Project Planning

Carolyn McCarthy

Why should you plan you project?

  • saves time
  • saves money
  • problems

Steps in planning a project:

  1. Project Goals
  2. Project Deliverables
  3. Project Schedule
  4. Supporting Plans

Step 1: Project Goals

  • Identify your goals
  • Identify anybody who has directly or indirectly impacted the project
  • Find out those who have impacted the projects needs; conduct interviews

*In these interviews make sure to emphasize your requirements that create benefits


  • Prioritize the list of needs and create a set of easily measurable goals
  • After establishing a clear set of goals, record them in the project plan

Step 2: Project Deliverables

  • With the goals established in STEP 1, make a list of what the project needs to meet that goal

*Make sure to specify when and how to meet each item


  • Add the deliverables to the project plan with an estimated delivery date

Step 3: Project Schedule

  • Make a list of tasks needed to be carried out for each deliverable

* Determine the amount of effort(hours/days) required for completing the task

* Determine the resource who will carry out the task


  • Work out the effort required for each deliverable and an accurate delivery date (make sure to update dates)
  • Choose a software package such as Microsoft Project to create your project schedule

*Input all deliverables, tasks, durations, and resources who will complete each task


  • If you come across a imposed delivery deadline from the sponsor that is not realistic based on your estimates call the sponsor IMMEDIATELY.

* Options include: 1.) Renegotiating the deadline 2.) Employ additional resources 3.) Reduce the scope of the project

Step 4: Supporting Plans

  • Human Resource Plan
  1. Identify by, name, the individuals and organisations with a leading role in the project (For each describe their roles and responsibilities on the project)
  2. Specify the number and specify the type of people needed to carry out your project (For each resource, detail start dates, the estimated duration and method used to obtain them)
  3. Create a single sheet containing this information



  • Communications Plan


  1. Create a document showing who is to be kept informed about the project and how they will receive the information

* Weekly or monthly status report describing how the project is performing, milestones

achieved and the work you've planned for the next period


  • Risk Management Plan

It is important to identify as many risks to your project as possible to be prepared if something bad happens



examples of common project risks:

  • time and cost estimate optimistic
  • customer review and feedback cycle too slow
  • unexpected budget cuts
  • unclear roles and responsibilities
  • no stakeholder input obtained
  • not clearly understanding stakeholder needs
  • stakeholders changing requirements after the project has started
  • stakeholders adding new requirements after the project has started
  • poor communication resulting in misunderstandings, quality problems and reworks
  • lack of resource commitment


Add each risk to your risk log, write down what you will do in the event it occurs and what you will do to prevent it from happening.