Vital Tips for Project Planning

Every project needs a robust plan underpinning it. That plan should be in place long before you even think about taking your project live. This applies whether you’re using the waterfall management method or lean towards the Agile method. Without a plan, your project will fail. As such, accurate, correct planning is absolutely vital. It can also be difficult to do, even for experienced PMs with the help of fully engaged stakeholders. Here are a few vital tips to help you plan your project correctly.
Visual Aids Are Important
A picture is worth a thousand words, goes the old adage, and that’s definitely true in the world of project management. You need visual aids to help you and your team members visualize the sequential process of moving from one task to another throughout the lifespan of the project. In a nutshell, this is really nothing more than a diagram showing the progress from one task to another, as well as the dependencies between each task. With visual aids, the path forward is much clearer. While you might think that you have an accurate mental picture of what needs to happen and how things will play out, having a physical representation is important.
Know the Time Constraints
Projects are time sensitive, as are the individual tasks that make up the project. Each task will require a specific amount of time to complete, and that completion (and even starting the task) will hinge on whether or not the preceding task was concluded correctly. Know how long each task should take, and then build in additional time for possible problems that you might not have anticipated. Your total time allotted per task should be based on calendar time, effort and duration. With a proper assessment of task duration, you’ll have an accurate overview of how long the entire project should take to complete (and, yes, should is the key word there).

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