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The purpose of the Plans theme is to facilitate communication and control by defining the means of delivering the products (the where and how, by whom, and estimating the when and how much).
Effective project management relies on effective planning as without a plan there is no control. Planning provides all personnel involved in the project with information on:
- What is required
- How it will be achieved and by whom, using what specialist equipment and resources
- When events will happen
- Whether the targets (for time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits) are achievable.
The development and maintenance of credible plans provides a baseline against which progress
can be measured. They enable planning information to be disseminated to stakeholders in order to secure any commitments which support the plan.
PRINCE2 approach to plans
The development following activities will be used to create all levels of plan:
- Design the plan
- Define and analyse the products
- Identify activities and dependencies
- Prepare estimates
- Prepare the schedule
- Document the Plan
- Analyse the risks
Plans are produced at three levels in a PRINCE2 project.
- Initiation Stage Plan – this plan covers the activities of the initiation stage for the project.
- Project plan – this is the high level overall plan that covers the full duration of the project.
- Stage plan– this is an extract of the project plan covering a specific stage with more detail.
- Team plan – this is an optional plan which would contain a more detailed breakdown of a section of the stage plan for use by a team when developing certain products.
- Exception plan – when a plan is predicted to no longer finish within the agreed tolerances, an exception plan is produced to replace that plan.
- Benefits review plan – covers activities during and after the project to determine achievement of benefits.