What are the important factors in planning and implementation of the project plan?

Projects involving few activities, resources, constraints and inter-relationship can be visualized easily by the human mind and planned informally. However, hen the project crosses certain threshold level of size and complexity, informal planning has to be substituted by formal planning. The need for formal planning is indeed much greater for project work than the normal operations. Without effective planning, there may be chaos.



Functions of planning:

§ Planning a vital aspect of management, serves several important functions.
§ It provides basis for organizing the work on the project and allocating responsibilities for the individuals.
§ It is a means of communication and coordination between all those involved in the project.
§ It induces the people to look ahead.
§ It instills a sense of urgency and time consciousness.
§ It establishes the basis of monitoring and control.

Areas of planning:

§ Planning the project work.
§ Planning the resources and organization.
§ Planning the money.
§ Planning the information system.

Steps in project planning:

§ Setting the project objectives.
§ Identifying the work activities.
§ Creating the project organization.
§ Preparing project schedule.
§ Making budget and resource plan.
§ Preparing forecast of time, work, cost and performance projections.

Project objectives and policies:

Often, the focus of project planning is on questions like who does what and when. Before such operational planning is done, the objectives and policies guiding the project planning exercise must be articulated. The questions to be answered in this context here: What are the technical and performance objectives? Where are the time and cost goals? To what extent should the work be given outside contractors?

How many contractors should be terms of contract? Well-defined objectives and policies serve as the framework for the decisions to be made by the project manager. Throughout the life of a project, he has to seek a compromise between the conflicting goals of technical performance, cost standard, and time target.

Work breakdown structure:

The work breakdown structure, as its name suggests, represents a systematic and logical break down of the project into its component parts. Thus breakdown structure helps in:

§ Effective planning by dividing the work into manageable elements, which can be planned, budgeted, and controlled.
§ Assignment of responsibility for work elements to project personnel and outside agencies.
§ Development and control and information system.

Essentials for successful project implementation:

§ Adequate formulation.
§ Sound project organization.
§ Proper implementation planning.
§ Advance action.
§ Timely availability of funds.
§ Better contract management.
§ Effective control and monitoring the progress of the project.


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