I need to write a project plan. What resources are available to help me get started?
The purpose of a project plan generally remains the same, regardless of the particular form or format this specialized document takes: to document the plan for seeing a particular project to fruition. Project plans are commonly used by project managers to lead and navigate a project from inception to conclusion. Project plans often include information on process, timelines, resources, and tools required in order to meet objectives.
The typical elements included in a project plan (for project managers) include:
1. Scope Statement - summary of deadlines and goals for a project. It includes:
A. Business Case - reasoning and support for the project
B. Project Description - overview of what the results of the project will be
C. Success Criteria- milestones and metrics agreed upon by stakeholders for determining the progress of the project
D. Limitations - identification of potential risks or items that might hinder the progress of the project
E. Assumptions - anything that may or may not occur outside of the project scope
2. Critical Success Factors - include budget, deadlines, quality standards, and other benefits that the project depends upon
3. Deliverables - goal or objective of the project
4. Work Breakdown Structure - used by the project manager to plan and divide tasks in a manageable way between teams and team members
5. Schedule - provides a timeline of the entire project, and specifies time for each task
6. Budget - parameters for monetary resources as applied to different tasks
7. Quality - ongoing process throughout the project development cycle, that may look at things like accuracy of cost and time estimates
8. Stakeholder Identification - list of identified key stakeholders in the project
9. Communication Plan - frequency and method of communication used by the project manager
10. Risk Mitigation Plan - documents the process for managing potential project risks
Browse the following resources to help you begin drafting your project plan.
- Create Your Project Plan
- GEIT Framework at Work, Part 3: Creating a Project Plan
- Project Management for IT-Related Projects - Project Planning
- Managing a Design Project - Project Management Plan - Focuses on a design project