The project planning process is a long and complicated procedure, which requires good organization, self-discipline, and attention. That's why we've created a simple project planning guide to help you reach a project's success.
A project plan is a detailed description, usually enclosed in a specific document, that covers all the issues that are related to it. It describes how the project will be implemented, controlled, and accounted for. The project plan includes goals and scope, and thus constitutes a reference for the entire team, a basis for work for all interested parties, including key stakeholders.
A project management plan is not only a task list, schedule, or timeline, it is also a project budget, resources, goals, and verification methods. A plan consists of everything related to management, which is why it is so important to write the entire project down in detail.
Project management is important due to the responsibilities that each team member has. A well-planned project is not only a streamlined and well-performed job but also the certainty that all the necessary resources will be provided on time.
The planning process also takes into account the obstacles that may be encountered, limitations related to costs, time, or access to people, as well as threats that may affect the final result or its lack.
Project management can turn out to be crucial when we are overwhelmed by the scale of the task, we lack resources or we are unable to control them. This is where planning comes in handy, systematic and meticulous, preferably from different perspectives, to be able to see every opportunity, but also every threat.
Project management improves the work of the team and at the same time motivates us when we know what the future will look like. Assigning roles eliminates possible misunderstandings and well-defined goals increase the effectiveness of the project team members.
Project management is not the same for every project. Due to the specifics of the industry or the scope and scale of the project, the planning activities you will take may differ. However, there are basic steps that will always be the same.
The first step is to determine the scope of your project. You can do it yourself or with the help of your design team. This first phase is crucial for planning as you will set the project schedule and adjust it to the scale and complexity of the tasks.
You cannot forget also about stakeholders. They are people connected to your project more or less directly, influencing it, although that does not mean that they are connected with every detail. Project stakeholders include
The second stage is activity on specific documents and for a specific purpose. It is a typical activity that we associate with the word: planning. This stage can be broken down into several smaller ones so as not to miss anything.
This is the stage to define the basic skills and competencies of your team members to best assign them to the roles they will play soon. Talk to your employees, learn about their strengths and weaknesses, ask for their opinion. Remember that one person may be responsible for several tasks, but avoid overloading with work as this may be counterproductive. Examples of roles that can be assigned in a team are project sponsor, project manager, and project team members.
This stage is the time to decide on some of the most important issues. Your task is to define the scope, budget, and timeline. The project's scope is everything that needs to be done in a project after consulting the client and team. It defines goals but also excludes paths that the project cannot follow. A project budget is a response to scope because it is built upon it. It's just the means and resources required to get the job done - the overall cost of the entire project. The project timeline is a project spread over time, that is, the specified phases of the project with the time for execution adjusted to them. You can use Gantt chart software to map out project timelines.
The next step is to set goals and divide them into different categories. Determine which are general and which are individual, separate specific tasks, and consider their priority. In this process very useful could be SMART goals. Determine their validity and dependence so as not to delay work. Finally, think about what to do when one of the goals is not achieved according to the schedule. Be ready for changes in the timeline closely related to what is currently happening in the project.
This is the third phase of the project when we move from theory to practice and at the same time, we work on the implementation of end products. This stage is usually the most time-consuming step, but also requires constant attention to resource management, task management, and team management. These three important tasks are aimed at coordinating work, monitoring workload, and maintaining a schedule.
The stage that smoothly moves from the implementation stage to the execution of the project. It is useful while working on a project, as it helps you manage and catch errors, monitor progress, and when the project is completed, it allows you to summarize the results, draw conclusions, and make improvements in future tasks.
HeySpace is a project management tool that helps you to make your project plan. Thanks to many useful features you can easily manage your workflow and boost your productivity. See how to use HeySpace to make a solid project plan.
HeySpace allows you to create your workspace, which is the whole company profile. On the workspace, you have access to many features, which enable you in planning and execution. You can add guests and team members to your workspace and start working.
In the workspace, you can create Spaces, which are projects. Every space has its own chat, board, calendar, list, and timeline to manage work. Chat is a communication tool for everyone because you can chat in groups, individually, or under the task. Board is a place dedicated to planning tasks. Every board has a list, which is a status of work. On lists, you have tasks, called by us cards. About the card, you would read below. The next important features are a List, Calendar, and Timeline. The way they show you the view enables managing time and resources, you can see how much time something takes, what is the progress, and conveniently edit everything you need.
The Card is essential for task management. By numbers, you can see all features of the card: 1 - mark progress, 2 - assignees, 3 - follow the card, 4 - set start and due date, 5 - estimates, 6 - recurring options, 7 - tags, 8 - description, checklist, and attachments, 9 - chat area, 10 - additional options - copy, copy link, mark as done and archive card.
As you can see HeySpace allows assign tasks to team members, track progress, manage project schedules and easily communicate.
Every user has his own MyTask view, where he or she can see all tasks assigned to himself/herself, edit cards very fast and monitor how much work is to do, and how much he or she achieved.
Last but not least is a feature called OverWatch. It is your private dashboard for top projects.
You can select Spaces you want to see in this view and manage them in one place. Switch views in every Space - you can choose chat, board, and timeline. Filter tasks for more clarity.
HeySpace is one of many project management tools but stands out by usefulness, ease of use, ease of implementation, flexibility, and price.
Project management is a demanding process that could be very stressful and hard, especially for teams who don't know their members well or for the newly created teams. That's why project planning could be facilitated by different methodologies that are showing step by step how to work on successful projects.
The first of them is Scrum. This methodology is based on agile and it is about the cooperation of the Product Owner with the team on a Product Backlog. This is a to-do list with tasks to be done by the team. They are usually divided into short parts, called Sprints. After every Sprint, work is analyzed and tasks are prioritized. And this is how the work looks like until the final effect is achieved.
Kanban is a very popular Agile methodology, based on visual workflow. Usually, when we hear about Kanban we see many post-its and that is true. But right now, Kanban methodology is more virtual, moved to platforms and apps like HeySpace. The project planning phase by this method is very transparent and logical, so no one would feel confused.
The third methodology is Agile Portfolio Management, which is a more traditional method. It makes it easier to break down projects into smaller parts and manage the project. In case of problems, the project manager will easily adapt the project to changes and draw new conclusions.
You know now how to create a project plan, and how a project management plan looks. This knowledge should help you to go through a research phase, organize tasks and finally end a project lifecycle. Don't be afraid of using project management software and good luck!