So you have this awesome idea in mind that you think is essential for the success of your new business project. However, a lot of entrepreneurs have witnessed how poor planning can be disastrous for any new project. And since you will be investing on the project, poor planning will only guarantee failure and financial loss. On the other hand, if you are able to create and implement a good project plan, it will place your company in a good position for future growth. Aside from that, a good project plan allows your company to act accordingly in implementing your plans. This will ultimately lead to a boost in sales and profits.
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Major Elements of a Good Project Plan
Whenever you have a good project in mind, it is always vital to draft a plan before starting the project.
According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge or PMBOK, “A project plan is a formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control”. A project plan is often used to record any assumptions and decisions in planning, to promote and simplify communication among project stakeholders, and to report any approved objectives, cost, scope, and schedule baselines.
So if you are looking to write a successful project plan, make sure to include the following key elements:
1. Scope Management
This section provides a clear description of the nature and characteristics of the project deliverable, as well as the requirements and organizational needs for the attainment of the project. The scope management is also used to describe the following:
- Ins and outs of the scope
- Main product specifications
- Criteria for success
The key project deliverables are usually highlighted in the form of a milestone schedule. Aside from its major components, the estimation of the project cost and resource requirements, this section should also include:
- Gantt Chart
- Duration of the project
- Resource Histograms
- Precedence Diagrams
3. Resource Management
It includes the partnership of a project sponsor and a project manager for each project. This section includes:
- The division of the responsibilities and duties in the project
- Breakdown of the organization structure
- Delegation of authority
- Description of each assigned role
4. Budgeting and Cost Management
It provides comprehensive details on the project cost estimation, proposed budget plan, and the management of the actual and projection of cost versus the budget plan. Having an overview on how the funds of the project are spent is essential in keeping track of the overall progress.
Key Steps to Successful Project Planning
Gathering all the important information and talking to the people involved in the project is a great way to ensure your confidence in writing an effective plan for your new business. Once you put all the information to good use, you are guaranteed to write not only a good and effective project plan but also something that ensures a high success rate.
In this section, we have a provided you a short yet effective rundown of the steps in writing a successful project plan.
1. Consider the goals that should be included in the project plan.
Before you decide to start writing one for your company, it is important to understand that a project plan is your blueprint or road map that will lead the project of your company to success. That is why you have to consider and list down all the essential elements prior to developing a plan. Let us take as an example the amount of budget you will need, your priorities, human resources, and the timeline of your project. It is also important to create an outline of the needs of the key stakeholders and how they can benefit from the outcome of the project.
2. Make a list of project deliverables.
When listing down all the project goals, you should also include the names of the people involved in the project and assign specific roles and responsibilities for each one of them.
3. Create a document for each project milestone.
Creating and maintaining a document that outlines the milestones and activities of each project is crucial for monitoring its development and progress. Alongside each project, make sure to provide realistic deadlines while keeping track of the productivity and efficiency of each team member.
4. Draft a reasonable budget plan.
A project will always require a budget to take off. That is why it is highly important to come up with an estimated cost and expense so that you will have an idea of the things you will need to spend your capital on.
5. Make sure to write a progress report
You can choose to write a progress report on a regular basis. This can either be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. The information gathered in your progress report can help you stay on track in achieving your project goals. You can also share it with the rest of the members of the project.
6. Determine the risks involved in the project.
No matter how careful we are in implementing our project plan, there will always be risks that can potentially affect the success of the project. Make sure to discuss with the entire team any alternative solution you can devise and how to address the issues as carefully and thoroughly as possible without waiving the deadline set for the project.
Sample Project Plan Templates
We all know that one of the crucial factors for the success of your new business project is a well-developed project plan. So to make things easier for you, we have provided a collection of sample project plan templates that you can download and use for reference.
Project Plan Format PDF Free Download
Project Implementation Plan Free Word Download
Software Development Project Plan Template
Project Risk Management Plan Template
One-Page Business Project Plan Template
Annual Project Planning Template
It doesn’t matter if you are a rookie entrepreneur or someone who has been in the business for a number of years. It is important to understand that a well-thought-out plan is the main ingredient for a successful project. Creating a project plan may take a lot of time, but it is the effort, patience, and hard work that pays off.
Always keep in mind that the effort and hard work you exert into planning can determine the success or failure of your project. So make sure to update your Excel project plan regularly to keep track of your projects daily or monthly progress.