The project plan (PP) is at the core of the planning function for the project team, and is a blueprint for the work to be performed as well as the proposal to the customer, if such a proposal is indeed required. The project plan has seven essential elements:

1. Needs, goals, objectives, and requirements

2. Task statements, statement of work, and work breakdown structure

3. Technical approach

4. Schedule

5. Organization, staffing, and task responsibility matrix

6. Budget

7. Risk analysis

All project plans should contain these essential elements, although it is recommended that a project plan should be as short and concise as possible. If the customer requires great elaboration of the preceding elements, then a ''short form,'' or summary of the project plan, should be prepared that will serve the project team on a day-to-day basis. The project plan should be used in at least the following ways:

1. To allow all project team members, including newly assigned personnel, to understand the essentials of the project

2. To provide corporate management, to whom the project reports, with an understanding of the project

3. To convey to the customer the project essentials, as perceived and formulated by the project team

4. To form the basis for a proposal to the customer, where such a proposal is called for

Updates to the formal project plan should be considered on a quarterly basis. Changes to various portions of the plan, such as the schedule, should be carried out when necessary.

In this chapter, use is made of various items in the literature, and in requests for proposal, to show examples of the type of material that has been used on real projects and programs. In addition, an example of a project with eight tasks is postulated so as to convey how the various elements of the project plan are interrelated.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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