This chapter has provided the process and tools necessary to create an effective project work plan. The key elements I have identified necessary for all projects are:

• The project charter is a necessary precursor to a successful project plan that effectively meets all project stakeholder requirements.

• The WBS logically defines the general project work scope and provides the framework for responsibility assignment.

• The stakeholder-endorsed project work plan defines the scope, schedule, responsibilities, and budget for the project.

• Project networks should be as simple as possible to perform the project.

• The project plan requires a correct, resource-loaded logic network to develop the schedule.

• Dates are outputs from the logic network, not inputs.

• If cost is important to your projects, you should include a cost buffer in the cost estimate.

• You should initially request task-duration estimates as you have in the past, then apply one of several methods to allocate the overall duration to the task and the buffer.

• Most projects require a change-control process.

• All project plans should consider project closure as part of the plan.

You should adjust the degree of detail you put into the project plan and degree of formality you put into the project documentation to match stakeholder needs. In general, larger, longer, and government projects require more detail and more formality. Less experienced teams may also require more documentation and training.


[1] PMI, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 2000 Edition. Newtown Square, PA: PMI, 2000.

[2] CH2MHILL, Project Delivery System: A System and Process for Benchmark Performance, Denver, CO: CH2MHILL, 1996.

[3] Goldratt, Eliyahu M., It's Not Luck, Great Barrington, MA: North River Press, 1994.

[4] Dettmer, H. William, Goldratt's Theory of Constraints, Milwaukee, WI: ASQC, 1997.

[5] PMI. Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures. Newton Square, PA: PMI, 2001.

[6] U.S. Department of Defense, DoD Handbook—Work Breakdown Structures. MIL-HDBK-881, 1998, available at 881_ cover_chap1.pdf (accessed May 24, 2004).

[7] Kerzner, Harold, Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, 4th ed., New York: Van Norstrand, 1992.

[8] Kiley, Martin D. and Marques Allyn, 1997 National Construction Estimator, Carlsbad, CA, Craftsman Book Company, 1997.

[9] Leach, L. "Schedule and Cost Buffer Sizing: How to Account for the Bias between Project Performance and Your Model," Project Management Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2, June 2003.

[10] Vigder, M. R., and A. W. Kark, "Software Cost Estimation and Control," NRC-CNRC (National Research Council Canada), NRC No. 37166, February 1994.

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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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