Before commencement of any project, the first thing that we need to do is project planning. Any reasonable project manager certainly understands importance of planning a project well. Carefully planned project takes into account necessary aspects of a project (e.g. tasks, milestone, schedule, risks, communication, quality, etc.) and provide a project plan template which project team can refer during execution.
The project planning is commonly perceived as creating ‘Gantt Chart’ alone, which is incorrect. Gantt chart is merely visual representation of project schedule. In fact project plan is quite broader concept.
A project plan expresses the objectives & requirements of the project in terms of:
- Project Scope
- Project Schedule
- Resource Requirement
- project cost estimation
- Project Quality and
- Project Risk Management
A project planning enables project manager to translate project requirement into Work breakdown structure (WBS), tasks list, Gantt charts, resource assignment and risk register, etc.
Once project charter is approved, the project is formally initiated. Project planning activity can begin based on the project charter document, project requirement document.
Why do we need project planning?
You see, careful & detailed planning help us to reduces risk and in turn uncertainty in any given project. In meticulously planned project, project planner attempts to make a provision for potential occurrences of uncertainties in advance. It is true that project plan in advance, cannot take care of all unforeseen events, risks, and deviations nevertheless; we still, are in a better position than having no planning. Why? – We know what needs to be done, we can organize our work and also, with well-planned project we can better equip ourselves to respond aptly to potential risks, slippages, etc. Hence the bottom line is, we are able to save on time, on resources and as a result we can save on cost too.