Project plans do not always guarantee that everything will run smoothly. Even the best plan can be shaken by unexpected events. So why plan?
A project plan helps to identify and address changes at an early stage. It ensures that everyone involved – team, customers and stakeholders – is moving in the same direction. This guide shows you briefly and concisely how to create a plan and how the monday.com tool makes the process easier.
What is a project plan?
A project plan is more than a timetable; it defines purpose, milestones, resources and results. Despite the flexibility of agile methods, it serves as a guideline. Many projects experience an increase in scope; with a clear plan, you will recognize deviations more quickly. In fact, 50% of projects are completed late and 45% over budget.
How can you create a project plan?
A project plan can vary: Some simply sketch it out on a whiteboard or in short notes, while others go through every detail. For a detailed plan, consider these 6 questions:
1. Do I start with the summary?
The brief summary is at the beginning of your project plan and summarizes the most important points. It therefore makes sense to write them last.
The summary should not be longer than one page and should give a brief overview of the following:
- the project objective
- the chosen project methodology or the framework of the project
- the final project results and acceptance criteria
- Significant risks of the scope of application and countermeasures
- Summary of milestones
- Overview of the project schedule and time-based risks
- Assessment of resources and expenses
2. What is the scope of the project?
A clear project scope defines the start, end and expected results and prevents unnecessary extensions. It is important that everyone involved knows what is part of the project and what is not. Also determine the acceptance criteria and clarify the approval process.
Always remember to protect yourself.
Describe potential risks and planned countermeasures. Define responsibilities for risk tracking. Despite frequent expansion of the scope, only 27% of organizations have concrete project frameworks. Always set a clear framework for your projects.
3. How do I structure my project?
The structure of a project depends on the chosen framework. Your plan should show how tasks and responsibilities are distributed. With the waterfall framework, for example, everything is planned in advance.
- All development phases – from initiation, requirements gathering, design and implementation through to testing and maintenance – are processed sequentially.
- Each role is clearly assigned so that each team member fulfills their specific tasks in the respective phase.
- Each phase begins and ends at fixed times. All tasks are completed continuously within a phase.
- The tasks are adjusted as new information is added. Instead of fixed deadlines for phases, the focus is on controlling the workload.
Keep the following in mind:
- The centralization of project processes can impair success. It is better to give teams as much autonomy as possible.
- A single person responsible for approvals is suboptimal and can lead to delays in your processes.
- Shared knowledge increases success in challenging projects. Establish clear communication paths to strengthen teamwork.
4. What resources are available?
Define the resources you have available for this project:
With the right, qualified team members, the probability of project success increases by 30%. Nevertheless, many doubt the abilities of their teams. To make optimum use of resources, you need to plan realistically in relation to their limits. In the event of bottlenecks, adjustments to the schedule or budget may be necessary.
5. What is the timetable?
A time frame in the project plan increases the chance of success by 52%. Nevertheless, 80% of projects do not set basic schedules, which is why 43% of organizations rarely complete projects on time.
The project plan should include the schedule with the expected delivery date and compliance strategy. Consider the capacity of your team and define how many tasks can be processed simultaneously. For a blog project with 10 copywriters and only two editors, you must limit the number of blogs to be edited simultaneously.
6. How do I deal with change?
Careful planning cannot take all imponderables into account. Change control is a top challenge in projects. An effective change management plan provides a clear procedure and contact person in the event of unforeseen events, which makes the project more agile.
Project planning templates for a comprehensive project plan
With the tool from monday.com, you can clearly display each project stage. Use these five tips to make your project glass build easier.
- Structure your project
Are you looking for a project plan template? The project overview dashboard from monday.com is particularly suitable for the waterfall framework. Use it to structure your sub-projects, assign phases to team members and set priorities with associated timelines for expected results.
- Plan your resources correctly
The monday.com template makes resource management clear and effective. Organize all resources in the dashboard and assign tasks. Each team member knows their duties and handover points between phases are defined.
- Determine your project budget
The monday.com template provides you with a central cost overview that simplifies budget planning. Assign estimated costs to departments, add sub-projects and estimate the total budget.
- Outline the schedule for your project
Use the project schedule template to define schedules for waterfall and scrum frameworks. With waterfall, you define milestones, timelines and responsibilities, while teams track progress. In scrum mode, the dashboard organizes sprints and tasks.
- Work out possible project risks
Use the program risk register template to visualize risks in the project scope. A color system marks critical points, while status bars indicate risk status and impact. You can categorize risks, assign responsibilities and add mitigation strategies to prepare the team for problems.
Optimize your project management plan with the right tool
monday.com revolutionizes project management with clear, visually appealing dashboards that are tailor-made for any approach, whether waterfall or scrum. The tool enables effective risk, time and resource management and promotes agile adaptation to change. Use the prepared templates from monday.com for planning and work on each plan section step by step.
However, the implementation of such a tool requires knowledge and experience; This is where we come into play as Blinno. With our extensive experience in implementing monday.com, we can help your business get the most out of this tool. We are convinced of its effectiveness and have seen how it has helped companies to transform their project management processes. Are you interested or do you have any questions? Then get in touch with us.