Definition of 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
PURPOSE OF PLANNING
The purposes of planning are:
- 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
- It is to assist in coordination of various departments of the project planning as they work in accordance with the overall plan.
- It helps in control- Planning helps in correction of derivations to assure the achievement of objectives as set by the plans.
- 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
- It helps and leads all other managerial function as all other functions are performed to achieve the objective set by the planning
- Its purpose is to forecast on the project objectives and direction of action for achieving these
- 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
- It provides a basis for decentralization – It helps in the delegation of authority to lower level of management.
- It encourages innovation and creativity g. planning is forward looking enables an enterprise to cope with technological and other development.
- 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
TYPES OF PLANS
- Purpose plan
- Procedures and rules
- Programmes or projects
Importance of project planning.
- It provide a basis for organizing the work of the project and allocating
- It’s a means of communication and coordination between all those in the project.
- It instills a sense of agony and time
- It induces people to work ahead.
- It establishes the basis for monitoring and control
- It helps in sustainability
- Reduces wastage of resources.
- Defines project objectives.
- It leads all other managerial functions as all other functions are performed to achieve the objective set by the planning process.
- It gears the project to look a head over the change to take suitable actions so that it is successful in achieving its objectives.
- It helps in coordination of various departments as they work in accordance with the overall plan.
- It help in control – Planning helps in correction of deviations to assure the achievement of objectives as set by the plans in project management
- 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.
- Distinct, single and definable goal. the project must have a goal or purpose for which it has become necessary i.e. (SMART) .
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.
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.
PROJECT PLANNING PROCESS
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.
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.
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
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.
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