You create project plan examples to organize a certain undertaking in its execution. The document establishes the scope of your project, its objectives, and the steps you must take to attain them. It’s like a road map that shows the key activities, phases, start dates, end dates, and dependencies between milestones and tasks.
Project Plan Examples
What is a project plan?
A project plan is a document that shows each step you need to take your project from point A to point B. Project plan examples are often presented as Gantt charts, a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule.
A project planner is one of the most important of many processes of project management. Because the output of this process is the project management plan. The document contains the project’s objectives and scope.
The development of a project plan isn’t that complicated although first impressions can make it seem like a daunting task. What you need to focus on is what you need to make your plan viable.
Project Plan Templates
What does a project plan include?
You can even make a sample project plan with scribbles on a sheet of paper or just a few lines using Microsoft Excel. But using the Gantt Chart is the most practical and effective way of presenting it. However you present your project plan examples, make sure to include the following:
- The phases of your project.
- The tasks or activities in each of the phases.
- The start dates and end dates of each task.
- The interdependencies between the tasks.
- Significant milestones.
Questions to ask yourself before project planning
Before you can start creating your project plan outline, you must first understand what you’re trying to achieve. If you cannot understand the goals of your project, you can’t deliver them. At the least, you must have clear answers to these questions:
- Why? – To identify the strategic goals of your project.
- What? – To identify the process or activities, deliverables, and outputs.
- When? – To identify the dependencies and deadlines.
- How? – To identify the methodology or process.
- Who? – To identify your client and stakeholders.
If you can have a project kickoff meeting, you can come up with a project brief. You need to understand why you’re doing the project so you won’t end up doing anything unnecessary. Additionally, this allows you to create effective project plan examples to use as your guide.
How do I write a project plan?
As projects grow in complexity, the more comprehensive your project plan examples become. Fortunately, you can plan a successful kickoff for your project in a short amount of time without having to be a project management expert in your team. To create your project plan template, you must follow these simple steps:
- Get an initial buy-in by explaining your project to the key stakeholders
This first step in any project. The key stakeholders have the authority and influence to determine whether the project will achieve success. You still need the approval of your stakeholder even if your project comes from your company’s CEO.
In this conversation, align your defined goals then determine the project’s value. This is where you will discuss the expectations and needs while establishing baselines for your project’s budget, timeline, and scope. All of these create a solid foundation for your work plan.
- Come up with the goals of your project and an outline for it
There is a need to be very clear about your goals. Without these, you will discover that the tasks, requirements, and deadlines you have set for your project work plan will have nothing to anchor on. But through your initial meetings, you will have a list of what your key stakeholders need and their buy-ins.
Then you may start assigning them to goals and OKRs – a goal setting and planning method made famous by Google and Intel. Make sure that your project aligns with your company’s and team’s OKRs.
- Create the project scope
After outlining your project, aligning your tasks with goals, and getting the buy-ins you need, the next step is to come up with a document for the project scope that details the elements of your project. Examine each deliverable then define the tasks that you must complete to finish each deliverable.
Determine the resources and time necessary and who will be in charge of each task. Finalize and document all of your project’s details so that everyone in your team will have one source. To lessen the risk of miscommunication, find the best way to make the plan easily shareable.
- Come up with a comprehensive project schedule
For this, it’s a good idea to use a Gantt Chart as this is a very effective tool to help you visualize your project’s timeline. It is an interactive timeline that provides you with a complete overview of your project’s work scope, dependencies, and progress.
- Define the resources, roles, and responsibilities
Resources are the equipment, money or people you need for the completion of your project. With your budget, you can choose your tools and the people who will work on your project.
- Define your check-in and communication processes
On average, employees might spend most of their time just looking for and collecting information. In addition, inefficient collaboration and communication have ranked among the top causes of workplace stress.
Stakeholders who constantly ask for updates on the project’s progress might find it frustrating to have to go through pages of documents or emails to find what they need. This might even cause them to lose motivation.
- Have a backup plan
No matter how informed you are in writing a project plan, there is always a risk that unwanted things may happen. You have given yourself enough breathing space during the process of scheduling, you have made sure that everybody has their assigned roles, and you even have set up communications.
The next best you should do after taking all of the necessary precautions is to wait for something to happen and deal with it with a contingency plan
- Launch your plan
Every successful project requires a kick-off and you can do the same. Set up a quick meeting with key shareholders and have a clear agenda. The goal of this meeting is to get everyone on the same page with roles, processes, timeline, and goals.