Project Management Food For Thought

As an astute business person, one would know that the key to any successful project is the project planning aspect of the operation. Initial creation of a project plan is the first and most vital step you should take when putting effort into any kind of project, large or small. A key mistake that is often made in terms of project planning is ignoring that phase altogether and simply moving on with the work in question. Unfortunately, many people don't realize the essence and true value of project planning, set in place, and how it invokes a time-saving, money reduction and problem avoidance plan when created and followed. Read on for a simple, frugal approach to project planning. Hopefully when done, you will have an excellent view of project planning along with proper steps that you can use for future projects of any size.

When you first thought of the project, it perhaps had a clear end-result, but no backbone in terms of goal setting.  This is the first and clearly necessary angle to tackle first.  Who is this project geared towards?  What steps need to be taken to maximize benefit and reduce cost? Will there be outsourcing involved? Simply writing down a clear set of goals will allow you to branch off and make 'micro-goals' that can lead up the rungs of the project ladder.  Know who every person on your team is going to be, their role, and schedule regular meetings to brainstorm as a group, putting ideas each person thinks of into one large plan of attack.

Next, no matter what the project entails, there is going to be some level of a deliverable.  And in each service or product, there is a creation stage.  In light of that, you need to create a list of elements the project needs to go from start to delivery. Clearly specify when and how each item must be delivered and in what manner. Queue the deliverables towards the project plan with an estimated delivery date, allowing for variance of time delays. The more accurate you can make the delivery dates, the easier it becomes during the scheduling phase of the operation.  In the scheduling phase, each of the elements taken down previously should also have their own delivery times to meet, so the completed project or item in question can remain on schedule for accurate delivery.

Now that this planning phase is over, we need to jump over to the managerial side of project planning. The 'board' that is procuring this project needs to clearly have a customer service solution in place to field issues that arise, a human resource division intact for bill procurement and hiring labor, a loss prevention team to track and monitor fraudulence along the way, and a warehousing management team, in case the deliverable needs storage.  Although this is only meant to be a brief outline, all of these elements must be in place for any project planning to work both in the facets of scheduling and end procurement.