Project Management Plan: Elements, Creation, Approval, Example

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Apr 15, 2024

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It is important to work in an organized fashion. Planning things in advance will allow us to execute things in a phased manner. Thus planning is important in every aspect of work. 

IT projects can be successfully managed with a right plan as every project is different and thus we need to do a lot of work like defining the objectives, quality objectives, and planning to achieve them and so on. We need to define the structure of the processes and methodologies to achieve the target that is the expectation of the customer.

Project planning in project management is a process that is required to achieve the success of the project by defining the scope of what needs to be done, defining the steps to achieve the project objectives and to define the task lists for the entire project.

You will get a detailed overview of project management planning from a PMP certification training

Project Plan Example

The sample project planning in project management consists of the following elements. However, in real life, the project plan differs in size, elements, formats, and components.

These are the generic steps for any project management plan example. Let us begin with an example before go into details. 

  • Project breakdown and Work break down structure - For high-level tasks breakdown the project and work to smaller detailed tasks.
  • Defining the quality standards - You need to know what are the quality parameters needed for each of the tasks to achieve the final deliverables.
  • Assigning resources to tasks - One of the tasks and quality standards of the project plan is to assign the resources to the task.
  • Plan for the relationship of activities - Now you can use CPM and PERT to make the relationships for all the activities and interdependent tasks to find the shortest path for your project plan.
  • Estimating the resources and task duration - For each resource, you need to estimate the duration and materials/equipment to complete the task.
  • Estimate the cost of each task - Now that you are ready with the plan, estimate each task costs in the plan come up with the total cost of the project plan
  • Finalizing the plan and approval - Generate the project plan get the necessary approvals from the sponsors.
  • You can use an excel sheet for generating the plan for simple projects. Sometimes for the complex project, you need project management software to do the project management plan.

Basic Elements of Project Management Planning

1. Executive Summary – This is a high-level document that details the key elements of the project.

2. Strategic/Organizational Alignment – This is to check and evaluate whether the project commencing meets the organizational objectives. This also includes the results of the stakeholder’s analysis.

3. Scope of the project - Here the work breakdown structure, product breakdown structure, the purpose, the objectives, the products or service performance criteria, quality process, and specifications, etc will be defined. The project assumptions with clarifications to grey areas and major deliverables will also be defined and discussed in this section.

4. Feasibility assessments and contingency plans – In this section the technical, organizational, economic, and operational feasibility studies are conducted. Also, the risks to the project are identified, major risks treatment plans are made and contingency plans are made and discussed.

5. Constraints Evaluation - Environment or management are the primary constraints and those needs to be discussed. Examples are time, limited resources and fixed budget, etc

6. Human Resources Requirement - In this section the team roles and responsibilities and who will do what must be defined. Then the training plans are for the personnel must be discussed and studied in this section.

7. Materials/Equipment requirements - In this section, the software, hardware, space, cubicles, and other resources are discussed.

8. Project Schedules and Milestones - Here the 3 key elements will be integrated such as deliverables, critical dependencies, and duration. Then the milestones and schedule for the tasks are defined.

9. Budget/Estimate - Here the cost estimate is planned with the 3 key parameters such as Expense items, Labor, and Capital items. The budget is planned by the management and cost estimate for the project duration is made.

10. Risk Management - The risks are identified and the risk register is made with the risk treatment plans.

11. Project Issues - Here the project planning is done on the management of issues and how to manage them if it arises in the project.

12. Change Management – Plan and process is developed for the change management plan.

13. Communication Management - One of the main sections of the project plan is communication management, whether it is an exception, issue resolution, escalation, progress report the communication must go to the key stakeholders

14. Vendor Management - Here in this section the dependencies on the project outsourcing or key vendors for the sub deliverables or software or some features of the project must be discussed and planned

15. Approvals - The project plan comprehensively made must be approved and also various approvals for the project commencement must be obtained from the project stakeholders.

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Steps Involved in Creating a Project Management Plan

The projec plan is done manually and hence every project manager must get trained and get PMP certified. 

The project plan in general consists of the following tasks

The creation of task lists - The task lists or the activity list outlines in detail all the steps in the project that needs to be completed to achieve the desired results. Remember to prioritize the task lists.

Duration of the project plan - Build the duration of the steps outlined above with the best practices and previous experience of the projects

Dependencies - The dependencies such as one or more tasks needed to be completed before the next task must be planned for in the project plan.

Resource plan - Allocate the resources and make the plan for every step described above. The resources may be building, floor, space, cubicles, the hardware, the software, the personnel, and other equipment

Finally, develop a Gantt chart and make the project plan as planned above. It can be as simple as in excel sheet or more complex such as automated software.

Gantt chart Project Plan

Project management plan approval 

The project management plan once prepared must obtain the sign-off from the stakeholders such as the management, the project board, etc. The approval for the project plan would be easy if the project management plan consists of all the necessary items such as the objectives, the deliverables, scope, summary, risks, contingency plans, constraints, change management plan, budget and estimate, duration, issue management plan, project schedules, and milestones, materials/equipment requirements, human resource requirements, and project communication, etc. 

This comprehensive documentation must be prepared for the sign-offs and approvals for commencing the project plan. This document helps the management and the project board for making key decisions during the project along with the project manager. The project management plan document must consist of the Gantt chart in which the key steps to achieve the goals and objectives and then resources needed, along with the task dependencies, the duration is done so that it is easier to visualize and also helps in comprehending the plan better.


The project management plan in PMP’s PMBOK is an important study and key steps in project management. StarAgile is a key partner training institute of PMI for all the PMP certifications. Now that you know the basics of the project management plan, know more and explore Project Management in detail.

We recommend you to get the PMP online training from StarAgile and obtain the certification from PMI. StarAgile provides interactive online training in all the PMP courses with case studies, role-plays, simulations, and games. To register for the training click on the link provided in this article. 


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