What is Project Planning?
Project planning is a process that identifies stakeholders, defines requirements and the scope of the project, develops a plan for implementing the project. It also includes negotiating potential risks and assigning roles and responsibilities to team members. The goal of project planning is to have achievable goals that are achievable in a timely manner.
Stages of Project Planning:
1) Initial Analysis – This stage involves gathering information about the client’s needs to create a functional specification document with a “deliverable” or completion date. This stage is sometimes referred to as “busy work”.
2) Requirements Gathering – The purpose of this phase is to identify all necessary information to create a working functional specification document.
3) Define Project Goals, Objectives & Scope – This stage involves defining the project’s objectives and identifying the scope of work.
4) Prepare Project Plan – Define commitments, define roles and responsibilities, define milestones, define deliverables and any other useful information.
5) Develop Brief – Prepare detailed information for managing this project. This includes milestones, activities & work breakdown structures. There are many ways to write a brief depending upon the type of organization you are working with. This stage is also called “Business Analysis”.
6) Develop Requirements Documentation – This is the purpose of the requirements documents. It provides detailed information on needs, needs analysis and detailed information on all aspects of this project (buildings, methods, materials).
7) Design Development – Create a design that achieves project objectives and also addresses different stakeholder’s needs.
8) Client Acceptance – This is the purpose of this phase and your success depends upon it. The client will provide you with approval and acceptance and you must show (demonstrate) that he has agreed to your design in detail before moving forward.
The process of project planning is also responsible for the identification of all resources that are needed to successfully complete the project. These resources are usually linked to the project’s scope, time frame, work breakdown structure and deliverables. The person responsible for identifying these resources is called a project manager.
Requirements management involves the evaluation, control, inspection and validation of requirements and changes thereto to ensure that they meet business needs and industry standards and other requirements. This process should be applied at each stage of a project: starting with high-level requirements management through detailed requirements management, including testing and acceptance into production. Requirements change throughout the life cycle of a product or service because stakeholders want new features or functionality as technology changes or as business circumstances change.
Constraints are limitations imposed on a project, such as a schedule, budget, regulations, quality standards and/or technical standards that must be met. Constraints must be identified before a project can start because they may cause problems. If they occur during a project’s life cycle, the project manager needs to identify the impacts of the constraints before starting any work.
Managing people is essential to successful projects because people are both the source of requirements and the source of constraints. They must be managed for success – or failure – to occur.
Organization refers to management of functional teams responsible for design, development and other activities related to a specific part of a product or service. It is not related to physical location, but rather to the functional activities.
In a project-based organization, the organization’s portfolio of projects is managed by a single project portfolio manager or PMO. A PMO serves as a single point of accountability with regard to all organizational projects including selection, monitoring, assessment and reporting on project performance. In addition to managing organizational projects the PMO also manages the portfolios of other organizations in the organization’s supply chain. This creates a virtual environment where each organization runs their own programs and takes responsibility for their own results. A modern project management office/PMO is a lean environment where multiple people work together to complete one or more tasks in several different time frames.
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