Project planning is an essential part of project management. Successful completion of a project is heavily dependent on effective planning. A project plan allows you to complete a project within a specified timeline and a specified budget. Project planning is fundamental in order to avoid failure and disappointment. In project management, effective planning is absolutely required if the individual or group wishes to deliver a finished project on time and on budget.
A project schedule will provide all involved with an outline and detailed activities to minimize risk to the final result and delivery. The basics you will get from the schedule include how long the project or any single stage within it will take. But a good schedule should also inform you of the following particulars:
a) Who is accountable for each aspect of the project
b) The approach chosen to target the problem with
c) Major deliverables from the project
d) Exact timing of key decisions and points for review
Every successful project delivers your future organization and helps it to accomplish its strategic goals. If organizations must flourish and keep up with competitive, its members must be effective at project management. Appropriate, careful planning will ensure that projects will not overrun deadlines and/or pile on unexpected costs. Such a situation would only endanger the anticipated corporate benefits of the organization.
The project schedule is the framework on which the actual resource plans and cost breakdowns are mapped. It makes explicit each stage and activity, which combine to form the entire project. This greater visibility encourages accurate real time status reports and analyses from multiple perspectives. So the ability to build and manage a project schedule is a top priority if one needs to succeed at one’s project.
Another immense benefit to planning is that in case a problem arises, it functions as an alarm mechanism. At such a point risk management and going through contingencies for various scenarios can occur in order to restrict the damage or compromise resulting from the problem. One final word of advice, though: a good plan is also a flexible one, so don’t be too preoccupied with maintaining its rigid form all through the duration of the project.
To establish and operate an effective organization, all managers perform several major functions or activities. These functions enable managers to create a positive work environment and to provide the opportunities and incentives .The key management functions include planning, organizing, directing, controlling. Each of these functions are critical to the success of any manager and organizations.
Planning is the process of analyzing the situation, determining the goals/ objectives that will be pursued in the future, and deciding in advance the actions that will be taken to achieve
The following are the steps involved in PLANNING PROCESS
1. Reviewing the current operation situation.
2. Conducting the current operation strengths/ weaknesses.
3. Studying the External environmental factors affecting the operation.
4. Studying the expectations of the operations.
5. Determine the opportunities for improvements/growth and negatives constraints.
6. Based on the above analyses, determine the goals and objectives for the operation for the future period.
7. Based on the objectives, determine your strategy how you are going to achieve the objectives.
8. Based on the strategy, determine the action plans that have to be implemented.
9. Your action plan will determine the resources required manpower, finance and materials
10. Finally a system to monitor the plan / its progress.