Project Management Plan

As a project manager, I have seen plans of every sizeā€”from two-page project plans all the way to documents the size of telephone directories. Some are literally so complex that very few people actually understand them. In effect, the project management plan (PMP), also known as the project definition report (PDR), is nothing more than documents describing the project that is being undertaken. It focuses on the approach to be taken, the time, cost, resources, risks, and assumptions (see Figure 5.10).

Figure 5.10: Project plan contents

An effective project plan is of great help to the project manager because it allows individuals within the team to take more responsibility for keeping to the schedule. For instance, a developer who will not finish a task on the date planned is more likely to let the project manager know if he or she can see how this will affect the schedule.

The plan also allows everyone to have some input. For example, it allows a quality manager to determine when to schedule, and possibly begin testing earlier than expected. Because of these things, a well-communicated plan gives senior management confidence that the team as a whole knows what it is doing and can work together to bring about the project's success. The approved project plan is a formal document used to guide both project execution and project control (see Table 5.7).

Table 5.7: Project plan content

Project Plan

Items Described

Techniques to


in Content

Be Used








Table 5.7: Project plan content

Project Plan Content

Items Described in Content

Techniques to Be Used


Availability of staff

Resource histogram

Resource loading chart

Required project phases

Various project phases needed



Project communication

Roles & responsibilities


Technical, financial

Risk modeling tools


Project support, meetings

Organizational charts

Contingency plans

Backup, disaster & recovery

Assessment of solution

By this point the project manager should be aware of the level of detail that he or she is going to present in the project plan. There are different ways of addressing the project plan, depending on whether the project is a small one or a super one. Table 5.8 presents key differences.

Table 5.8: Project plan approach

Small Projects

Medium to Super Projects

Milestone plan for entire project

Milestone plan for entire project

Single activity plan for project

Activity plan for each phase


Separate plans for risk, quality, contingency, etc.

0 0

Post a comment