How to implement project plan effectively

Planning is an important phase in project management cycle. It must be strategically prepared to provide a more focused goal and greater satisfaction in fulfilling the common vision.  Planning is also a major problem solver within the organization because it helps build a strong bond among the project team. However, a project plan will just remain an irrelevant document if it is not put into practice.

To implement project plan effectively, it must consider these significant points.

1.  Once the project goal has been defined, detail planning phase can take place.  The project plan would then serve as a guide to keep the project team focused on the project’s tasks and lead them to completion.  It enables managers to monitor the resources, schedule, and progress towards attaining the goal.

2.  It must be flexible because each project is unique and planning strategies might be different. It should develop as work is going on.  Reviewing other plans applied to other projects can be helpful.

3.  Discuss issues with the team regarding the actions needed for the project plan.  Identifying who needs to be communicated with during the project execution can clear up insignificant uncertainties.

4.  Project plan needs to have a communications matrix to note down who needs to be consulted and at what stage of the planning phase.  This aids in minimizing the conflicts between the group.

5.  In every project plan, a work breakdown structure must be present.  This enables the project to have its basis for estimating the time and effort required. Project plan becomes successful if the tasks were divided equally and all the activities involved can be seen towards achieving the deliverables.

6.  It must have identified links and dependencies and schedule using the critical path.  This way, it is easy to trace which schedule has conflicts or whose tasks progress is dependent to the tasks of other resources.  This way, issues would be resolve early and risks will be managed immediately before it spoils the whole project.

7.  A project plan must be able to distribute roles with clear lines of responsibility and liability and to allocate tasks that are realistic and can accommodate other work loads.

8.  It is also important to estimate the cost and human and physical resources required in the project to make necessary steps on how obtain the resources.

9.  A project plan is best executed with proper communications within the project activities by conducting meetings and sharing ideas and resolving risks related to the project plan.

10.  Implementing a project plan needs to be documented properly.  A typical implementation plan includes a description of the background to the project, its goals and objective, its resource proposition, the project schedule, actions to manage the project, the reporting and review arrangements, the contingency plans, and the evaluation plan.

A project plan may have different implementation strategies.  As long as it has these seven elements: work breakdown structure, team structure, effort and duration estimates, task schedule, details of resources, budget allocation, and contingency plans, implementing the project plan would be strategically put into operation.