To create a thorough project plan, it is important to address seven key questions or areas.
They are the following:
- Where are we? What is the baseline situation? Which resources and information do we have?
- Why? Why do we want to implement the project? Project Justification
- What? What exactly do we want to do?
- Who? Who is needed to implement and plan the project?
- How? How do we want to implement it?
- What is the timeline? How long will it take? When do we want to start?
- What is the budget? How much do we have to spend on it? How much do we want to spend on which task?
Where are we?
Before proceeding with a project plan, it is important to analyze the current situation in the area where the project will be implemented. This includes assessing the available resources and information, as well as the organization’s position. To determine the current situation, ask yourself additional questions such as:
- What information do you already have?
- Which points are clear and which are unclear?
- Who is already involved in the project?
- What did already happen?
- Which strengths and weaknesses should be considered?
When preparing a project plan, it’s important to analyze your organization’s current status and position on the matter you want to address. By doing this thoroughly, you’ll gather all the information you need to present the project to others. However, it’s important not to rush the process. Take the time to assess the resources you already have at your disposal so that you can avoid unnecessary investments.
When proposing a project for your organization, it’s important to consider the expertise that already exists within the field. You don’t have to start from scratch as there may already be a body of work to build upon. Take advantage of the experiences that are available within your organization and learn from them. Remember, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
Why this project?
The question about why this project is the justification question. In this part, you have to explain the reasons for the project.
- Why is the project necessary?
- Which benefit will the project have?
- Which positive effects will the project have?
- Which new chances could open up because of the project?
When attempting to persuade a donor, your boss or the project’s board of directors, the project plan’s most essential component may be this one. This is where you can demonstrate that you have a clear understanding of the situation and the current requirements of your beneficiaries, and as a result, can create a plan that meets those needs precisely. If you can articulate that your project is necessary and will address an urgent need, your project plan will be successful.
As you may already be aware, the justification section is a crucial component that must be well-developed in every proposal you submit. When requesting funds, it is essential to provide a clear explanation of why the money is needed and why it should be given. By putting in the effort to create a strong justification, you can streamline the process of turning your project plan into a proposal and avoid unnecessary work.
Examine the question “why” from various perspectives and consider the impacts and advantages of this undertaking for your company, as well as how it will propel it forward.
What do we want to achieve?
Clarifying your goals and interests for your project is crucial. It ensures that there are no misunderstandings or misconceptions from the start. Everyone should have a clear understanding of your expected outcomes and what you want to achieve. If there is any room for confusion, consider outlining what your project will not entail to further clarify its scope.
It’s essential to define your objectives and aspirations for your project. Doing so from the very beginning helps avoid any confusion or misinterpretation. Once others have read this section of your project plan, they should have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve and your desired outcomes. If you’re concerned about any ambiguity, it may be helpful to outline what is not a goal of your project to clarify its scope.
Also, even if it is tempting sometimes, overselling a project and what it can achieve is not a good idea precisely because of that reason. If you want to convince your board or coworkers that your project plan is a good idea, sometimes you might get too enthusiastic and promise things the project cannot realistically achieve. Try to avoid that because even though it might help your pitch, it will only lead to conflict and disappointments in the latter stages of the project.
When developing your project plan, consider the time and resources available to you. Set various levels of expected outcomes and outputs, and establish clear goals for the project. If there is potential for misunderstandings, it may be helpful to specify what will not be achieved within the scope of the project as outlined in your plan.
When developing your project plan, it’s important to consider the time and resources available and create various levels of expected outcomes and goals. It may be helpful to clarify what the project will not achieve if there is any potential for misunderstanding based on the scope outlined in the plan.
Who will be involved?
As part of the project plan, it is important to provide a detailed explanation of the individuals involved. This includes members of your organization and their respective roles, as well as members of the target community or other stakeholders who will be participating in the proposed project.