Project management plan is an important document, which includes information about how a project is to be controlled, monitored and executed. A project management plan consists of brief or detailed information about the project . It may also include subsidiary project management plans and related project planning documents. The primary objective of a project management plan is to define the roles of members in the project team, such as tasks that will be undertaken by each team member and also it specifies the specific time period within which the team member has to complete the assigned task. A project plan also includes scope of the project. They develop this document after taking relevant inputs from the project stakeholders. A project plan can be referred by the project team and stakeholders for decision making and also for clarification on ambiguous areas.The project plan document can be used as a reference by the project manager and their team members for ensuring that a project is carried out in accordance with the policy and procedures mentioned in the project plan. A project plan should be updated whenever there are changes in the project requirements. It is always recommended and a good practice that the project manager takes a formal approval from stakeholders for the proposed project plan, at a very early stage of the project. Listed below are the topics that should be included in a project management plan:
It provides a brief description about the critical elements of the project that can be in few sentences or paragraphs.This description can be in few lines or detailed paragraphs
Project scope defines objectives and goals of the project. This phase includes information about project deliverables. This phase focuses on the project and work breakdown structure. This phase also specifies the quality requirements, like what should be the quality standard of the final outcome. The project manager should also specify the grey areas of the project.
In this section, the project manager evaluates different aspects of the project such as monetary, technical, organizational and operational feasibility. They also have to identify and assess project risks and also develop strategies to avoid these risks .
The project plan must also include a list of constraints such as budget, environmental, cultural, and availability of resources.
Training and Infrastructure Requirements
The project plan must also mention a number of members that will be included in the project team for completing the project successfully. The project management plan must also include training requirements for the team members. It should also include details about requirements such as infrastructure, equipment (software and hardware) and other resources to complete the project successfully.
This content is crucial as it provides critical information about job activities schedule and also project milestone. This phase focuses on three critical elements of the project, and they are deliverables, duration and critical dependencies.
Cost estimates are very crucial, in this phase costs are segregated into three types, namely capital items, expense items and labor.
Risk and Issues Management
This section deals with the risks associated to a project and also addresses the project issues that might arise during project development process. These issues can be internal and external.
Change and Communication Management
The project plan must also clearly mention the communication mechanism that will be employed by the project manager to communicate between stakeholders and team members. An effective communication mechanism will ensure that all the project team members and stakeholders are timely informed about the project development process. The communication emails and mails should be simple and very clear so that they are easily understood by the stakeholders. The change management process should also be mentioned in the project management plan.
Associated Products and Deliverables
A project management plan must also include information about the known project dependencies.
Approvals and Attachments
The approval section will include signatures of the stakeholders and the attachments would include business case, notes, and related documents.
The project plan content can vary from organization to organization. The content may differ due to many reasons such as size of the project, its complexity, and many other external factors. It is the responsibility of a project manager to create an effective project plan for a smooth project execution.