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Proper Organization Can Make The Plan A Better Reference (#8 in the seris Effective Planning for Big Projects)
By Timothy Prosser

Divide the plan into areas that represent different functional groups’ activities, or into work streams representing specific sub-chains of dependent tasks. This will make it easier for people to refer to, and allow them to see quickly what they need to do and when, or what will happen if a task is delayed.

The overstuffed plan is divided into separate row-areas for various activities, a good idea, but within each one there are 20 to 60 different dates, many with bars to indicate activities with start and end points, and the rest mostly attached to symbols. Unfortunately, the events and labels are crammed so close to each other it becomes difficult to figure out which symbol is associated with which date. In many of the sections there are boxes of notes and lists of dates that apparently wouldn’t fit into the chart. The result is a cluttered and confusing document that fails to guide the eye through the flow of the process. Most of this detail should be placed in subordinate plans to make the master plan simpler, easier to follow, and more useful.

Timothy Prosser – Ann Arbor, MI

Timothy spent the past ten years planning vehicle development programs and tracking parts at a major auto manufacturer in the Detroit area, employed by Integrated Management Systems, Inc. of Ann Arbor, MI (www.imsi-pm.com).

Past experience, in reverse order, includes 3 years writing and supervising technical documentation at a major automotive supplier, 7.5 years engineering computer printers for Unisys Corporation, 3 years of technical work in the image processing and automatic inspection industry, 5 years of network and peripheral service work for ADP, Inc., and 3 years selling wholesale electronic parts.

Education includes an MBA from The University of Michigan (1991), a BS in Geography from Eastern Michigan University (1974), and *countless* training classes by various employers. Timothy has also taught many seminars on project management and various tools involved in the work.

Timothy is a lifetime musician (www.mandolinmaniac.com, www.martianentropyband.com), a 30-year amateur radio operator, and writes a number of blogs including www.timprosserfuturing.wordpress.com.

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