Important Questions Project Planning Should Answer

Think of project planning as a process of "asking questions" and working with your team to "get the answers." While the process of defining a project answers some key fundamental questions to get us started such as

  • Why are we doing this project?
  • What is the project supposed to accomplish?
  • Who are the key stakeholders? The sponsor? The customers?

It is the process of "detail planning" a project that allows us to answer the questions we need addressed to implement and manage the project. These important questions focus on both the work to produce the targeted deliverables and on the work to manage the project. Some of these key questions include the following:

  • How exactly will the deliverables be produced?
  • What work tasks must be performed to produce the deliverable?
  • Who will do the work?
  • What other resources (facilities, tools) will we need to do the work?
  • Where will the work occur?
  • How long will it take to do the work?
  • When will the work be done?
  • How much will this project cost?
  • What skills, skill levels, and experience are needed for each role? When do I need them?
  • When do I need each resource? How do I get resources?
  • Who is responsible and accountable for what?
  • How will changes be controlled?
  • How do I ensure acceptable quality in deliverables and in the process?
  • How will I keep stakeholders informed, get their feedback, what mediums are best?
  • How will I track issues? How will critical issues be escalated?
  • How do we handle variances? What is the threshold for senior management? What communications need to occur?


    Always get sign-off from appropriate stakeholders to confirm agreement and understanding.

  • What risks exist? What are our response strategies?
  • How will version control be conducted?
  • How will project information be maintained, secured?
  • How will I manage the project team? What training needs exist? How will their performance be evaluated? How will I orient any new team member?
  • If we are leveraging external resources (vendors, suppliers), how do we manage their performance?
  • How will project performance be measured and reported?
  • And ultimately, do I have a plan that will allow me to execute and control this project?

As we determine these answers, we capture them in the project plan. We can then review the project plan with our key stakeholders to ensure we have agreement and understanding. Let's next step through a typical project plan and review what each section is for and how we go about getting this information.

Part i. Project Management Jumpstart

Project Management Overview

The Project Manager

Essential Elements for any Successful Project

Part ii. Project Planning

Defining a Project

Planning a Project

Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

Estimating the Work

Developing the Project Schedule

Determining the Project Budget

Part iii. Project Control

Controlling a Project

Managing Project Changes

Managing Project Deliverables

Managing Project Issues

Managing Project Risks

Managing Project Quality

Part iv. Project Execution

Leading a Project

Managing Project Communications

Managing Expectations

Keys to Better Project Team Performance

Managing Differences

Managing Vendors

Ending a Project

Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
ISBN: 078973821X
Year: 2006
Pages: 169 © 2008-2020.
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