Project Planning

* Design Phase Here a system is proposed to solve the problem. The system is divided into functional components and the components are interconnected. These would include the rooms, ventilation, wiring.

* Programming Phase This is the actual work that is conducted to bring the system into being. It is the building of the house.

* System Test Phase This phase brings the pieces together and tests them as a whole. In the house, we test the plumbing, the electricity, the roof, and so on.

* Acceptance Phase The customer now tests the completed system for acceptance and payment. Minor problems are fixed at the time; major problems require negotiation (see Chapter 6). The house buyer may ask for repairs to cracked plaster, or an outlet. A major problem would be if the buyer had specified two fireplaces and the contractor had only built one.

* Operation Phase This includes installation and use. The house buyer moves in and lives in the house. If problems develop or are found upon use, the contractor fixes them during the warranty period. This does not include maintenance, or upgrades and extensions.

Prentis |35j breaks the general planning process into seven steps, while Roman (38J describes it as a set of six planning sequences. First comes preliminary coordination where the various parties involved in the project get together and make preliminary decisions about what will be achieved (project objectives) and by whom. These preliminary plans serve as the basis for the second step: a detailed description of the various tasks that must be undertaken and accomplished in order to achieve the objectives of the project. In addition, the very act of engaging in the preliminary planning process increases member commitment to the project.

These work plans are used for the third and fourth sequences, deriving the project budget and schedule. Both the budget and the schedule directly reflect the detail (or lack of it) in the project work plan, the detailed description of project tasks. The fifth planning sequence is a precise description of all project status reports, when they are to be produced, what they must contain, and to whom they will be sent. Finally, plans must be developed that deal with project termination, explaining in advance how the project pieces will be redistributed once its purpose has been completed.

This chapter deals only with the first two of Roman's six planning sequences, or the first three of Prentis', but we develop planning techniques that link the first two stages to each of the other sequences, which are covered in later chapters. Project budgets are discussed in Chapter 7, schedules in Chapter 8, status reports in Chapter 10, and project termination in Chapter 13.

Before we begin, we assume in this chapter that the purpose of planning is to facilitate later accomplishment. The world is full of plans that never become deeds. The planning techniques covered here are intended to smooth the path from idea to accomplishment. It is a complicated process to manage a project, and plans act as a map of this process. The map must have sufficient detail to determine what must be done next but be simple enough that workers are not lost in a welter of minutiae.

In the pages that follow we discuss a somewhat formal method for the development of a project plan. Almost all project planning techniques lead to plans that contain the same basic elements. They differ only in the ways they approach the process of planning. We have adopted an approach that we think makes the planning process straightforward and fairly systematic, but it is never as systematic and straightforward as planning theorists would like you to believe. At its best, planning is tortuous. It is an iterative process yielding better plans from not-so-good plans, and the iterative process of improvement seems to take place in fits and starts. The process may be described formally, but it does not occur formally. Bits and pieces of plans are developed by individuals, by informal group meetings, or by formalized project s*Planning Anchoragc\

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First Time Home Buyers Guide

First Time Home Buyers Guide

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