Benefits of good Project Plan in Project Management
A lot of Start-Ups and Small Business don’t do a lot of planning when they start a Project. They usually think that the project can be controlled easily and does not require a proper project plan for it to be successful. These projects without proper planning are doomed from the start.
A project without proper planning is very time-consuming and it’ll make it very hard to complete the project in time. It is also very hard to solve the issues that might occur during the project implementation phase which leads to more delays and increased project costs.
This is why Project Planning is one of the most important phases in Project Management which is a part of every popular Project Management Methodology. Once the project is confirmed, the first step should be to plan every step of the project detailedly to deliver a product that meets all the client requirements before the deadline and within budget.
A good Project Planning can help you to meet all the challenges in Project Management such as
- Unreasonable deadlines
- Scope changes/scope creep
- Lack of resources
- Insufficient team skills
- Poor communication frameworks
Purpose of Project Planning
The purpose of Project Planning is to establish, maintain and manage plans that define project activities. Project Planning aims at further detailing the various activities that make up the Project Planning Process and also provides tailoring guidelines for applicability to various types of projects.
Having a Project Plan Template helps you for this purpose.
Benefits of a good Project Plan
From skills expertise and discovery to project completion, from accountability to risk mitigation, the benefits of project planning are enormous. Here are some of the benefits of having a good project plan.
1. Better Direction
A good project plan helps the project team by providing them with a workflow which tells them where to start and where to end and all the steps inbetween. This gives a sense of direction for the project team and helps them not to get stuck on how to proceed further in any phase of the Project Management.
2. Accountability and Responsiblity
A Project Plan helps to assign tasks and responsibilties for the Project Manager and the Project team. This gives an accountability of who is responsible for a specific task which helps the task owner by giving them a sense of responsibility and get on top of it.
It also helps from overwhelming the project manager by not making him/her responsible for every activity and task in a project.
An important factor for any project to succeed is good communication, both written and also face-to-face communication wherever possible. These communication can be in the form of e-mail, reports and other documentation or minutes of meeting of a meeting. All communication should be clear and detailed and leave no room for mis-interpretation. Whilst emails are a very useful form of regular communication, verbal communication is necessary from time-to-time to establish trust and clarify details.
A communication plan details
- Communication requirements based on roles
- What information will be communicated
- How the information will be communicated
- When will information be distributed
- Who does the communication
- Who receives the communication
- Communications conduct
4. Adequate Resources
Projects have changing requirements. This might delay the project due to unavailability of resources due to poor project planning. Also when a project team members leaves the team or the organization, it creates a limitation in resources working on the project. A good project plan helps you to plan a buffer of resources so they can be used whenever necessary.
5. Problem Anticipation
A project can have an infinite number of issues that might pop up at any point of the project life cycle. It could be losing employees, missing deadlines or running out of funds or something that’s not predictable. Considering these problems when creating the project plan helps you to combat these problems better and act on them preemptively. A first step to solving a problem is anticipating it.
6. Skilled Team
One of the problems of not planning before the project initiates is that the people working on the project might not have the necessary skills to implement it. Planning helps you to identify these individuals and train them better so they have all the necessary skills or replace them with someone else who has the required skill set.
7. Risk Management
In Project management, Problems will inevitably arise during every project but it is the way in which risks are monitored and managed that will determine how they affect the project. Some of these risks are repeated and predictable. A better planning helps to assess these risks better and manage them.
8. Learn from Experience
During the planning, the team can look at the lessons learned in previous projects and see what are the issues, risks or bottlenecks they faced and that helps them to predict and effectively manage them or avoid them during implementation. A lessons learned log template is really helpful for this.