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What is a Project Management Plan and why is it important to have one?

The WorkflowMax blog is here to help readers continue to grow their project management knowledge. We recently released our Essential Guide to Project Management and will be featuring segments of the guide in the blog moving forward.

What is a Project Management Plan?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines a Project Management Plan as a formal approved document that lays out the overarching strategy for how a project will be executed, monitored and controlled.

Planning is critical for any project’s success, but it does not exist in isolation. It’s part of the project management cycle, developed by the Project Management Institute and consists of five critical phases: conception, initiation, planning, execution, and closure.

The five project phases make up the life cycle of any project. Each phase should be tailored to meet the specific project requirements. The phases of a project’s life cycle will define:

  • What work must be accomplished
  • What deliverables must be generated and reviewed
  • Who must be involved
  • How to control and approve each phase

Project managers need to think through these core areas before they embark on writing a plan. Understanding these areas will take a project from start to finish and help project manager’s identify what needs to be achieved before moving onto the next phase of a delivery.

A Project Management Plan (PMP) is a living and breathing document, evolving seamlessly alongside the project. From the outset, break your PMP into clear parts. The PMP that you create should be accessible to all project members as it is the primary tool of communication.

Online cloud-based project management software (like WorkflowMax), offers many benefits and advantages for project management and planning. The ability to access while on the go via the mobile app, to track time, see project progress and performance, all in one place, makes it very effective.

Why is it important to have a project plan?

Project Management Plans organise and contain complex and interconnected threads of information. No single person can store and retain all the detailed elements of a large project. Perhaps you’re working on a project right now. A new website for your client, the rebrand you've been engrossed in, the slick new packaging campaign that's being rolled out next week, a series of layered corporate events. What links all projects is a multiplicity of threads. All projects require that things get done in a time saving and efficient way.

Here are a few more reasons why it's important to have a Project Management Plan:

  • Creates order in chaos
  • Creates a schedule
  • Encourages teamwork
  • Makes the most of resources and controls cost
  • Manages integration
  • Helps to manage quality & change
  • Generates knowledge that can be used again

Want to learn more about Project Management?  We have created an Essential Guide to Project Management to help you to be an effective Project Manager. It’s free and you can access it here.

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Andrew Solley
Andrew Solley is the Marketing Coordinator for WorkflowMax. Having worked as an Account Manager for WorkflowMax previously, he has a good understanding of the product and our customers. Growing up with several family members running their own project based businesses, it was only natural for Andrew to be involved in Project Management.

Andrew Solley

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