Why Is Planning Important in Project Management?
PMI has a well-articulated plan that outlines the planning process. It is a repository for all the knowledge gained over the years and documented for everyone’s benefit. Planning is the process of determining what you want to accomplish (objectives or scope) and then how you will achieve them. Planning is literally executing the steps. However, you are able to visualize it all in your head.
We can’t reach any destination without visualizing the journey and the final result.
In essence, you are “virtually” executing the project once you’ve completed the planning. That is an incredible achievement! It is why “well-planned is half done.” Your planning skills and efficiency will determine the success of your virtual completion.
It is very likely that your project will succeed if you have conducted a thorough, exhaustive process.
We now know the importance of planning. Let’s look at the other side. What happens if we don’t plan well or do things in a wrong way? This leads me to ask, how can we plan well for a project. Let’s make this as easy as possible.
These planning steps cover scope, budget, quality, resources, and communication. They also include procurement, stakeholders, risk management, procurement, and other factors. The first cycle of the process includes the development of the WBS, project schedule, budget, and also the planning for Quality, Resources, & Communication management.
The next step is to perform a Risk Analysis using a Risk Register. This will determine the contingencies regarding Cost & Time. For other risks, the Risk Response Plans can also be formulated.
Stakeholders work together to set the Scope, avoid Scope creep while executing, agree on the Schedule and arrive at the project budget. Before Risk management can begin, the entire exercise is completed. The first cycle is followed by iterations to reach the final Scope and Schedule, Cost, and Cost. Risks can have a significant impact on these critical areas. These figures are the Baseline for the project’s performance. They should not be changed and, if they do, will require a re-baselining.
The main objective of the Planning process is to create Baselines. This is in addition to the Management Plans for all Knowledge Areas, which together make up the Project Execution Plan. This plan is a roadmap to project success that requires the commitment of the project manager and team.
Are you having trouble planning for your projects? Do your projects seem to go off track? This is why? Are there other issues in your projects? Do you want your projects to do better than they are? It will surprise you to see how many things can be done to increase team performance!