In life generally to fail to plan is to plan to fail, the same thing is applicable to project management. A lack of a project management plan is a step to failure in such a project.
A project plan is vital to the success of a project, it is used to document and communicate the expectations, manage project schedule and delivery, and to determine and manage risks involved in a project. It is what you need to carry out the activities of your project in the right order to yield the desired outcome.
Having a project plan helps you in guarding against waste and aids you to attain ease in managing your project tasks
According to the statistics by KPMG, about 70% of global organizations do experience a project failure annually due to a lack of project plan that guides their activities. In most cases, some project managers often fail because they do not know how to make a project plan.
As a project manager, how do you create a project plan? Do you find it interesting or difficult? Or are you one of those who are not in the know of how to create a project plan? Kindly do away with your worry. In this article, we will discuss how to make a project plan and the steps involved.
- How to make a project plan
- Step 1: Identify and meet with the relevant stakeholders of your project
- Step 2: Set and prioritize your project goals
- Step 3: Define the deliverables of your project
- Step 4: Establish the project schedule
- Step 5: identify issues and do a risk assessment of your project
- Step 6: do a presentation of your project plan to the stakeholders
- How to create a project plan in Excel
- How to make a project plan Gantt chart in Excel
- How to make a project schedule
How to make a project plan
With the following steps, you will know how to create a simple project plan that can spur your team to success. No doubt, your success speaks a lot to your client and it says it all about you.
Step 1: Identify and meet with the relevant stakeholders of your project
The first step in creating a project management plan is to identify the stakeholders and keep their interests in mind in the process of creating it. Also, you are required to meet the sponsors of the project to deliberate on their needs and expectations. This helps to establish the baseline for the scope, budget, and timeline of the project.
Step 2: Set and prioritize your project goals
The next line of action in the creation of a project plan is to outline the project objectives and goals you want to achieve in the project. After this, you are required to prioritize them based on their importance.
Step 3: Define the deliverables of your project
Here, you need to identify the deliverables and map out plans to achieve each deliverable of your project. Also, set the dates for all deliverables in your project plan.
Step 4: Establish the project schedule
Here, you are required to do an appraisal of each deliverable and define the tasks that must be done to achieve every one of them. Make a decision on the amount of time each task takes, the required resources, and who is responsible for the task. Also, you can identify the dependencies among these tasks to enhance your productivity.
Step 5: identify issues and do a risk assessment of your project
no doubt, risks are synonymous with any project and you must carefully address the issues that could hinder the smooth execution of your project. By carrying out a risk assessment of your project helps you manage the risks by putting in measures to mitigate them.
Step 6: do a presentation of your project plan to the stakeholders
Doing this helps in explaining how the project plan will address the expectations of the stakeholders and it will reveal to them how you plan to solve any conflicts that could spring up.
The project plan must be done in a way that is clear and accessible to every stakeholder. Also, while presenting to them, you must communicate properly to them.
With these steps above, you can master how to make a project management plan for the use of your team.
Furthermore, the use of project management tool helps in creating a project plan. For instance, Sinnaps, an online project management tool will guide you in the process of creating your project plan in a way that guarantees ease in the execution of the plan.
Also, it will plan the project activities and identify the dependencies among the tasks thereby saving you a lot of time.
Example of project plan:
All about of How to creare a Project Plan:
- Project Plan Template
- Project Planning in Software Engineering
- Project Planning Software
- Project Planning Activities
- What is Project Planning?
- Project Planning Scheduler
- Project Pan Examples
- Project Plan Template in Excel
How to create a project plan in Excel
Project managers ruminate on how to make a good project plan before embarking on their projects. This is because having a good project plan enhances effective communication and promotes transparency between the project team and stakeholders.
Excel is a downloadable tool that can be used by project managers in creating a project plan. With the following steps below, you will know how to make a work plan in Excel:
Add names to the Table
Leave the first row on the spreadsheet empty, on the second row, type in the titles such as Tasks, who is responsible, Start and End days and status. Again, you are allowed to include the cost and budget. You can highlight the text and within the Alignment group, click on the middle icon to centre the text within the headers.
Include the project information
You can begin with the task column and enter the tasks of the project. Kindly note that you are allowed to enter several tasks as you will like. Then enter the team members responsible for each activity, the start and finish dates. You will be able to deduce the number of Days by pressing a cell within the Days columns and input =, then click the end date cell, input the minus (-) sign and click the start date cell. Press the enter button and drag the bottom right-hand corner of the cell down the whole column. With this, the rest of the values will be calculated automatically.
State the status of every task
You can use complete, in progress, Overdue or not started. By now this information will be on the Excel table but the spacing will be off based on the length of your text. To address this, kindly highlight all the information and in the cells group, click format. You can automatically adjust the width of the column to your content by selecting the Autofit Column width.
Add colour to express your project status at a glance
you can customize your project plan with colours by changing the style and font sizes. You can also highlight key information and Express project status from a view.
To change the font colour, click on the cell with the text you intend to change and choose the colour you prefer from the colour drop-down list. You can change the background colour of the cells by clicking the paint bucket icon and choose the fill colour.
To format the font, select one or more cells; in the Home tab, you can make a change to the font type and font size and make the title bold.
Design the timeline of the project plan
In this step, you will include the timeline in your project plan to set expectations. This boosts transparency and keeps everyone focused on the priorities and due dates.
Also, you can add and format dates, this is done on the same rows as the table headers by entering two dates of the project in the next available column. Then hold down shift, select the two dates, and drag the bottom right-hand corner across the row until you get to the end date. Kindly change the format dates by selecting every date and right-click. Then select format cells.
Put final touches
To add grid lines to the project plan, just choose the entire project plan, table, and timeline will be included and in the Font group, click the border icon and then select All Borders.
Also, if you want to add more information to the project, select the first column, then right-click and select Insert > Entire Row. This can be repeated until you have 8 empty rows.
Then in the first column, input the following; Project Name, Project Manager, Project Deliverable, Start Date, End Date, and overall progress. Then fill in the remaining corresponding information.
Furthermore, a Gantt chart is a tool useful for project managers in scheduling and tracking their project activities. It usually illustrates the breakdown structure by showing the start and finish dates and other relationships among task activities such as task dependencies.
How to make a project plan Gantt chart in Excel
Step 1: Create a project table
This is kick-started by listing each task in a separate row and arranging your project plan by including the start date, end date, and Duration.
Step 2: Make a standard Excel chart depending on the start date.
Step 3: Add duration data to the chart
You can right-click on the chart area and choose Select Data from the context menu. Then select Data window will open. The start date will be added under the Legend Entries. Also, you need to add duration.
Then click the Add button to choose more data you want to plot in the Gantt chart.
Step 4: Include task descriptions to the Gantt chart.
Step 5: Change the bar graph into the Excel Gantt chart.
Step 6: Improve the design of your Excel Gantt chart
You can remove the empty space on the left side of the Gantt chart. Also, you can adjust the number of dates on your Gantt chart by removing excess white space between the bars.
Sinnaps is embedded with the Gantt chart that you can easily download to develop your project plan in Excel to aid you in gaining an overview of your project from a glance.
How to make a project schedule
No doubt, the way you structure your project schedules determines how quickly you can complete the tasks of your project. A project schedule is the list of the project milestones, activities, and deliverables with start and finish dates.
A project schedule is what brings out the best from a project plan, with the following steps, you can master how to make a project schedule
Step 1: list out the tasks of the project: here, the project scope will guide you to know the tasks that will be done in the project.
Step 2: Establish the order of task: establishing the order of tasks of your project will guard you against going off-track. It will assist you to highlight the dependencies among the tasks.
Step 3: Establish some milestones: this assists you to know what to achieve at any point in time in the project.
Step 4: calculate the timescale: here, you will add fixed dates to the tasks and by adding them together you can deduce the duration of the entire project.
Step 5: Allocate personnel to tasks: here, carefully go through the task list and allocate your team members to the tasks appropriately.
Step 6: Regular review: you are required to review your project schedule regularly to improve on it and accommodate changes that were not included when it was done initially.
For instance, Sinnaps can aid you in painstakingly creating your project schedules and help you maximize it by leveraging the potentials of your team members and the available project resources.
The task of achieving optimum productivity and client satisfaction is centered on how you can create a project plan and schedule for the coordination of the project activities.