How to prepare a strategic plan for a project

Planning a project can be a difficult task. It is one of the most important parts of managing a project. If you don’t know how to approach this, it can lead to you generating a bunch of unnecessary documents which is just a poor use of time. Like the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. This cannot be closer to the truth when it comes to project management. Planning precedes every other thing and must be developed strategically.

 

The steps to strategic project planning are detailed below.

Breakdown of Work to be completed

This is the first thing you need to do. In order to plan a project, you need to be sure that you have a complete understanding of all the tasks that are involved in the successful completion of the project. You can have these steps written down on a template and take your time to educate your team about them. In addition, you can get the team to make contributions to see if any member will be able to come up with a better idea to achieve the aim. Ensure that all of this is recorded.

Determine the sequence of operation

Now that you know what and what are needed to be done, you need to create a work flow pattern to indicate how to sequentially carry out the tasks. Arrange each of the tasks in the breakdown in the order which they need to happen. Put the deliverables of your work on top and put the tasks beneath them sequentially. This will give you a map to follow and ensure that you are able to carry out the work as planned.

Estimation of effort needed

Once you know the sequence to follow, the next thing to do is to estimate the effort for required to complete each task. You can ask the team to help you out in doing this. Once you are able to accurately estimate the start and finish of each task, you might be able to predict an accurate date the project will possibly end.

Allocation of Resources

After successfully completing the stages above, the last thing to do in the planning of a project is to allocate the resources to each task. Resources are usually people, but they can also be material, machines or process. Allocate the person, machine or process that will be responsible for each task as this will help you know who or what is accountable for anything that might happen as the project progress. Mostly, the key factors to be balanced in planning a project are time and resource. Plans may show a finish date, but resources can be adjusted to achieve that date early or as predetermined.

Conclusion

Each of the steps discussed is very important. You start by ensuring that you have captured all of the tasks involved, then you determine the order of completing the tasks, estimate the efforts involved and lastly collate everything and allocate resources. If you are able to follow this steps strategically, you will definitely improve the chances of successfully completing the work on time, on budget and with the optimum quality.

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