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Planning A Project – Second Phase Of Project Management Lifecycle

Once the project initiation phase is over, the second phase of the project management lifecycle starts. It means, after establishing the goals and objectives, and finalizing the budget, you go on the next phase. You are only a few steps away from the successful planning of your project after you have thoroughly worked on deciding the scope, schedules, and outcomes of a project.

1. Outline Each Task With A Work Breakdown Structure: 

 Every project has multiple tasks and determining when to fulfill the individual task without a clear blueprint or design is impossible. For this purpose, you need a work breakdown structure. This is an easy-to-understand chart that defines all the things required to complete a project, dividing large tasks into smaller ones and presenting them graphically. The WBS is an important component in project management that depicts a clear picture of a project charter and scope, including written, graphical and tabular formats. It assists the project managers and stakeholders manage the deliverables one by one making their jobs easier and effective.  

2. Develop A Schedule: 

 After figuring out the desired goals and tasks in the project, scheduling them comes next. You need to plan the timeline of your project’s tasks such as, which tasks need to start and finish at the same time? When do you want to complete a particular task? What are the estimated deadlines for a particular task? So, a proper timeline is necessary for the planning phase. Based on the previous project’s experiences of the same kind, you can estimate the time you need for each task in a project. All these information aids in visualizing your project and setting up its timeline. Hence, a suitable project and time management software is important in doing all these tasks effectively.

3. Identify Available Resources:

After making a proper schedule, you have to work on resource management. You have to identify the people who are best suited for the specific tasks. Assigning tasks at the right time is a challenge. Looking for the availability of a particular resource, their cost and time-off tracking play an important role in resource management. No matter how much employees are skillful in a particular task, if they are overwhelmed and busy doing other tasks, they would be unable to come up with the best outcomes. Therefore, assigning the right resources at the right time is crucial. 

4. Calculate Project Costs:  

For a successful project completion, an exact cost estimation is necessary. Every organization works on creating a financial plan and cost estimation report that will provide detailed information and understanding of the budget and resources to complete the project. A project has different tasks and you need to deal with all of them separately within their predefined budget and cost. In this regard, previous data can be handy which will be helpful in predicting the project cost. Usually cost is divided into two types, direct cost, and indirect cost. Direct cost is that which is incurred by one particular project, required for its completion. And the indirect cost is a broader cost that includes expenses that different projects and departments consume such as office rent, utilities, and so on.  

5. Evaluate Potential Risks 

Before you start a project, consider every probability that can hinder its success. No matter how thoroughly you plan important details, mishappenings during the project are unavoidable. Therefore, assess the risks of having the possible problems and analyze them properly to avoid the likelihood of their occurrence. Undoubtedly, an already prepared action plan is crucial to encounter any possible obstacle in your project success to avoid project delays and failure.

6. Prepare For Sales-to-delivery Handoff:

 Sales and the delivery team working on the project should work hand in hand so the outcome can be the same as projected by the sales team. The sales department should know exactly how much time a project will take for its completion, its budget, its resources. When both the sales and delivery teams work in collaboration, it is easier to get the above-mentioned details. As a result, there would be a reduction in the risk of missing deadlines, commitment issues, and loss of revenue. 

 A project usually fails without complete planning which is the key step in the project management lifecycle. The project goals should be clear enough and well-understood to carry out project tasks skillfully. For successful completion of the project, creating a timeline, identification of essential team members, and estimation of the project cost are necessary. 

Alma Reed is an author and researcher dedicated to enhancing productivity. He is deeply interested in areas like time management, increasing productivity, and fostering healthy routines. Through his writing, he aims to assist people in boosting their job performance and attaining an ideal balance between work and life.

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