- Step 6: Communicate!
One important aspect of the project plan is the communications plan. This document states such things as:
- Who on the project wants which reports, how often, in what format and using what media
- How issues will be escalated and when
- Where project information will be stored and who can access it
- What new risks have surfaced and what the risk response will include
- What metrics will be used to ensure a quality product is built
- What reserves have been used for which uncertainties.
Once the project plan is complete, it is important that its contents be delivered to key stakeholders. This communication should include such things as:
- Review and approval of the project plan
- Process for changing the contents of the plan
- Next steps - executing and controlling the project plan and key stakeholder roles/responsibilities in the upcoming phases.
Developing a clear project plan takes time. The project manager will probably be tempted to skip the planning and jump straight into execution. However, the traveller who plans the route before beginning a journey ultimately reaches the intended destination more quickly and more easily than the disorganized traveller who gets lost along the way. Similarly, the project manager who takes time to create a clear project plan will follow a more direct route toward project success.
Elizabeth Larson and Richard Larson, co-principals of Watermark Learning, have over 25 years each of experience in business, project management, business analysis and training/consulting
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