Project Plan Built for Success
A project plan should be more than thought about at the beginning of a project. This is the path to success if done correctly and should be documented before the commencement of any work begins.
How different organizations actually define a project plan vary a little but there is a general consensus. This is a documented procedure on how the specific goals and objectives of a project are to be achieved. The specifics of this are where the variation comes into play with the different methodologies that are utilized.
When a project plan is referred to in the information technology (IT) industry most think of a Gantt chart. This bar chart is used as an illustration of the activities in the project that will take place as compared to the time span when they will occur.
A project plan is more that a set of activities that will be covered over a span of time. Other components include project schedules, risk assessments, feasibility studies, budget projections, what the deliverable is and how it is to be marketed.
Depending on what industry the project is slated for will be part of the determining factor to which methodology is to be used. The methodology is the path a project will follow from its initiation to its conclusion. The most common in the manufacturing industry is the lean methodology. This type of project plan will only have components that add value to the deliverable. The waterfall methodology has a downhill path that flows from one stage to the next with no repeating or refining of the items in the project.
A project plan is a set of documents that describe what the project is about, why it is being undertaken and who is going to be involved along with how the goals will be achieved. Once this set of documents have been written and approved, then the project can commence.