Strategic Planning: A Project Plan Creation Process To Success
Effective business planning is one of the key ingredients to your success. A business plan can help you secure finance, prioritise your efforts and evaluate opportunities. Yes, it may initially seem like a lot of work. However, a well-prepared business plan can save you time and money in the long run.
Here is a guide on strategic planning for small business made easy. It is also useful for organisations of all sizes looking for practical guidance on project planning.
Creation of Project Plan
The project plan would most definitely include a thorough study of the current market, as well as the current trends that are now being made available to their competition as well. In brainstorming for the project, it vital to focus more on what the company needs more than what the company has to have. In the strong sense of the word, companies confuse the 2 which ends up with the company having a problem more than having benefited from the implementation of the project.
Timescales as well as how the resources are going to be “budgeted” are very important as it allows a firsthand look into seeing how the program is faring after the development of the plan, and to see if the plan has in some way “failed” in several aspects. These could include the success of the plan or its failure because of the ample time was given or the time that was given to it was not enough. It could also show if the projected or intended expenses of the project are as planned or are not enough, or is mismanaged. This way, the company would also be able to see how the said program would thoroughly affect their businesses, as this is where they would base how they should be acting while the project implementation is going on. The timescales, in turn, would act as a guide for the people involved in the project that would tell them where they are right now, and act accordingly, or improvise if such a need should come to that.
In this period, the company would have to divide the time evenly to all the needed tasks to be done, in accordance to their importance into the said implementation. This is important to note because the plan must work in tandem with that of the current schedule that the company is following, which would point to the number of weeks as the limit which the company administrators
- Review the currently implemented systems available at the moment
- Compile the data to be presented to the company’s management team
- Study the options available to them in the current market – the available solution in the market
- Choose the appropriate solution and its implementation
- Train employees for the implementation of the project
Implementation of the Project –# of Weeks
Review of the
Compilation of the said data to be presented to the management of the company - 1 week
Study of the available MIS facility on the market based on the review of the company’s operation and IT needs - 3 weeks
Choosing the appropriate MIS for operations and setup - 1 week
Training of personnel for the said MIS adoption - 2 weeks
It is a formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control. It consists of the following crucial components:
I. Project Definition
B. Scope of the Project
C. Project Objectives
II. Project Planning
The project planning is one of the five process groups under project management. This includes a definition of the work requirements, the definition of the quality and quantity of work, scheduling of activities and determining possible conflicts. The project plan document consists of the Initial Stage and the advancement Stage.
- The Initial Stage. In this aspect, the workers should be able to familiarise with the new MIS infrastructure that will be applied. Thus, the production of the Project Initiation Document (PID) is one step included in this process, as it involves the amalgamation of ideas and suggestions of concerned stakeholders in the organisation. With the creation of the PID, the board will then approve the said document which will be later used by the company as the basis of the report.
- The Advancement Stage. In this stage, the things to be considered are revising the current policies of the company, and preparing the workers for the new MIS infrastructure that will be adopted. The current policies within the company may involve outdated methods which are not currently applicable to their operations. A critical and in-depth consideration should be given when revising the policies as this will serve as the basic foundation of a successful IT system in the end. The workers can be prepared with the new system by communicating to them facts regarding it. Meetings can be held to be able to agree upon the needs of the workers and the objectives of the company.
A proposal must include a budget that details the costs required during the performance of the project.
Preparation of the budget is, for many project managers the most difficult task involved in proposal development. Stakeholders review hundreds of proposals and are proficient at comparing the level of funding requested to perform the project proposed.
It usually includes the following components:
I. Direct Costs
(a). Salaries and Wages
(b). Fringe Benefits
(c). Consultants (Professional Services Agreements)
(d). Capital Equipment
(e). Expendable Equipment and Supplies (also called Materials and Supplies)
II. Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs
Work Breakdown Structure
The work breakdown structure (WBS) represents a logical decomposition of the work to be performed that focuses on how the product, service, or result is naturally subdivided, wherein it is simply an outline of the specific work to be performed. This will present what specific functions should be designated to the workers of the organisation so that the plan will move on smoothly.
Sample work breakdown structure template:
Monitoring and Evaluation
To monitor the performance of the company in terms of the project progress, Microsoft through the Microsoft Project introduced Gantt chart that will show graphically the performance of the project in a lifecycle. A Gantt chart is an illustration that allows project managers to see the connections between tasks and how these tasks are proceeding. A Gantt chart can also be used to highlight significant project milestones since it illustrates the work to be done and the time frame or timeline for completing the same. A milestone is an event that marks substantial progress in the life cycle. For example, in a product launch, a significant milestone would be the completion of production. Yet, no matter how much technology is used to support a project, the goal will never be achieved unless the team learns to work together. That is why so much emphasis must be placed on the process of team building.
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