Making a Project Plan
After the "Getting Started" stage, the next step is to complete the project scoping and produce a Project Plan. This section covers the five steps you need to scope a project and produce the information you need to create a Project Plan. Please note that this same process is also suitable at the project proposal stage to create a project proposal or project brief.
To use this section please do the following:
1. View and print "How to Scope a Project"
This gives an overview of the five steps.
2. Scope and Plan your project in five steps
Use the links in the side menu on the left that appear under "How to Scope a Project" to access instructions as to how to carry out each step. If you simply follow these five steps, they will provide you with the information you need to produce your Project Plan.
3. Create a Project Plan from the results of the project scoping
The side menu contains links to an explanatory document Project Plan Layout and Planning Templates. The latter includes a downloadable Project Plan Template, an example Project Plan, and "How to Scope and Plan a Project" - the fives steps to project scoping summarised in Adobe Acrobat format.
4. Use the Plan to Communicate
Review "Using the Project Plan" which covers how to use the Project Plan to communicate your project to others.
5. Use the Additional Materials if you need them
We have provided three Helpnotes.
- Implementation Planning
A note on how to adjust and tune your plan to minimise disruption to day-to-day operations.
- Critical Path Analysis
An introduction to the techniques.
- Drawing Planning Charts
A note describing how to use Word or Excel to draw the various planning charts - Gantt charts, milestone plans, stages diagrams. It includes instructions on how to create such charts.
And the Outcome of this Stage
If all goes well, then the ideal outcome of this scoping and planning stage is:
- A clear, agreed project definition which others can understand and relate to.
- A Project Sponsor who understands the complexity of the project and the likely difficulties, understands what is required of them, and will work to support the project as required.
- A detailed plan showing what activities need to take place and when, which is understood by those affected by it.
- Those working on the project knowing what the project is about and understanding what contribution is needed from them and when it is needed.
- Commitment from all involved (particularly stakeholders) to the success of the project. They see that the project is relevant, important, interesting and that it is likely to be a success.