Importance of project planning in Project Management

by StarAgile

August 05, 2020
Category Project Management


Brief Introduction to Prince2 

Project Management is a process in which you manage the project in such a way that it brings success to the project, in a controlled way, manageable way, with less time to market, less number of iterations, less failure rate, and high profitability. 

Prince2 is a project management certification that was first initiated for the UK government but was later adopted by many private organizations across the world. Prince2 stands for Project IN Controlled Environment. 

Prince2 History

Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) formed it in 1989. Formerly this was known as Project Resource Organization Management Planning Technique (PROMPT). PROMPT was created in 1975 and UK government office used it. Later, it was adopted as PRINCE2 in 1996. 

The PRINCE2 methodology answers the fundamental questions of project management such as 

  • The cost of the project
  • The nature of the project
  • What project is it?
  • How to execute it?
  • Is there any help needed?
  • The time frame for the project

The role of the project manager is to manage and control the projects and is responsible for the organization, user, customer, and top management. The Project Manager takes responsibility and then forms the team, brings the resources and do the end to end management of the project in the goal to make products or services to satisfy the management, user and the customer.

There are seven key steps to do the PRINCE2. They are as follows,

1. Start the project - It is used to evaluate whether the project is viable. Then the approval is taken, a detailed stage plan, the project manager's name, and a high-level document are created.

2. Initiate the project - Here the nature of the project, the reasons for the project, the risks and benefits need to be discussed. This includes evaluating the risks, configurations, quality, project controls, and project initiation document and communication management.

3. Direct the project - The project board is created and here the process of authorizing the stages of the project, the initiation, and the project itself.

4. Control the project - The project manager monitors the work, assigns tasks, solves the issues and reports the project status and progress to the project board

5. Manage Product Delivery - In this process, the tasks and the project work package are accepted, then execute the work package, and deliver the work package.

6. Manage Stage Boundary - The performance, project plan, business cases are updated and the next stage is approved.

7. Close the project - Here it includes handing over the product, evaluating the project, and officially recommend for project closure.

The diagram below shows the PRINCE2 stages

    

Overview of project planning

The project planning consists of 7 steps and they are as follows,

1. Put a roadmap for the stakeholders – The roadmap describes all the project planning stages and is the guideline for the further stages.

2. Decimate the project into small steps – The next step in Project planning is to break the deliverables or the project itself into small steps

3. Team Management – You need to talk to the team and prepare the team for the project. This will get you buy-in from them for their roles and responsibilities. This will make the project easier for everyone.

4. Identify the risks – There will be certain risks such as finance, time, resources, work execution, etc. Identify the risks in all areas and how you are going to treat the risks.

5. Budgeting – The deliverables must be planned according to the budget. Make a plan for estimating the budget and the cost of the project.

6. Make Milestones – Evaluate the deliverables and tasks and make the milestones. Take into account efficiency, productivity, and availability. The milestones must be acceptable, measurable, clear and concise, realistic, and time-based.

7. Reporting – Make reports based on the short term goals on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. 

Know how to plan a project 

1. One of the questions that you need to ask is what is that we need to achieve to get the project successful

2. Next start from the end of the project and work backward, thus you will have answers to many questions such as the risks involved, the resources needed, the documentation required, project cost, the deliverables, the milestones and the time frame required, etc.

3. The time frame is important as you need to deliver the project within the agreed deadline

4. Cost estimate and the required budget is the next thing you need to plan

5. Evaluate the risks in the project and make a plan to treat those risks

6. As you have the high-level plan now answer some of the questions such as 

  •         What is the requirement?
  •        What are the budgets and the cost involved?
  •         What is the value add that you are going to produce
  •         What are the resources needed?
  •         Who does what?
  •         How to know when you have completed the project?

7. Next is to plan when there are failures in any of the stages and how to control them to bring it back into action.

8. The high-level document required for the project planning is the Project Initiation Document (PID) and the Project plan itself

What does project planning entail?

The project plan is an important document and one of the documents that the project manager has to make. It will have the scope; cost and schedule for the project. It also consists of all the activities required, the resources needed from humans to the machines or infrastructures, and the finance. 

Further, the project plan consists of all the risks associated with the project, how to manage them, and contingency plans and details a communication strategy to keep all the stakeholders informed about all the stages and progress of the project.

Importance of project planning

Project planning is an important step in the overall project management

  1. Ideation - The project planning is an important step to collate ideas from the customer, vendors, your team, top management, and your thoughts and put them in learning. This entails us to research further and know the gaps if there any.
  2. Reflect from the previous projects - The project planning is used to document and correct the ways and identify the risks and treat them so that this project does not go wary. Learning from the previous experience is one of the 7 principles of PRINCE2.
  3. Document the Project Plan - Document everything necessary such as risks, previous project failures and work around, the resources needed, time frame, cost and budget, contingency plan, etc. This ultimately helps the project for the successful completion

Are you ready to plan for your project?

Now that you have a brief idea of PRINCE2 and what project planning is all about to explore more and learn more we recommend you enroll for an Online PRINCE2 certification

StarAgile has excellent trainers who are certified in PRINCE2 and has vast industrial experience. To learn more about PRINCE2 and project planning you must reach us and we will be glad to help you. 

Happy Planning!!!