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15 Benefits of a Project Management Plan
By Atul Gaur

Project Management Plan

A project management plan is the collection of outputs of the project planning processes. It defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled and closed. The project management plan needs to be updated and revised through out the Integrated Change Control Process. The Project Management Plan consists of:

  1. Project Scope Management Plan
  2. Project Schedule Management Plan

  3. Project Cost Management Plan

  4. Quality Management Plan

  5. Human Resource Management Plan

  6. Communication Management Plan

  7. Risk Management Plan

  8. Procurement Management Plan

  9. Process Improvement Plan

Other components of the project management plan include:

  1. Milestone list
  2. Resource Calendar

  3. Schedule, Cost and Quality Baseline

  4. Risk Register

Attributes of a Project Management Plan

The project team has to select a set of processes that would be implemented in order to complete the project. There are a total of 44 project management processes that are organized in 9 knowledge areas. Some important project management processes are

  1. Develop Project Charter (ii) Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement (iii) Develop Project Management Plan (iv) Scope Planning (v) Risk Analysis etc.
  2. Once the project management processes are selected the level of implementation of each process should also be indicated in the project management plan

  3. The tools and techniques that would be used to accomplish the selected project management process

  4. The project management plan should indicate the dependencies and the interactions among the selected processes and their inputs and outputs

  5. How the work will be executed to accomplish the project objectives

  6. How changes will be monitored and controlled

  7. How configuration management will be performed

  8. How integrity of the performance measurement baselines will be maintained and used

  9. The need and techniques for communication among stakeholders

  10. The project life cycle and the project phases

  11. How open issues and pending decisions will be addressed and the time frame with in which these issues will be addressed

Inputs required for Project Management Plan

  1. Preliminary Project Scope Statement

    The preliminary project scope statement documents the characteristics and boundaries of the project, and its associated products and services, as well as methods of acceptance and scope control.

  2. Project Management Processes

  3. Enterprise Factors

    Government and Industry standards, Quality Standards, existing facilities, existing human resource, stakeholder risk tolerances, costing estimates, industry risk databases, existing information system etc

  4. Organizational Processes

    Health and safety policies, Quality checklists, process audit and improvement targets, standardized work breakdown structure templates, risk templates, standard guidelines for performance measurement criteria, Communication guidelines, financial guidelines, record retention and information security system guidelines, vendor management policy, change control procedures and guidelines, document creation, approval, control and retention guidelines, project closure guidelines.

Benefits of Project Management Plan

  1. An hour spent in planning can save three during execution, It saves crucial execution time
  2. Defines the project in detail

  3. Establishes the project boundaries, scope and deliverables

  4. Identifies the project management team and the project stakeholders

  5. Indicates the project schedule and major milestones

  6. Establishes baseline plan for schedule, scope and cost

  7. Provides a tracking mechanism against a established baseline

  8. Helps in project performance reporting

  9. Identifies and establishes communication needs and methods

  10. Identifies risks to the project and indicates a response mechanism

  11. Establishes a process for implementing changes to project scope, schedule cost, quality and risk.

  12. Lists various criteria that the product or service should qualify in order to meet the project objectives

  13. Improves monitoring and control of project activities

  14. Identifies existing resources and indicates additional requirements to complete the project

  15. Provides requirements of funds for various phases of the project

Atul Gaur has aggregated over twelve years of professional experience and devoted more than ten years in the field of Project Management. He’s a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Manipal Institute of Technology (Manipal) and has Operations Management qualification from Management development Institute in Gurgaon. You can read more from Atul on his blog.

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