Project planning 101 for publicsectorpm v2
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Project planning 101 for publicsectorpm v2



An introduction to project planning. These are the slides that I use for the half day project planning course that I run.

An introduction to project planning. These are the slides that I use for the half day project planning course that I run.



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  • Nice preso. For your readers that may not wish to (or do not own) Microsoft Project but have access to Microsoft Excel, I humbly offer a freely downloadable Excel Project Planning template on my blog. Initially, I struggled with creating project plans using various tools… and realized that sharing project communication was difficult if members and stakeholders didn't own MS Project. Then I created a microsoft excel project planning template that incorporates a visual project Gantt. The template is available for download at no charge at
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Project planning 101 for publicsectorpm v2 Project planning 101 for publicsectorpm v2 Presentation Transcript

  • Project planning 101 Dec 22 nd 2010
  • Overview
    • Ice breaker
    • What is a project?
    • Why bother to plan?
    • What is a project plan?
    • When to create a plan
    • How to plan
    • Project planning techniques
      • Product based planning
      • Planning poker
      • GANNT charts with MS project
      • Resource usage
      • Bubble charts
  • Ice breaker
    • Interview person sat next to you. Find out:
      • Their job title and department
      • Why they signed up for the course
      • Their proudest career moment to date
      • What hobbies they’re into
  • What is a project?
    • Projects exist whenever people work to achieve a ‘one-off’ defined objective. A project:
    • has a start and an end
    • is often completed by a multi-disciplinary team
    • has constraints of cost, time and quality
    • has a scope of work that is unique and involves uncertainty
    • Examples include
    • New website
    • New building
  • Why bother to plan?
    • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
    • Without a plan, how do you know…
      • what needs to be done?
      • Who is taking responsibility for what?
      • Whether the project is achievable on time?
  • What is a project plan?
    • At its simplest, it’s a to do list
    • List of products which a project will produce, with start and end dates, and the person responsible for their production
    • Plan tells you who is doing what, by when
    • Additional complexity can be added to more detailed stage plans:
      • Dependencies between products (you cant put the roof on before you’ve built the walls)
      • Further breakdown of activities required to produce a particular product
  • When should I create a plan?
    • Plans must be created during the start up phase of a project, and reviewed and updated throughout the project.
    • High level plan is created for the project initiation document (PID)
    • Important that as detailed a plan as possible is created with the PID, and that all resources confirm up front that they can complete the work in the required timescale… Otherwise you are setting the project up to fail!
  • How to plan
    • You must plan collaboratively!
    • If you produce a project plan at your desk without consulting anyone….
      • It will take longer
      • It’s unlikely to be accurate
      • You wont get the buy-in of your colleagues
      • The plan wont be adhered to!
  • Product breakdown structure Breakdown of the things you need to produce to complete the project Project product External product Product group Source: Prince2 ( )
  • Product flow diagram shows which order the products need to be produced in (dependencies) Source: Prince2 ( )
  • Exercise 1
    • Produce a product breakdown structure for a new website project
    • Use no more than 10 products
  • Planning poker
    • Get the project team together and consider each product in turn
    • Each team member estimates how long the product will take to produce without discussing it with other team members:
    • 1d, 2d, 3d, 5d, 8d, 13d, 21d, 34d, or 55d
    • Team members then reveal their estimates and discuss. You then repeat the process until you can all agree on a figure for each product.
  • Exercise 2
    • Estimate the amount of effort required to produce the website using the planning poker technique (group exercise)
  • GANNT charts
    • You know what you need to produce
    • You know the order that things need to be produced in
    • Its time to load everything up into a GANNT chart
    • You can use MS project for this
  • Producing plans in MS project
    • Tasks, milestones, dependencies, resources
    • Reviewing your resource usage
    • Quality check list
  • Tasks, milestones, dependencies, resources
  • Exercise 3
    • Produce a GANNT chart in MS Project for two of the new website products
  • Planning in stages
    • For larger projects (longer than 3 months) its advisable to plan in stages
    • At the end of each stage, hold a stage review (sometimes called a gate review) to:
      • Confirm previous stage was adequately completed
      • Agree detailed plans for the next stage
      • Key decision point – is the business case still valid, should we continue with the project?
    • Where possible, aim to deliver something usable to the business at the end of each stage - don’t just save up all of the project output for one big ‘go live’ date. This enables the business to start realising project benefits early, motivates the project team and ensures that the right products are delivered at the right time.
  • Planning quality check list
    • Produced the plan collaboratively using the planning workshop approach?
    • Identified all project products using product based planning techniques?
    • Produced effort estimates for all products using the planning poker technique?
    • Broken your project down into stages enabling the early delivery of business benefits?
    • Produced a MS project GANNT chart?
    • Ensured that the amount of work figure is correct for all tasks?
  • Resource usage
  • Bubble charts – effective communication of plans