A Roadmap for Achieving Project Success
Project planning is the part of project management, which relates to the use of schedules such as Gantt charts to plan and later report progress within the project environment.
In the IT Support domain, Helpdesks frequently have to make preparations to provide support for a new tool, application, technology or product that is being rolled out to their end-users. Although these types of projects are typically small and non-complex, all Helpdesk projects require proper planning and need to follow a project framework, in order to maintain customer satisfaction and to ensure that any changes in the supported environment do not negatively impact on the service that the Helpdesk is providing.
Planning a project, in its very simplest terms, requires putting a series of tasks in the correct order and determining any dependencies between the tasks, in order to reach a desired outcome at the end of the project. In practice things are never quite so straightforward.
A project plan provides a roadmap for detailing how your project will reach its desired goals. It should be written in the project planning phase, once the project has been initiated and received preliminary approval and funding to be scoped out further. It normally follows the business case, and should primarily focus on how the project will proceed rather than why.
Often project planning is ignored in favour of getting on with the work. However, many people fail to realise the value of a project plan in saving time, money and many problems. This article looks at the steps for creating a simple plan at the beginning of a project.
Once we have decided to proceed with a project the pressure is on the start work as soon as possible. However, a small effort in planning can make a huge difference to the ultimate success of the project. Follow our simple five step plan to ensure your project gets off to the best possible start.
Among all the tools at our disposal for managing projects, checklists are perhaps the simplest and most productive means of building consistency in work practices. Checklists are useful in almost every field of human endeavour, and in particular where repeatability and systematic action drive performance. Yet they are still much underused in the planning and managing of projects.
Gantt charts are a fundamental tool in a project manager's toolkit. However, an unseasoned project manager can find they take over the project and result in reduced control. How so? In this article I will look at the potential pitfalls and provide some tips and strategies for ensuring successful project management. Gantt charts are, after all, just one of many ways to present the project plan, and actual data that has been input.
There are a wide range of well established planning tools which can be used to aid the project management process, and provide the means to monitor and review project plans over time. Here I outline five of the most useful planning tools for projects in health and social care.
It is not often possible to foresee the future activities in a project with consistent detail over the entire period of the project. Therefore, planning is often done in "waves" or stages, with the activities in the near term planned in detail and the activities in the longer distance of time left for future detail planning. There may in fact be several planning waves, particularly if the precise approach or resource requirement is dependent or conditioned on the near-term activities. Such a planning approach is commonly called rolling wave planning.
Improvement happens one project at a time. But often projects fail because they are poorly planned, or even completely unplanned. This article provides an overview of why it is important to prepare a project plan. It also shows what elements a good project plan will include.
"I need a project plan by tomorrow morning." As project managers, that's what we hear. But we know that what the boss usually means is that s/he wants a project schedule. There is a problem though, how can you come up with a schedule without having the "real" project plan first?
A project plan is more than just a Gantt chart, but do you know what you must have in your plan? This article takes you through the 10 essential elements your project plan has to have to help you achieve project management success.
Why do some projects proceed without a hitch, yet others flounder? One reason could be the type and quality of the questions people ask at the very start. This article suggests 17 insightful queries that can expose the uncertain aspects of your project, and thereby help you avoid expensive surprises later. You can thus achieve your project goals with much less guesswork and far fewer problems than you may have experienced in the past.
When it comes to any technology project, you cannot plan enough, or so we have been led to believe. The experts advice over the years to plan more and better is what most of us needed to hear, but it may be time to reconsider our conditioned response to project planning. You truly can have too much of a good thing.
Whether you call it a Project Plan or a Project Timeline, it is absolutely imperative that you develop and maintain a document that clearly outlines the project milestones and major activities required to implement your project.
You've engaged a reputable consulting firm to perform a large systems project. You've prepared an RFP, carefully reviewed the responses, scrutinised the consultancy's oral presentation, and ultimately negotiated and signed a well-written statement of work (SOW). Don't stop there.
Every year thousands of projects are completed over budget, out of scope and past deadline. Still, with each passing year, project managers continue to rush into projects without due diligence in defining the project and creating a plan for project execution.
Gantt charts are useful tools for analysing, planning and controlling projects. When a complex or multi-task project is under way, Gantt charts assist in monitoring whether the project is on schedule, or not. If not, the Gantt chart allows you to easily identify what actions need to be taken in order to put the project back onto schedule.
Projects don't just happen they need planning. Involve the whole project team in developing the plan, not just the project manager. This ensures team members experience is considered and each person is fully committed to, and has ownership of the plan.
Since their first introduction, Gantt charts have become an industry standard. They are an important project management tool used for showing the phases, tasks, milestones and resources needed as part of a project. This video presentation is a step-by-step guide to creating a Gantt chart using Microsoft Excel 2007.
"To get a project off the ground, tell a colleague it was their idea. They will put their heart and soul into making it successful." - T. Wouhra
"Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work." - Peter Drucker