Project management is a part of every organisation across all industries. Project planning is an integral part of project management and essentially determines the success of the project. Project management software is becoming increasingly used and the benefits are unavoidable. In this article you will learn about what project planning is, what project management software is and how to create a project plan with Sinnaps, the project management software app.
What is Planning?
Project planning is a crucial step in the life-cycle of any project. It is normally created by the project manager along with input from team members and other project stakeholders. It serves as the roadmap for the project that everyone involved can follow and inevitably reach the desired goals and outcomes of the project.
The more detailed a plan the better it is. A project plan can include subsidy plans and other planning documents related to the project. It is a method of preparing and organising what is to come so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the project and how it will be performed. It is also a message for planning for potential risks and problems and how those will be dealt with in the case that they occur.
Every project is made up of a team, a project manager, resources, money and time constraints. It is important to organise all of these aspects of your project so as to know how each of them will act towards reaching the desired goal. Team member responsibilities and tasks are planned out along a timeline, allowing each person to see exactly what is expected of them and when so that they too can organise their time and effort effectively.
A plan can be used as a benchmark in the future. The project progress can be compared to the initially created plan to see if it is keeping on track. Sometimes, change occurs, and changes need to be added to the plan. Planning in advance allows for these changes to not be as intrusive as they would have been without an initial plan. Planning allows for everyone to be aware of what is going to happen how, when and by whom. This level of certainty is key in project management, especially in complex projects.
What is Project Planning Software?
Project planning software has been on the increase in its use throughout all organisations, across all industries. Traditionally, projects were planned with a humble piece of paper and a pencil. Even back then the benefits and advantages to planning a project were evident. Today, software that greatly optimises project planning in software engineering, for example, and makes it even more efficient and effective is available across the board, such as the project planning software Sinnaps.
Software is used with a simple web browser online. It is a fast and easy way to create the most accurate and well-rounded plans you can for your project. Project planning software is beneficial to your project in the following ways:
Time-Saving: Project planning software is time-saving in a number of aspects. Firstly, the implementation of the software is quick and easy. Instead of having to install and buy a license for on premise hardware and software, with software such as Sinnaps, you simply need to pay on a subscription basis and your software is ready to go.
Money-Saving: On premise software licenses can cost a lot of money, a lot more than a software subscription. Apart from this, an organisation may have to employ an IT team to maintain the hardware and software, costing the business a lot more than it needs to spend. Free project planning software is what it feels like you are getting with the great decrease in costs for your organisation. With project planning software, it is maintained by the software company, so you don’t need to worry about that aspect.
Templates: most project planning software comes with the option of using templates for project management. These templates include previous successful project plans, documents and reports important to the project and various other templates. These examples can normally be exported to Excel for example, and modified to the specific needs of your project. This aids greatly in time saving for project teams and also greatly increases the potential for project success.
Maintenance: As we have mentioned before, the maintenance of the software is done by the software company, so you and your organisation do not need to waste time and money in maintaining the software. This gives you the option to use your time effectively and focus in on what’s important to the project, such as the milestones and deliverables.
Decentralised Teams: It is becoming more and more common the project teams are decentralised. This means that they are made up of local, remote and even people overseas. In some cases, this might make it difficult to coordinate people and to keep them on the same page. This is where project planning software comes in and works its magic. It can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, at any time involved with the project through a simple web browser. This means that your team is always up-to-date with what is happening in the project.
Business Plan Project
A business plan is an important part of starting any business. It can be difficult to define as it is independent for every organisation. It is usually defined as where you want your business to go or where you want it to be within a certain time frame. It is a common plan and so knowing how to write one is important.
A business plan will generally give an overview as to how your business will operate. It will describe your management team, your marketing strategy, your business strategy and every other aspect associated with your future business. It should be a clear and flexible plan, allowing for the inevitable changes to be added at a later date.
Due to its commonality, a business plan template is easy to find with software such as Sinnaps, which also presents templates in the form of project reports and other project plans, such as a website project plan, for example. It will give you a great leg up in creating your business plan. As time goes on and your plan is faced with changes, they can be easily added, and everyone involved with the plan will be updated in real time.
What is a Program Management Plan?
Program management is different from project management in the sense that it is the process of managing several related projects rather than just one. It is common in systems engineering, industrial engineering, change management and business transformation. Just like project management, program management also requires careful planning in management and it can be optimised through the use of software.
Developing a program management plan means bringing together the information on the various projects, resources, timescales, monitoring and control. A program management plan usually has a number of key factors to take into consideration. These key factors include:
Governance: This has to do with the structure of the program management, it’s process and the procedure through which the operations will be controlled, and changes will be introduced. A set of measurements should be included against which the health of the progress can be indicated.
Alignment: Each project within the program needs to be aligned with the top-level vision of the program management and what it wants to deliver. The objectives, goals and deliverables of each of the projects within the program should be aligned.
Assurance: Before beginning with the work in program management the plan that was created should be verified and validated by all of the stakeholders involved in order to make sure that it is adhering to quality standards and the client’s vision.
Management: Who is accountable for what and who will be reviewing what aspect of the project and when should be set out in the program management plan this will clearly set out the value chain to be understood by everyone involved.
Integration: Each project part of the program and each of those tasks and activities with in each of the projects need to fit together and affect each other appropriately. This means taking into consideration task and project interdependencies, which a plan would help to set out clearly and to portray in a visual manner. This allows for the prioritisation of tasks and projects and sets out a clear path to be followed.
Finances: Finances and costs are especially important and crucial in project management. In program management, where a lot of projects are involved, the importance of finances skyrockets. It is important to plan out the basic costs along with the wider costs of administering the program before its beginning, so that they can be measured and tracked effectively.
Infrastructure: The planning of infrastructure is key in program management as there may be a lot of infrastructure involved to plan for and to organise. This might include locations such as offices or building sites, version control and various IT teams, to name but a few examples.
Improvement: Paying attention to continuous improvement is a vital aspect of both project management and program management. Planning allows for a benchmark to be created against which quality of results can be measured and tracked. Continuously assessing performance is very important to a team’s improvement in general. Learning from past programs and applying learned lessons to the future programs will greatly optimise program and project management.
Create a Simple Project Plan with Sinnaps
The Sinnaps online project planning app optimises the management of your projects by making them more efficient and effective. The project management tracking software benefits include automatic calculation of the critical path, constant updates, time-saving and the fact that it is cloud-based, meaning none of your data will be lost.
Sinnaps can help you to become a project planning pro. It is cloud-based, meaning that there is no specific installation required. Adding to this, all of your information is stored on the cloud along with project reports and documents, so you do not need to fear losing vital information to your project. The online app presents an effective and efficient way to plan your projects on an updated version of the traditional Gantt Chart known as the Gantt-flow.
The online Gantt-flow is a platform where a project team can input the tasks that form part of the whole project. Task relationships and interdependencies are clearly outlined for all involved to consult. Team members and resources are assigned to each task and bottlenecks are identified. This is mapped out across the timeline of the project and serves as its visualisation- a useful tool for project managers, members and other stakeholders to follow. Project management sample projects are also available through templates from other Sinnaps users.
The critical path of the project which includes the most critical and important tasks to the project’s completion are easily traceable across the top of the Gantt-flow. Sinnaps calculates automatically the project’s critical path using PERT and CPM technologies and is one of the best project planner apps to use. A project execution plan template can show you exactly what a critical path looks like and how it greatly serves your project’s process.
Communication that is open and clear is a crucial part of project management throughout and is especially vital during the planning stage of the project. Sinnaps takes this aspect into consideration by the creation of live in-chat features and a project wall where members can consult any changes or addition that have been made to the project plan. Weekly updates on the project’s progress are also sent to team individuals through e-mail to make sure they are kept up to date with progress and notified of any changes.
The templates that the Sinnaps community provides can be used as planning examples. You can export these templates to excel and edit them to your project’s own specific requirements. In the long-run, a successful project calendar template could save you crucial time in the future. This is one of the greatest benefits to an online project planner. You are exposed to others’ experiences and can learn in a positive environment of collaboration.
Key performance indicators are also included on the platform that measure resources, budget and time. This allows for members and the project manager to consult the indicators and judge project progress.
Overall, it is clear that planning is at the centre of any project. It is also evident that project management software such as Sinnaps can greatly optimise and make your projects more effective and efficient. As we have said many times before, ‘fail to prepare-prepare to fail.’ This stands true to project management so get to planning your projects today with Sinnaps!
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