Project Management Plan is Your Blueprint to SuccessYou already know how to plan things. But, if you can't communicate it to all concerned, it will likely fail. This article will teach you how to write a Project Management Plan. You want to write it in a directive manner so there is no doubt that it a written order to get something done. The key word to remember is SMEAC.

How To Do It:

Like I said, your key word to memorize is SMEAC.

S = Situation. What's happening? The Situation is what drove bringing the plan into existence. But, not everyone involved in this project plan will know that. So when you describe the situation give whatever information you can disclose. Tell your people why they are going to work on this plan. Tell your superiors who might review/approve this plan how it will benefit the organization.

M = Mission. The mission is the concise statement of what must be accomplished. It will state the conditions that will enhance or take away from completion of the project plan. It will also provide specific guidance on evaluating this completion. For more details on drafting this sort of statement please see How to Assign a Task .

= Execution. The Execution statement assigns everyone involved specific tasks that will focus their efforts on the successful completion of the project plan. This is especially helpful if different members of different teams are working together. This section of the plan is the "How To" area. It will be referred to often by all concerned.

= Administration & Logistics. This portion of the plan will tell everyone who is responsible for coordinating outside agencies or other logistics. For example if you require permits from the city or state to proceed beyond a certain point that is an administrative detail. This is the place to state who does it. Are you catering a meal? If yes, who is the caterer and who is responsible to make sure the caterer is up to speed? Answer those questions in this section. These tasks by themselves may not accomplish the final desired result of the project management plan. But, they are key elements to making the plan successful by providing support for the people doing the job.

= Controls. Who is in charge of this project management plan? What is your chain of command? Are there different people in charge of differing aspects of the plan? What are your benchmarks? When are reports due and to whom are they due to? It all depends on how complex your plan is. For example a management plan lasting months may require you to establish stopping points to measure progress. Be ready for that, think ahead, and list it here.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't let the apparent complexity of this format get you down. It actually allows you to break down a huge plan into individually manageable pieces.
  • Don't blow off this step. If you don't take the time to sit and write a detailed project management plan will eventually cause a mission failure somewhere. If you are proactive you will be ready for anything. And, being ready means you will think ahead and include contingencies in the plan.