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What is a Project Plan?
The Project Plan is the central document by which the project is formally managed. A Project Plan is a document which lists the activities, tasks and resources required to complete the project and realise the business benefits outlined in the Project Business Case. A typical Project Plan includes:
- A description of the major phases undertaken to complete the project
- A schedule of the activities, tasks, durations, dependencies, resources and timeframes
- A listing of the assumptions and constraints identified during the planning process.
To create a Project Plan, the following steps are undertaken:
- Reiterate the project scope
- Identify the project milestones, phases, activities and tasks
- Quantify the effort required for each task
- Allocate project resource
- Construct a project schedule
- List any planning dependencies, assumptions, constraints
- Document the formal Project Plan for approval.
When to use a Project Plan
Although a summarised Project Plan is identified early in the Project Start-up Phase (within the Business Case), a detailed Project Plan is not usually created until the project scope has been formally defined (within a Project Charter) and the project team appointed. The Project Plan is completed early in the Project Planning Phase and is, typically, prior to a Quality Plan and the formalisation of a Supplier’s contract. Unlike other documents in the Project Lifecycle, the Project Plan is referenced constantly throughout the project. As the project is undertaken, the Project Manager tracks the percentage of task completion and the task completion date (actual vs planned) to assess overall project performance. These statistics are communicated to the Project Sponsor/Board within a regular Project Status Report.
How to use this template
This document provides a guide on the topics usually included in a Project Plan. Sections may be added, removed or redefined at your leisure to meet your particular business circumstance. Example tables, diagrams and charts have been added (where suitable) to provide further guidance on how to complete each relevant section.