10 tips to simplify project plans


Project planning with Softlean ERP

With the current trend in technology, processes are done in short-cuts, projects are accomplished fast, and plans are simplified. There is no room for complications because these will just make things encounter more problems and failure. Just like formulating a project plan. It needs to be simple to be implemented well.

Here are 10 tips on how to simplify with project planning software.

1.  Be sure that the project team is ready to work. With the project team, all prepared for the challenge, goals and descriptions of the project will be easily identified.

2.  Always define the scope of the project and make sure this is understood by stakeholders. A project scope defines the work breakdown structure which allows the project to be split into phases for a more balanced distribution of workload.

3.  Construct an initial project plan by making network diagrams. This would aid in predicting the duration of the project, assess the probability of target dates, and identify the significant route for the project.

4.  It is important to review the initial plans together with major stakeholders so that everything will be put into order. Get the approval of the project plan to make sure that it is ready to move to the next phase.

5.  Publish the plans for the stakeholders to see. With the plan ready, all the time and effectively communicated, project planning would be an easy process.

6.  Revisit your plan to make edits, including any new information. There may be changes in scope for example. Keep in mind the project plan is a dynamic document. Once you have written the plan and the project is underway, revisit the plan to track, or indicate work that has been completed.

7.  Enter work estimates and tasks durations by specifying the estimated time to complete the tasks. Work is defined as the amount of effort hours needed to accomplish the task.  Duration is the amount of actual time needed to finish the task. If an assignment is good for 24 hours, work would be good for 1 person in 3 days.  Three days would then be the duration.  If 3 persons work on in for 8 hours per person, it would have duration of 1 day only.

8.  Use project plans to show how, when, what and to whom the resources are intended. This again depends on the schedule and needs of the project. Once you understand the resources you need, you can add them to your project schedule and begin to assign resources to task.   Estimated resource usage is important to find out who are facing too much work and who are not given enough responsibility.   Assigning resources could cost less time and effort.

9.  Add costs and risk management. Money is such an important issue in project plans.  With estimated amount being added on the plan, expenditures can be monitored well.  Risk management is also needed to manage uncontrollable events that may happen beyond the expectations of the project team.

10.  Be sure to communicate constantly. Project plans are made simple when everybody in the team understands their roles.

Successful projects need extra effort.  It requires the right tools, good management, and careful planning.  But this extra effort can be lessened with the use of a project plan using simplified steps as mentioned in the tips above.

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