Chapter Planning a Project

In this chapter

• Understand the key principles of effective project planning

• Learn the important questions that project planning should answer

• Understand that a project plan is not a Microsoft Project file

• Review the essential elements for a project plan

• Learn how to develop a project plan

• Learn how to avoid the common project planning mistakes The journey continues...

As is true with defining a project, project planning is essential for project success. In defining a project, we ensure that we agree on what we will do and who will be involved. In planning a project, we focus on how the work will be done. This involves both how the deliverables will be developed and how the project will be managed. Thus, project planning involves the traditional areas of work tasks, resources, schedule, and costs, and it also sets the stage for managing project changes, project communications, project quality, project risks, project procurement activities, and the project team. Each of these factors directly impact stakeholder expectations and our ability to successfully control and execute the project.

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about project planning, and often it is performed incompletely or incorrectly.

With this in mind, we will review the key principles of project planning, how to properly plan a project, the key planning questions that must be answered and agreed upon, the "must-have" elements of your Project Plan document, and the success criteria for the project planning process.


A planning technique that is often used to deal with the "realities" of planning project work is called rolling wave planning. Rolling wave planning is a technique that plans work details only for the next project phase. The planning for the subsequent phases is kept at a high level. As part of the closing process and review of the current phase, the work details for the next phase are then planned out.

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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