Create a Project Plan to Reach Success

In project management, if basic technical knowledge is lacking, or the basics are ignored or underestimated, a project's success is not guaranteed.

On the contrary, mastering the project management basics is a prerequisite for project success.

PMI's 2012 Pulse of the Profession revealed that organizations that use basic, standardized project management practices have a 71 percent success rate, compared to the average success rate of 64 percent.

One of these basic pillars practices is taking the time to create a realistic implementation plan. But how do we build a comprehensive, yet realistic project implementation plan? Here are a few tips:

1. Start the project plan while keeping the final objective in focus. Write down and highlight why the project is being conducted and what the project objectives are.

2. Make sure that the project's requirements and overall project scope are clearly captured, along with the project deliverables and the given constraints.
 
3. Implement a well-defined change management process, agreed upon by all stakeholders. The Pulse report revealed that of the projects that used change management, 71 percent were successful.

4. Document the estimated project costs, the funding approach, how the actual costs will be monitored and how cost deviations will be handled.

5. Plan how project communication will be managed. Who are the project stakeholders? What are their project roles and responsibilities and how can they influence the project?

6. Do not underestimate the risks the project can encounter. The Pulse also showed that 72 percent of successful projects used risk management. Assess and document risks throughout the project and plan for mitigation and contingency approaches.
 
What role does project management basics and the project plan play on your projects?

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