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PRINCE2 Project Plans

by Melanie Peterson

All projects start with a project plan.

Project managers need to understand the nature of the activity underpinning their project to design successful project-scoping action, planning and communication. As outlined on a prince2 course qualification London.

Project plans are typically identified through discussions with functional directors or project sponsors.

Project plans may be comprehensive or comprehensive but typically agree to the maximum quantity and scope. Defining the scope or deliverables stage far exceeds the self-evident need to show “what’s in it for me”.

A truly comprehensive plan should contain the following:

  • An analysis of the project using concise but in-depth, itemised statements.
  • The expected outcome and what the business case is for that outcome.
  • Then we may go into greater detail regarding the details of the activities within each category.
  • The key facts and figures will be taken under consideration in the decision process.
  • All major assumptions / projections are clearly specified.

This type of process is excellent to use as a baseline against which progress can be measured and projected.

Project plans are generally produced for short initial periods during which the schedule is finalized, or a product-specific scope definition adopted.

Effective project-scoping plans must make explicit assumptions; these are the complexities of the unknown activities.

Project planning is a significant management milestone. It defines the outcome of the project’s aims and how the project is to be organised and funded for the duration of the project.

Critical Project Issues and Problems

A project plan can be a good tool for resolving project or programme stage issues. The nature of processes and the more significant issues around the planning process itself is the central analytically- quiz to the programme and resource potentially focused on cost reduction.

Some questions that should be asked when developing plans for the project at hand, in its entirety, are:-

  • What is the projected amount of time to complete it?
  • What financial resources / resource-utilisation are needed to achieve that project outcome?
  • What root costs are being developed?
  • What projected results are expected over a 24-12month period?

Thinking about these fundamental issues gives more structure to the project, improves management delegation and provides external readiness. Unfortunately, many project plans previously produced with such an imprecise structure remain unused. By the time the future reality of the plan is realised, the difficulties have been lost.  Human capital has been spent but with no guaranteed result.  In addition to this, the risks have not been adequately considered, nor assessed, nor budgeted for. Without examining the intrinsic performance modus operandi, the project plan has little idea of its performance.

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