stakeholders to identify who is doing what and who is responsible for that task.
You can use RACI Matrix Chart for this purpose. In which you identify project manager role, project sponsor role, team members responsibilities, their major duties.
For instant, the project owner (project major sponsor) invests capital in a project so, he is eligible to review and approve the project plan, project manager’s duty is to make a project plan, team leader leads the team member according to plan and its instructions.
Other team members include the change manager, execution and procurement manager, quality and risk control manager who works in their specific fields.
For example, a procurement manager creates a procurement management plan for a project.
Resource Allocation & Management
In this step, project managers make a plan like a roaster that explains who will use which kind of resource at which time and when. As well as, when this resource is available for other team members or teams.
This smart approach saves time and resources for wastage. Although, it is important to set dependencies and priorities among the team members according to their nature of work.
For this purpose project managers use a resource capacity management plan.
Quality Assurance Plan
A quality assurance manager plans QA guidelines under the supervision of the project sponsor and project manager. The basic purpose of this plan is to make sure whether their project is according to the proposed standard or not. What kinds of policies can make their project according to their plan.
So, from the project initiation phase to the completion phase, a QA manager keep auditing each task and phase to maintain quality.
Basically, this plan helps to avoid errors and disapproval before delivering the product. So, before you make a QA plan you have to set project standards, acceptance criteria, and policies. And these criteria and policies will play a vital role in the QA inspection process.
In last, a communication plan is another core project plan document that helps team members, project managers, stakeholders, and other external bodies to communicate with the concerned person in any situation.
Basically, it’s a hierarchy of a company, or mechanism that explains company structure and their work hierarchy.
Within an organization, this plan helps team members to communicate with each other and they can ask for reviews and helps.
Like project managers use this plan to communicate with team leaders for further instruction on a project and ask for a progress report.
The team member can use this plan to communicate with project managers and team leaders for assistance and discussing issues.
So, remember, always make a communication plan in a convenient way that provides an ease to consumers and establishes a stronger communication bond within or outside with personnel.
Project Plan Document
For recording extensive data and details regarding your project plan, there are exclusively designed Word templates that have pre-structured categories and data order which helps you instantly assign useful information in the right segment thus you can generate a feasible plan.
These templates are set with the format, font styling, font size, heading adjustments, tools for assessments, and demographic options. Other than that, there are many sequential complications that you need to overcome while making this draft.
While creating precise and optimized document templates, you always need to know all the formal complications and setting modules regarding the adjustment of data. Also, you have to be learned about the assessment and evaluation features.