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The Art of Planning a Project

Written by Andy Trainer – Tue 05 Mar 2013

Basic planning is essential to the development and growth of any business, but knowing how to plan well is a skill in and of itself. A masterpiece can't be made without careful consideration of the tools available, the methods to be employed and the end-target.

No one knows this fact more than a project manager upon whose plans rest entire company endeavours, as we explained in our analysis of the PRINCE2 Planning Theme.

There's a time and a place for spontaneity (ironically) but when it comes to the successful completion of a project, planning is fundamental, which is why it is such a pivotal part of our PRINCE2 Project Management Courses.

So just why is planning so important, especially when project management is concerned? How do you go about it, and within a project, who is responsible for planning what?

Why So Important?

Let's make it clear - when I'm referring to a plan here, I'm not specifically (or necessarily) referring to a formal document associated with any of the major project management methodologies. Instead, I am referring to the general 'concept' of planning but with specific reference to project management.

As such, we'll take a look at the more formal aspects of planning an actual project but also look at the more general planning that can be applied to both projects and other aspects of life.

Firstly with regards to projects, let's take a look at why planning is so important for:

 

Team Members

Psychologically speaking, forward planning makes a huge impact on a worker because it clearly sets out the criteria they must meet in order to be deemed successful. Having that clear set of criteria in mind gives them something to aim toward.

This in turn breeds greater focus and drive and enhances productivity because they are able to see themselves develop step-by-step, identify 'wins' and failures and pinpoint their value within a project.

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