Sunday, January 03, 2010

Plan, Planning, Baseline and something is better than nothing

A well-prepared plan provides the management team with a means to accomplish project objectives and to direct work and assess project status and is critical to the success of the project. Assessing project status requires a baseline project plan from which cost, schedule, and performance status can be compared and change management corrective actions taken, if required.

A plan is nothing more than our best estimate of how a project will be performed. Plans must be modified as a project progresses. The right thing to do is to develop and baseline the deliverables and assumptions and plan to the best of our ability. Imperfect planning is far better than no planning!

The set of plans required for a project are unique to each project. Use this sequence of plan preparation to ensure inter-plan consistency.

  • Baseline the Requirements
  • Determine the Technical Approach
    Determine major risks
  • Develop the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS), Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM), and Financial Control Structure
  • Identify resource training needs (as part of the project team training plan)
  • Identify risks and perform risk assessment and mitigation planning
  • Develop the Schedules, Resource Requirements and Cost Estimates
  • Update the Resources and Budgets
  • Set up the cost management and control approach (as part of the Cost Management & Control Plan)
  • Develop the escalation and jeopardy plans
  • Define the project status-ing and reporting Approach (as part of the Communications Plan)
  • Define project information system and distribution needs (as part of the Project Information System)

To summarize,

Something is better than nothing.
Start with a baseline and update as project progresses. In time, your baseline gets more accurate.

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