Seven Steps of Project Planning April Willochell Project Management Every project is an opportunity to produce something new, to make a real difference. You can introduce change, increase productivity, enhance capabilities of your company or of a client or build new relationships. Seven steps are essential to success in organizations that simultaneously manage multiple initiatives. Effectiveness begins with good pre-project planning plus an understanding of what a project is and what can be at stake. Consistently following these seven key steps can directly improve a company’s operations, profitability and sanity.
The first step is a setting goals phase. “During this stage the teams responsible for the project are assigned and a brief is provided containing information on what the project hopes to achieve and what approach will be taken to complete various actions required. Additionally, this stage usually leads to the appointed of a project manager and executive in charge who with the help of the team start to plan the next step. ” (7 Steps, 2013) In this stage all stakeholders should state their needs and how they would like them to be fulfilled.
Ultimately, this is the goal setting phase. The next step would be initiating the process. This means that a team would be assembled and the overall project is outlined to detailed specifications. This includes strategic planning, like how long the project will take, how many steps will take place, and what tools will be needed to execute the project. Deciding how the project will be controlled is the third step. This step is also called directing the project. This means that the organization that is controlling the project is defined.
Also, all organizations within the company that will be involved are determined. This part of the planning process will determine who receives reports and makes final decisions in the planning process. “This step is about developing a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that identifies the low-level tasks and activities required for doing project work and producing the deliverables. The WBS is a critical piece of the project planning process because it defines how tasks will be structured and what dependencies will be created. It is also used for setting up urations, task assignments, resource requirements, and cost estimates. ” (The Planning Process, 2013) The control stage is the fourth stage. “You must develop a project strategy that follows the mission and outlines the high-level actions for implementing the project objectives. You must develop a project strategy that follows the mission and outlines the high-level actions for implementing the project objectives. ” (The Planning Process, 2013) This process will let the team know who will need to sign off for what processes in the project.
This stage will also let the team know where potential problems may arise and if they do how they should be dealt with. This stage is very important in the planning process. The fifth stage of project planning is setting up boundaries for each stage of the project. This is basically setting up deadlines for each stage of the project. If a stage is not met, there also needs to be backup plan on how the plan will play out in this event. This stage also determines how each stage will close and the steps following that closing. “The penultimate stage is the management of product delivery.
In this step the project manager works with team managers to ensure that a set of formal requirements are created for every piece of work contained in the project. Essentially if this is done correctly all of the work should be delivered on time and to a suitable standard. ” (7 Steps, 2013) This sixth stage is to make sure that all paperwork is in order, the project and its product follow all regulations, and all parts are in working order. This is basically, a quality control stage. The seventh and final stage is the closing stage.
This step is the risk management assessment part of the planning process. Project managers and their teams must identify all the risks in their project and discuss the alternatives. The plan will be reviewed, discussed, and any potential changes will be made. Once all seven steps are followed accurately a project plan should be planned perfectly and executed just as well. Resources 7 Steps to Project Planning. Retrieved on January 17, 2013 from http://EzineArticles. com/4767743 The Planning Process. Retrieved on January 18, 2013 from