Project planning is part of project management, which relates to the use of schedules such as Gantt
charts to plan and subsequently report progress within the project environment.
Initially, the project scope is defined and the appropriate methods for completing the project are
determined. Following this step, the durations for the various tasks necessary to complete the work are
listed and grouped into a work breakdown structure. Project planning is often used to organize different
areas of a project, including project plans,work loads and the management of teams and individuals.
The logical dependencies between tasks are defined using an activity network diagram that enables
identification of the critical path. Float or slack time in the schedule can be calculated using project
Then the necessary resources can be estimated and costs for each activity can
be allocated to each resource, giving the total project cost. At this stage, the project schedule may be
optimized to achieve the appropriate balance betweenresource usage and project duration to comply
with the project objectives. Once established and agreed, the project schedule becomes what is known
as the baseline schedule. Progress will be measured against the baseline schedule throughout the life of
the project. Analyzing progress compared to the baseline schedule is known asearned value
The inputs of the project planning phase include the project charter and the concept proposal. The
outputs of the project planning phase include the project requirements, the project schedule, and
the project management plan.
The Project Planning Process
To help staff and delegates better understand and implement the project planning process,
the Federation is setting up a standardized training package which incorporates the project
cycle management methodology and well-known tools such as the Logical Framework. Once
the training itself and the materials used have been tested, the training initiative may be
extended to National Society personnel.
The project planning methodology will be tailored to the needs of the Red Cross Red Crescent
and applicable to both relief & developmentinterventions. The training aims to simplify planning
methods and to provide the Red Cross Red Crescent with a common approach and
terminology for the different documents and projects produced, i.e. CAS/RAS, appeals,
donors’ grant proposals, etc.
The Federation’s training programme will include the following three
Project planning process (PPP). Adaptation of existing planning
methodology and development of tools that match Red Cross Red
Crescent needs, with simple and standardized formats for
programme/project managers. This system should respond to our
diverse planning, implementation and reporting needs.
PPP training module (40h) development and testing. A standard
training course on the use of the Red Cross Red Crescent project
Interactive PPP CD-ROM. An interactive CD-ROM will be distributed to
the participants of the training module, to help them put the planning
methodology into practice. The idea is to develop basic software which
allows the user to develop a programme/project proposal applying the
PPP step by step. After drafting one master proposal, the user will be
able to print it in the different Red Cross Red Crescent formats or those
required by each donor (e.g., CAS/RAS, appeals, operational plans,
ECHO proposals, etc.). The CD ROM also contains a detailed
handbook which is designed to be used in conjunction with
the CD ROM. The CD ROM exists in English, French and Spanish. The
contents of the handbook are as follows:
Project cycle management
Levels of planning
Project planning process
1. Analysis of the situation
Step 1. Stakeholders’ analysis
Step 2. Internal analysis
Step 3. Problem analysis
Step 4. Analysis of objectives
Step 5. Strategy analysis
Step 6. The overall goal
Step 7. The project objective
Step 8. The project’s expected results
Step 9. The project’s activities
Step 10. Resources, sources and costs
Step 11. Preconditions, assumptions and risks
Step 12. Designing the evaluation system
Step 13. Sustainability analysis
Step 14. The project’s plan of action
Step 15. The project’s budget
3. Implementation and management
Summary of how the handbook presents the Project
The first two
chapters of the
levels of planning.
As we have
there are many
different levels of
and each plan has
varying levels of
processes – at
whatever level –
have the same
as shown in the
figure on the
1. Analysis of the situation
This section explains why and how the planning team should identify, in
the most accurate and comprehensive manner possible, the reality of the
situation in the location where the planned intervention will take place: its
main elements, key issues and characteristics of the community/group. It
should also take into account the “internal” characteristics of the team
and/or organization. An important point is that the analysis of the
situation should be done in the most participatory way possible
incorporating representatives from all stakeholders.
2. Programming: the logical framework planning matrix
Once the situation has been analysed, identified and understood, the
team should establish concrete objectives and outline the steps or
actions that should be followed, and the necessary resources and
organization, to achieve them in an effective and efficient manner. This
requires the establishment of proper indicators for these objectives.
3. Project implementation and management
This section examines the most important moment for a planning team: when
the programming really makes sense and becomes a reality. The team has to
put in place the intervention that has been planned, and to manage and monitor
the whole process.
This section explains how the evaluation of the planning process allows
the team to know if what they planned was implemented and, therefore, if
the objectives were achieved and to what degree. The evaluation should
cover the entire process of planning, not just come in at the end. During
the programming, the team should design an evaluation system that
includes different measures to appraise the planning process before
implementation, to monitor the process during implementation and
correct certain measures if necessary, and to evaluate the results after
implementation. This “after implementation” evaluation is not a “final”
evaluation. Rather, it should be considered as the initial point for a new
planning process, because the results of this evaluation will allow the
team to improve planning and increase the quality and effectiveness* of
The diagram below will help you to understand the concepts
explained above and to see at a glance the links between the
different levels of planning and the process as a cycle:
As a result of this initiative, it is expected that:
Programme/project managers have the knowledge and tools to apply
the PPP approach;
The quality of programme/project proposals and their implementation
and reporting improves;
Planning standards and common terminology are established;
Planning training is tailored to the Federation’s, National Societies’ and
donors’ needs and requirements;
The Federation’s planning system is harmonized with its different
partners and donors; and
In the long term, and after a certain period of training and implementing
the PPP, National Societies will improve their income generation and fund-
raising, the quality of their programmes/projects and their reporting
Steps involved in project planning
The life cycle of a project has five stages.
Stage 1: Visualizing, Selling, Initiating the Project
The only effective way to get buy–in for your idea is to link it to what’s important to the person you are approaching,
and demonstrate that you are openly soliciting his or her input. It’s a rare person who will immediately accept an idea
without being involved in shaping the concept.
Stage 2: Planning the Project
Assuming the project concept and feasibility have been determined, the “Plan-Do- Check-Act” cycle (see figure
below) is directly applicable to project planning and management.
Using the PDCA cycle for projects
Stage 3: Designing the Processes and Outputs (Deliverables)
When the project is approved, the project team proceeds with the content design and with the procurements needed
to implement the project.
The design process includes defining:
• The monitoring method.
• Status reporting protocols.
• Evaluation criteria.
• Design of the ultimate processes and outputs.
• Implementation schedules.
Stage 4: Implementing and Tracking the Project
The project design team may also implement the project, possibly with the help of additional personnel. A trial or test
implementation may be used to check out the project design and outputs to determine if they meet the project
Using the planned reporting methods, the implementation team monitors the project and reports on its status to
appropriate interested parties at designated project milestones. Measurements of interim results may also be
communicated to interested parties. The implementation team makes any course corrections and trade–offs that may
be necessary and are approved.
Stage 5: Evaluating and Closing Out the Project
The implementation team officially closes the project when the scheduled tasks have been completed.
Usually evaluations are done to determine:
• Objectives met versus objectives planned.
• Actual tasks and events scheduled versus planned.
• Resources used versus planned resource usage.
• Costs versus budget.
• Organizational outcomes achieved versus planned outcomes; any unplanned outcomes.
• Effectiveness of project planning team (optional).
• Effectiveness of implementation team (optional).
• Team’s compilation of project documents, evaluations and lessons learned.
The project is then officially closed out. Team participants are recognized for their contributions, and the team is
For some types of projects, many organizations find a post-implementation assessment of the outcomes achieved
from implementing the project, several months after project completion, is valuable.
Outputs and Outcomes
Frequently the terms “outputs” and “outcomes” are used as if their meanings were interchangeable. But they aren’t.
• Outputs are what the project produces. Project outputs may be an improved process, installation of a new
machine, a benchmarking study, etc. Outputs of the project team process itself may be project plans and
supporting documents, status reports and the like.
• Outcomes are the effects that the implementation of the project has on the overall organization, and
should support the strategic direction of the organization. Outcomes may consist of measurable improvements in
customer satisfaction, profits or cost containment, improved market position and market penetration, etc. For
ease of understanding, outcomes are usually expressed as dollar values.
12 Steps to Planning a Project
June 13, 2012
Who doesn’t love a checklist? We use them every day from a simple list of groceries that we check off at
the store to a comprehensive flight readiness checklist that is done before a pilot takes off. But, there are
few people that love checklists as much as project managers.
After all, aren’t your project plans just one big checklist of things that need to be marked off in order to
complete the project? Whatever doesn’t fit on the project plan checklist is then stored on our daily to-do
checklist that we keep by our side at all times.
Use this Checklist to Avoid Missing Critical Planning Steps
The following checklist of 12 activities for planning a project can serve as a reference for new project
managers and a reminder for those that may be more experienced. It’s good to run down this list from
time to time to make sure you haven’t missed a critical step when it comes to planning a project.
1. Define the Scope
This is an important first step in planning a project because it answers the question of what it is that needs
to be completed. This scope needs to clearly articulate and define what this project looks like, why it’s
important, what it needs to accomplish, and roughly when it needs to be complete.
2. Identify Your Project Supporters
The project that is defined from above must have sponsors or stakeholders that the completion of this
project is important to. Find out who these people are. They may be funding the project, or have the
influence necessary to keep the project moving forward when the going gets tough. Establish a
relationship with this group of people and communicate with them on a regular basis about the good, the
bad, and the ugly that is happening with your project. Their vested interest will help you get more done
with less aggravation.
3. Determine Resources that Are Available
Based upon the scope defined in Step 1, you should have a
pretty good idea of what type of resources will be needed to complete the project. Are they technical in
nature? Do they need a special skill set or training? Are they already on-site and available or will they
need to be hired or contracted in order to complete the project? This will give you a good sense of what
you will need to do fill in any major gaps when it comes to resources planning.
4. Check the Timeline
A big part of planning a project is to understand the timeline that has been associated with a project. In a
perfect world, the scope and resources available should determine how long the project will take. But, we
all know that many times this is not the case. Market pressures will accelerate how fast a project needs to
be finished in order to compete with new technology. Or, perhaps a salesperson committed a date to a
client in order to get the deal without really knowing what it takes. Get a sense of what you are dealing
with so you can determine if it will be feasible with what you have in place already or if creative project
planning will be necessary.
5. List the Big Steps
This is a simple way of saying to start putting together your Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). However
you breakdown your WBS (deliverable, service, hybrid, etc.) you need to start thinking about those
activities and deliverables that are big and discrete enough to go along the top level of this hierarchy. This
will help you determine whether you have captured “the big picture” of what needs to be done to complete
6. Break Down the Smaller Steps
Once you’ve determined what the big steps are, now break them
down into smaller chunks of bite-size work that can be doled out to the team. For example, one of the Big
Steps from Step 5 above may be Documentation Complete. The smaller steps would then consist of
deliverables along the lines of Technical Manual, Release Notes, and Training Manual. This could be
broken down even further into Write Manual, Design Manual, and Print Manual. This process helps
ensure each deliverable is seen to its completion.
7. Develop a Draft Plan
When it comes to planning a project, at this point you know what the project is, how long you have to do
it, the resources that are available, and roughly what needs to be done. This is when you put together a
DRAFT plan. This is your first stab at combining the dates, deliverables, and resources together. It’s the
time to identify dependencies and include them in the plan At this point you are working on the plan in a
vacuum. That’s why it’s called a draft plan. Because, the moment it sees the light of day and your team
gets their eyes on it, they will identify all the things you missed or got wrong. That’s what Step #8 is for.
8. Create your Baseline Project Plan
Now that you have the draft complete, you want the feedback from
your team. Review it with them. Let them know your thought process when it comes to planning a project
of this type. Let them think about it and then listen to their feedback. They will recognize areas that you
may have missed, are technically impossible, or may conflict (or benefit from) some other initiative that is
already in progress. Take it all in, weigh each suggestion against your experience and discretion, and
then develop version 1.0 of the project plan.
9. Refine the Plan Based upon Reality
Now that the plan is moving forward, reflect and refine based upon the reality of what is actually
happening on the project. Are things going well or running behind? Make adjustments accordingly. This
can be either to the plan or to how the plan is being executed, for example, bringing on more resources to
complete it on time or reducing the scope and moving some deliverable to a future phase.
10. Monitor Progress
Progress will need to be something that is constantly monitored on a daily basis. Is the plan staying on
track? Are issues being addressed and resolved in a timely manner? It’s your job as a project manager in
planning a project to include how progress and success will be monitored throughout the duration of the
project, one of the best methods will be project planning online to monitor progress against plans.
11. Document Everything
Planning a project has to do as much with understanding that things will change as it does putting the
original plan together. Make sure you keep up with these changes in writing and update documentation to
reflect reality frequently. There’s nothing worse than someone realizing way into the project that they were
working off the wrong version of the specification document or project schedule and find themselves
separated from where the rest of the team was heading.
12. Keep Everyone Up-to-Date
Finally, you need to include mechanisms in your project plan that will keep everyone up-to-date. It may be
a simple “everything is just fine” message that is blasted out to anyone and everyone interested in the
progress of the project to an emergency conference call in order to address a problem that just arose.
Don’t leave the communication plan to chance. If you do, people that need to know and that can help with
the success of the project may not have the information they need to assist.
NAME: SHAIKH ZAIN IQBAL
SUBJECT: MICRO-ECONOMICS – I
TOPIC: STEPS INVOLVED IN PROJECT
PROF-IN-CHARGE: PROF. SAUMYA
COLLEGE: ST.ANDREW’S COLLEGE