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Project Planning Is King (#4 in the series PMP Exam Themes – The Perspective You Need To Develop To Be Prepared)
By Brian Denis Egan, B.Sc, M.Sc., M.B.A., PMP – Global Knowledge Course Director

A PM motto is that ”projects fail at the beginning, not at the end”. This means you must plan success into a project. Failure to plan is planning to fail.

Planning is not an option. It is the raison d’être of project management.

For example, say you are the PM on a new project. The sponsor is in a hurry to get going and instructs your team members to start working on modules while you develop the project plan. What should you do? Remember that you have the authority and responsibility to do the right thing. Therefore, you should plan before you execute. Politely inform the sponsor that it is inappropriate for him or her to give assignments directly to your team members. Let that person know that no work can be undertaken until there is a clear understanding of what the project objectives are.Work may ultimately begin before there is a complete project plan, but that work must then be planned.

Update the Plan Regularly

Project plans are living documents. There is often a huge amount of work that goes into a plan. Once complete it is painful to even consider modifying the plan. However in the perfect project environment changes are frequent, thorough, and documented.

Every approved change request will typically result in changes to the plan within several of the knowledge areas. To get to PMI’s version of project heaven you must keep the plan current and make sure you stay on top of everything.

About the Author

Brian Denis Egan is CEO of a manufacturing company (Book Box Company) and a management consultant. He has written three professional development manuals and numerous white papers on aspects of management science. Since 2000, Brian has been a part-time instructor for Global Knowledge within the Management product line.

This article was originally published in Global Knowledge’s Business Brief e-newsletter. Global Knowledge delivers comprehensive hands-on project management, business process, and professional skills training. Visit our online Knowledge Center at for free white papers, webinars, and more.

© Copyright 2008, Global Knowledge. All rights reserved.

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