In project management, project planning is an essential and essential step in order to succeed in your projects. To summarize, it is a question of identifying the tasks to be carried out, prioritizing them, defining their duration and maturity and allocating resources to them. The goal is to set the project schedule.
Planning forces you to take into account all aspects of your project and to think about the different stages. It is a delicate phase that depends very much on the complexity of the project for which you are responsible. If it involves interdependent tasks or if several people are assigned to more than one task, planning can become a real headache.
Steps to Successful Project Planning
You should consider planning your project as a process in its own right. This is a decisive step that should not be neglected or botched. Each task must have a start date and an end date to be sure to finish the project in required time. It is also important to know the availability of each member of your team to avoid delays. For successful planning, you need to ask yourself three essential questions:
- What are the tasks?
- How long will it take?
- Who should accomplish these tasks?
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Here are the 7 steps to follow to answer these three questions and plan your project correctly:
- Understanding the ( s ) objective ( s ) , the scope and deliverables Project
- Define the tasks to perform
- Estimate the duration of each task
- Scheduling tasks
- Assign resources to each task
- Build your project schedule
- Using project management software
Understand the Purpose, Scope and Deliverable Project
The objectives of the project must be clear and precise for you and your team. This may seem obvious, but if you know not what the purpose of your project is, it could jeopardize its success. You need to know where you are going in order to get involved, be motivated and believe in your project.
It is also important to know the scope of the project as well as the different deliverables to be provided.
Define the Tasks of the Project
You must define the set of tasks to complete your project. A consequent task will have to be divided into several small tasks which will then be easier to understand and to perform.
For this step, you can use an e Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), called organizational project task (WBS) or work breakdown structure (WBS) in French. This tool helps you break down and visually prioritize the different levels and tasks of the project.
Estimate the Duration of Each Task
You must now determine the time (hours / days / weeks) and the effort required to complete each task. This step is crucial for defining the total duration of the project.
For the estimation to be the most accurate, it is imperative to involve all the actors of the project who must be able to give you the time necessary to the accomplishment of the tasks. For example, an architect is able to estimate approximately how much time it will take to draw a building’s plans.
Giving Back Tasks
This step is to establish the order in which the tasks of your project are to be performed and the links between each task. If some tasks can be performed in parallel, others depend on the start or end of another task. This is called dependencies between tasks in a project.
Assign Resources to Each Task
Who does what in your project? Now that you know all the tasks to be accomplished, their duration, their order of completion and their dependence on one another, it is time to allocate the resources.
The term resources refer to your team, but also to external service providers, two of s suppliers, etc. In short, to all people who will work on your project throughout its duration or in a punctual way?
Attention, during this stage, it is essential to take into account the different constraints to which your resources are subjected. For example, if they are involved in another project at the same time, if they have left, if they work part-time, etc.
Build your Calendar
This is the last step in planning: creating the timeline for your project. It is during this stage that you must take into account the vacations of your collaborators as well as the specific interventions of the various providers.
Your schedule should be as realistic as possible. Avoid too tight deadlines or, conversely, too long. Be aware that your schedule is not fixed and that it will evolve during the project. Unforeseen and unforeseen events may occur; some tasks will take longer than expected, while others will be completed more quickly. You will therefore need to regularly update your schedule.
Using Project Management Software
Today, project planning is simplified through the use of e project management software which is one of the many features available (thanks to the Gantt chart in particular).
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