Project Planning

Brandon Eaton

Project Goals

A project is successful when the needs of the stakeholders have been met. A stakeholder is anybody directly, or indirectly impacted by the project. it is important to identify the stakeholders in your project. Then, find out what the stakeholders needs through interviews. Next is to establish goals that are easy to reach.

Project Deliverables

Using the goals you have defined in step 1, create a list of things the project needs to deliver in order to meet those goals. Specify when and how each item must be delivered.

Add the deliverables to the project plan with an estimated delivery date. More accurate delivery dates will be established during the scheduling phase, which is next.

Project Schedule

Once you have established the amount of effort for each task, you can workout the effort required for each deliverable, and an accurate delivery date. Update your deliverables section with the more accurate delivery dates.

At this point in the planning, you could choose to use a software package such as Microsoft Project to create your project schedule. Alternatively, use one of the many free templates available. Input all of the deliverables, tasks, durations and the resources who will complete each task.

A common problem discovered at this point, is when a project has an imposed delivery deadline from the sponsor that is not realistic based on your estimates. If you discover this is the case, you must contact the sponsor immediately. The options you have in this situation are:

  • Renegotiate the deadline (project delay).
  • Employ additional resources (increased cost).
  • Reduce the scope of the project (less delivered).
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