A Detailed Project Plan is Critical
When we begin to evaluate a new project—when we are first introduced to it and begin the process of identifying the stakeholders and estimating what will be required to make it happen—we initiate a new Project Plan outline digital schematic.
It’s a proprietary Baseline Project Plan piece of software like a Gantt Plan Timeline Chart that we’ve developed, which allows us to add titles and labels to large sections, as well as subsections, and sub-subsections, etc. It allows us to enter action items, and estimate times for their performance, and the number and identities of people who will perform those tasks, and the time blocks they will be engaged during each activity, and the overlaps of time blocks, etc.
It also estimates the costs of each item, as well as backup resources while primary resources are occupied with the various action items. As the details of the Project Plan are added in greater detail, we can better estimate the overall costs in time, money and other resources for the entire project.
In the beginning of creating the Project Plan, the Go-Live date and total cost may be quite fluid; but those are firmed up as all of the short-term and long-term items are entered, and the creation of the Project Plan approaches completion. We always show the Project Plan schematic to my new and prospective clients, to help them begin to understand the immensity and required detail of a project like the one they are about to undertake.
The Project Plan fills in as we collect information from those who are responsible for various areas of the implementation project. We assign their names into the Project Plan, and we have them provide us with estimates of how long each detail should require, and every other bit of information about each task item, as well as its dependencies, overlaps, required resources, etc. The entire project is perfectly choreographed in the Project Plan, from start to finish, and it provides us with charts and graphs so that we can always see at a glance where we are in our progress on any item, or section.