Preliminary project plan

A preliminary project plan is developed, updated, and enhanced as the product concept gains clarity and support. A project sponsor, a mid- to high-level company manager, is appointed to shepherd the proposal through and a project leader is designated.

The project plan includes goals and objectives, project deliverables, workforce and skills needed, contractor requirements, and the timeline and budget of the project. The project plan includes:

1. Project Goals and Objectives—A list of project/product goals and objectives as agreed by the program manager and leadership team. The goals and objectives include a high-level definition of the product concept itself.

2. Major Tasks, Milestones and Deliverables—List major tasks, milestones, and deliverables over the lifetime of the project. All development and launch, evaluation activities should be included in the project plan.

3. Duration—Time to completion/days to launch

4. Resource Allocation Needs—Internal and external

5. Cost and Performance Criteria

6. High-Level Project Schedule: Gantt Chart—High-level Gantt schedules will be developed using the outputs listed above. These charts will provide a foundation for project information related to goals, deliverables, time, resources and budget.

Remember that this is only a preliminary document that identifies the tasks, skills, and resources needed to execute the project plan. The resource pool is identified, including a list of vendors, suppliers, and manufacturers that may be needed to execute project plan. Baseline data of the resource plan will be incorporated into the schedule and Gantt chart of the project plan.

This plan includes several key project management elements, including project goals, team charter, scope of work, schedule, budget, risk management plan, and, most importantly, the project team composition. The project plan provides the project team with purpose, direction, timing requirements, and cost constraints, to the extent possible. Because this is a product development plan, many variables in the project plan may be soft to begin with, then firmed up as the product enters the next gate.

Key requirements are project charter, project scope statement, schedule, budget, configuration management, and change control.

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