Project planning doesn’t always come easy to everyone. If planning isn’t a part of your nature, it can be a little overwhelming to get started, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the structure of a good project plan.
But project planning enables you to have a roadmap to follow, that takes you from start to finish. It shows you who is involved, what they’re going to do and the order it’s all going to happen. So it pays to know how to create a simple plan for your next project!
So if you’re looking to make project planning a little easier for you, here are 3 tips that will help.
Tip #1: Think about your goals and objectives
Write out your plan and make it as detailed as possible. Start by setting SMART goals – make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. Think about the different steps that are needed, to reach your desired goal and then break them down into milestones along the way. You can then decide on due dates for each milestone and task, to help keep you on track.
Tip # 2: Get clear on your stakeholders and team
Next up, establish who is on your team and your stakeholders. Stakeholders are those individuals and businesses that are actively involved in the project or affected by its completion. You can then assign roles for each – based on their existing workload and availability – as well as deciding who’s in charge of what and how you’re going to communicate with each other during the management of this project.
Tip # 3: Know your tasks and deliverables
What are the deliverables for your project? These are the plans and reports you may need to create along the way, as well as the overall results of your successful project completion. Write them down and describe them in detail. You can then plan out what resources and equipment you need, to work on and complete your project. Don’t forget about time – as that’s a resource you need too!
Keep task dependencies in mind too. In project management, there are 4 standard types of dependencies to consider:
- B can’t start until A has finished
- B can’t finish before A is finished
- B can’t start until A has started
- B can’t finish until A has started
Project planning can be a little overwhelming. But if you plan a project well, you’ve got a higher likelihood of achieving your desired end result.
If you want to make it a little easier to organise and set up, take a look at the different project management tools you can use. My favourites are Smartsheets, Asana and Trello, depending on your project size and type. Most, if not all of these tools, make it very easy to create timelines and dependencies and will often have a free option or trial so you can try them on for size.
If you’re struggling with your workload or available time, whether it comes to project planning or business generally, take a look at The Business Booster No-Brainer tool. It will help you get an overview of where your time & money are going and evaluate which tasks are worthy of your hourly rate, so you can look at which tasks you should be doing to increase productivity and revenue!