A well thought out plan is a critical element of a successful project.
Unfortunately, there are several reasons PMs give for why they don’t think they need a project plan including:
- Good project management is “nice to have” but not a necessity.
- My projects are all crises; I have no time to plan.
- Structured project management is only for large projects.
- My projects require creativity and can’t be predicted with any certainty.
None of these are valid reasons for not having a well thought out Project Management Plan.
Many major government projects require a PM Plan as a contract deliverable. This document describes how you will manage the project to successful completion. It also describes how your project will implement all the activities presented in the training module. Your plan should consider the following outline:
- Project Charter
- Project management approach or strategy
- Scope Statement
- Project objectives
- Project deliverables
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
- Cost estimates, schedule and responsibility assignments for deliverables
- Measurement baselines for scope, schedule and cost
- Major milestones, reviews and target dates
- Required staff
- Quality assurance and control
- Configuration management and control
- Risk management
- IT, facilities and security plans
- Action plans
The PM Plan should describe the configuration management, project metrics and quality assurance process to be employed on the project in addition to any project management activities. A description of these processes will be covered in more detail in the PM Planning and project execution, monitoring and control sections of this Guide.
The PM Plan is a living document. It also serves as a valuable transition document if a new PM comes on-board. As such, you should regularly revisit and update it to reflect current project status and to make sure you haven’t neglected an important aspect of the plan. Remember to update the revision history section as well as any headers/footers in order to maintain document and version control.
Where practical, a draft of these plans should be prepared prior to contract award to ensure proper pre-award planning takes place. It also serves as a valuable transition document if a new PM comes on-board.
– Mike Lisagor