What is Planning in Project Management?

Project planning is the core activity of the project life cycle, and, as a project manager, you will need to be prepared to create project plans to help you and your team keep everything on track. Project planning consists of documenting and communicating the approach your project will take, and the process you and your team will go through to complete a project.

So, where does project planning begin, exactly? It starts the minute your plan has been defined and a team has been appointed. It is, basically, laying down a path to explain the parties involved where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. This phase is crucial because project plans, project schedules, deliverables, and requirements will be defined during it. It also involves creating and laying down the plans that will serve as a guide during the entire lifecycle of your project, as well as managing variables like time, risks, budget, and changes.

In Short, Project Planning Will Help You to:

  • Have a better understanding of the tasks and the work that will need to get done.
  • Communicate the vision of your strategy.
  • Focus on the work, since the plan has been already laid down.
  • Explain progress to clients and stakeholders.

Managing projects commonly mean handling a handful of information related to your team, client, budget, basic instructions, and more. But before you get started, it’s important to gather certain key specifics that will help you establish a solid plan that will guide you through your project milestones, and eventually to project completion. Here’s a quick checklist that will serve as a guide before you start the planning phase.

Project Planning Checklist

  • Project goals. What are the main goals?
  • Methodology. What will be the process or methodology that will be used in order to achieve your project goals?
  • Your team. Who will be the people working on the project, and what is their expertise?
  • Expectations. What are the expectation of the project and the deliverables?
  • Stakeholders. Who is your client and, specifically, how many decision-makers will be involved?
  • Deadlines. When will be the deadline, and how long will it take for your client to review your deliverables and provide feedback?
  • Be careful not to leave any of these questions unanswered before you start your project, this information is crucial and it will help you avoid any possible setbacks.

 Take a look at our Project Planning Template and make it your own

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