Definition of project planning

Project planning.

Its an endeavor in which  human , material and financial  resources  are organized  in a better way  to undertake  a unique  scope  of work to a given specification within  constraints  of time , cost  and qualify  so as to achieve  intended  goal  or objective.

This phase  is initial  in influencing  project  sustainability . its critical  for the project team to spend  adequate  time at the beginning  of study discipline , discuss and analyze  the project . this help to establish  a clear understanding  of what you are dealing  with and it may  be necessary  to research  how similar  project  , structured towards  project  planning  and implementation  and try to  brainstorm  with your project team.

Scope involved in project planning.

Project scope is defined as the appropriate  method for completing  the project are determined . following this, the duration  for the various  task necessary  to complete  the work  are grouped  into work  breakdown  structures . the logical  dependency  between  tasks are defined  using  activities   network diagram  that enables  identification  of critical path  in the project planning.

The scope in the project planning  makes it necessary  for resources  to be estimated  and cost   for each activity  can be allocated to each  resource  giving the total  project cost. At this stage  project  plan  may be optimized  to   achieve  the appropriate  balance  between  resource  usage and project  duration to comply  with the project objective.

The scope involved  in the project planning  is so wide  and once established  and agreed  the plan  becomes  what is known   as the baseline . progress will be measured  against  baseline  throughout  the life of the project. Analyzing  progress  compared  to the  baseline is known  as carried  value management.

It goes beyond the input  of the project planning  phase which include  the project charter and the  concept  proposal . the outputs  of the project  planning  phase  include  the project requirement , the project schedule and the project management plan.


Short term and long term project planning.

Project planning is part of project management which relates to the use of schedules to plan and subsequently report progress within the project  environment. Project planning can be divided into;

  • Short term project planning
  • Long term project planning.
  • Short term project planning.

Short term project planning is expected  to be  accomplished  in a short  period of time  such as  building  a water  tank  for a community  to store  clean water. The definition   of a short term project need not to relate  to any  specific  length  of time. In other words , one may achieve  project   within a day , week, month , year etc. the time frame  for a short  term project planning  relate to its  context  in the overall time line that is being applied to.

  • Long term project planning.

Project planning can be in terms of long term  which involves  planning decision  and may extend over a long period of time . for example , the decision  to buy  a particular piece of machinery  and equipment  is the result  of project planning.

Project planning has a long  term effect  on the company  future  profitability  , capital expenditure analysis or cost – benefit  is technique  needed for project planning .

In project planning , there are two  major  types of decision  selecting  new project  and secondary  replacing  existing  project  within the organization.


Steps in project planning.

  • Establish the project objective
  • Choose the basis strategy for achieving the objective.
  • Break the project into sub units.
  • Determine the required time to  accomplish the project.
  • Determine the proper sequence  of completing  the sub unit  and the aggregate
  • Determine the cost of the project
  • Establish the required resource.
  • Assign duties and responsibilities
  • Duplicate the necessary policies and procedures
  • Determine the yard strings for enacting the outcome


Time in planning.

When planning time it helps to determine the shortest time necessary to complete the project.

The project manager needs begging with the work breakdown structure and determine the sequence submit which must be completed and which one maybe under weigh at the same time.

Features of Planning

  • Planning is a process rather  than  behavior at a given point  of time, this process determine  the  future  course of action.
  • It concerns  forecasting  of the future  situations in which  the organization has to function, therefore correct forecast, better  decisions  about  future  course of actions.
  • Planning involves  selection of suitable  course  of  action  for achieving  particular
  • Planning is required  at all levels  of the organization because all  levels  of mgt  are concerned with determination of  future  course of action.
  • Planning is a  continuous  managerial  function  involved  analysis, communication and decision .
  • Planning is flexible as commitment is based on future conditions which are always  dynamic


The purposes of planning are:

  1. It helps to increase  project  effectiveness  planning ensures  that resources are put  in action in a way  in which  there have been  specified thus  enabling project  to achieve  its objectives within the  given
  2. It is to assist in coordination of various   departments of the project planning   as they work in accordance  with  the overall plan.
  3. It helps in control- Planning  helps  in correction  of derivations to assure  the achievement  of objectives as set by the plans.
  4. It offset  uncertainty and change – It gears the  project  to look a head  over the change  to take  suitable  actions so  that it is  successful in  achieving  its
  5. It helps and leads all other  managerial function as all other functions are performed  to achieve the objective set  by the planning
  6. Its purpose  is to  forecast  on the project  objectives and direction of action for achieving  these
  7. Provides efficiency  is operated – planning  facilitates optimum  utilization  of available resources. As a rational  solution problem planning  results in the use of  most efficient  methods of work. Good  plans not only optimizes  productivity but  also provide  satisfaction in those  implementing
  8. It provides a basis  for decentralization – It helps  in the delegation  of authority to lower level of management.
  9. It encourages innovation and creativity g.  planning  is forward looking  enables an enterprise to cope with technological and  other  development.
  10. It guides  decision –making

Planning  predicts the future , it helps in taking future  oriented  decisions and also  prevents hastily judgments.

Process  in formulating strategies and policies

  • Corporate mission & Objective
  • Environmental analysis
  • Corporate analysis
  • Identification of alternatives
  • Choice of alternatives
  • Implementation of strategy



  • Purpose plan
  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Policies
  • Procedures and rules
  • Programmes or projects
  • Budgets
  • Corporate

 Importance of project planning.

  1. It provide a basis for organizing the work of the project and allocating
  2. It’s a means of communication and coordination between all those in the project.
  3. It instills a sense of agony and time
  4. It induces people  to work ahead.
  5. It establishes the basis  for monitoring  and control
  6. It helps in sustainability
  7. Reduces wastage  of resources.
  8. Defines project objectives.
  9. It leads all other  managerial functions as  all other functions are performed  to achieve  the objective set by the planning process.
  10. It gears  the  project  to look  a head over  the change  to take suitable  actions so that  it is  successful  in achieving  its objectives.
  11. It helps  in coordination of various  departments  as they work in accordance with the overall  plan.
  12. It help in control – Planning  helps  in correction of deviations to assure  the achievement  of objectives as set  by the plans in project management
  13. It  increases  organizational effectiveness. Planning  ensures   that resources are put  in action in a way  in which these  have  been specified  thus  enabling   the project  to achieve  its objectives within  the given  resources.


Characteristics of a good project.

  1. Distinct, single and definable goal. the project  must have  a goal or purpose  for which  it has become  necessary i.e. (SMART) .
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time

 Unique and interdependent 

Activities in a project are unique  . a project thus has never happened  before and it will never happen again  in the same  condition.

Temporary undertaking to be within specific time.

A project  is temporary  because  once the goal is achieved  it seizes to exist i.e. the project  has definite  beginning and specified  completion  time.

Within the budget.

Project  have resource  limit  like limited amount of people , money or other resources  dedicated to it. should there be any  adjustment  it should be communicated earlier.

Sequence and corrective ness of activities.

Project  comprise  of a number of activities  that must  be completed  in a specific order or sequence  . an  activity  is defined   peace of work . the sequence  of activities  can be based  on inputs  and outputs   of activities or a resource i.e. what resource  to use  and when to use them.

 Have a sponsor or customer.

Most  project have many  interested  parties  or state holders  but there should be  one with  first degree  role  of sponsorship.

Project sponsor  usually  provide  the direction   and also  the funding  for the project.

Roles of project in development.

  • project are started as a result  highly felt need which may be water , health facilities , food etc. project fulfill  the need  and improve the living  standard  of people  which is overall concept  of development
  • project also help the community to achieve  the desired  goals thus  improving their living
  • Project equip  people  with skills on budgeting  project , implementation and evaluation.
  • Project helps in identifying  the available  resources  these are the intangible  and tangible  things  that enable people to create  goods and services  to satisfy  al needs.
  • It enhances mobilization  and encourage  participation  by the community.
  • Equips people with knowledge   of planning  process and how  they can  budget   for their goods.
  • Helps in designing alternatives in project evaluation.



Project budget.

A budget helps to plan  on how the project  will get the money and how it will  use it at a given  period. It must  clearly  show the source  of income  and expenditure.  in budgeting  consider the  following ;

  • Analyze the current potential source of income .
  • Make an estimate  of revenue  to be used  during the period  when  the plan is made.
  • Analyze current potential   activities chosen.
  • Make an estimate of expense  that   that will be incurred.
  • Calculate to see  whether the anticipation revenue  will cover  the expense.
  • Revise the activities  as necessary  to ensure  the financial  process of the  project will be sound  and health etc.
  • Prepare detailed year by year  estimate  revenue  and expense  of the project

Project work  plan.

In some large  organization or project , the project  manager ask each team  member to update  the work plan  with status  and efforts   hours . in this scenario the team member s normally  indicate   whether their assignment  work is completed . if not  they can identify the percentage  of the activity  that is complete  or adjust  the end data  to reflect  when the activity  will be complete.

Therefore  work plan  identifies   the activities  , responsibilities , timeliness and budget  for a given  project. A statement  of objectives  and resources  together  with a budget and schedule  for achieving  a particular  task in included   in the work plan.

For very large projects , it is also common  for one  or more  work plan   administrators  to be assigned   to update  the work plan  with the actual on behalf  of the manager.. They can get  information from team  members  and update  the current  status  and actual  hours worked.

They can run a standard  set of repots  for the project  manager  and get additional  information  from team  members for anything that t looks usual the work plan  administrators  bring this  all to the  project  manager for final  analysis and evaluation.

The bottom line is that the additional  staff perform much of the logistics  associated  with the work plan but it is still the responsibility  of the manager  to understand  what is going  on and make  the appropriate  decision  to complete  the project successfully

Project planning Guidelines

The policy guideline is any document that aims  at streamlining  a particular process

according  to a set  routine. The policy guideline are essential part of larger process of project manager to make action of 100 employees or divisions more predictable and presumably of higher quality.

In the policy guidelines, a lot of emphasis is on the need for proper structuring of a project making the testing hypothesis clear in the introduction.

By so doing, it will make the abstract highly informative including most important data and conclusion.

By the use of the policy guidelines manager in project planning will be in a position to make decisions and  achieve  rational outcome. The term is not actually used to devote what is done, its normally referred to  the  procedure or protocol .Whereas a policy guideline will contain the what, the how, the where and the whom.

Policy guidelines are generally adopted  by board or senior governance body within an organization where as procedures or protocols by executives.

For any project to be successful therefore, a good policy guideline should be in place to assist project managers plan well for the success  of the project.



Process in planning

  • Perception of the opportunity
  • Establishing objectives
  • Planning premises e.g. external & internal  environment
  • Identification of alternatives
  • Evaluation of alternatives
  • Choice of alternative
  • Formulation of supporting plan
  • Establishing sequence  of activities

Perception  of opportunities

Check  whether  opportunities exist for taking   a particular plan and  also  the strength  and weakness of the organization e.g.  competitors.

Establish  objectives

Objectives are set to specify  the results expected  and indicate  the end  points of what is to be done these  objectives to give direction to the nature  of all  major plans.

Planning  premises

This  refers to  conditions under which planning  activities  will be  undertaken. These  are internal and  external  premises. Internal  premises  includes  organization  policies, resources while  external are political , social, competitors , technology and government  policies.

Identification of Alternatives

Identifying  various  ways  of achieving  planning   (objectives)

Evaluation of alternatives

Check  each  alternatives, in terms of its  resources and limitations , risk involved

Choice of alternative

The most  fit alternative is selected  but  the planning must be ready with alternative which  can be implemented in changed situations due  to change in external premises. This alternative is called  contingency plan.

Formulation of supporting plan

Forming  various  plans  so as to support  the main plan .

Establishing  sequence   of activities

The  sequence  of activities  is determined  so that  plans are put into action based   at  various  it can be decided who  will do what and at  what  time.

Involvement of community members in project planning

1. Providing security

The community members will take care of the project and ensure there is no wastage of resources.

 2.  Providing resources

Because the resources are available in the community, the community members are the one to identify resources and provide resources and provide them to  be used in project planning.

 3.  They form part of committee

Some of the community members are chosen to be the committees by their leaders because they understand the problems of the community and can find ways of solving the same.

 4.  They act as advisors

The community members acts as the advisors to their leaders who are to come for planning in the project and they can also direct them in whatever they are doing because they know more about the community.


 Identifying of project resources

In project planning resources are required to carry out the project tasks. They can be people, equipment, facilities, funding or anything else capable of definition, usually other than labour required for completion of a project activity. Resource may be storable or non-storable.

The following are some of the factors required to consider during identification of project resources

1. Priority

Allocation of limited resources is based on the priority given to each of the project activities. Their priority is calculated using the critical path method and heuristic analysis.

2. Availability of the resources

Resources availability plays a major role in the resource identification. Perhaps there people from outside the company who  could  assist in particular areas .

If you lack anyone with risk management expertise there are numerous people available in the market that could carry out a risk assessment.

3. Skills availability

Look for people who have the required skills and see if they can be allocated on a part time basis .

For example if you lack  business resources with detailed processing knowledge of a particular area, see if you can have a person assigned for day or two to fill in the gaps.

4. Funding

Funding is to provide resources usually in form of money (financing) or other values such as effort or time (sweat equity) for a project, a   person , a business, or any other private or public institutions. The funding can be allocated for either short term or long term or long term purpose


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