What is a Project Management Plan, and How Do You Write One?
A Project Management Plan is often referred to
as a Gantt chart or a Schedule by many professions. Professionals who bring
this misunderstanding into the PMP® certification exam have the lowest chance
of passing. A Project Management Plan is a document that specifies how a
project is completed, monitored, and managed; it is much more than a schedule
chart, as you will see in this article. A thorough grasp of the project plan
can be highly beneficial in studying for the PMP®certification exam and managing projects.
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What is a Project Management Plan, and why do you need one?
Following input from the project team and key stakeholders, the project manager creates the project management plan. A project management plan is a formal, approved document that details the project's execution, monitoring, and control. Baselines, subsidiary management plans, and other planning papers may be included in a summary or detailed document. This document is used to define the project team's approach to delivering the project's targeted project management scope.
The project's performance is monitored against the performance measurement baseline specified in the project management strategy as work progresses. The performance measurement baseline is made up of the scope baseline, schedule baseline, and cost baseline. If a deviation from the baseline occurs during the job, the project manager addresses it by making modifications to remedy the deviation. If these adjustments fail to correct the deviations, official baseline change requests will be required.
Project managers devote a significant amount of time to ensuring that baselines are met and that the project sponsor and the organization benefit fully from their projects. A project manager's competencies include appropriate planning and efficient project control, and ensuring project deliverables are on time—and that the project is finished according to the project management plan.
Related read: How is Earned Value Calculated in Project Management?
What Constituents a Project Management Plan?
A project management plan is made up of several different baselines and subsidiary plans, such as:
- Scope, schedule, and cost baselines
- Project management prepares for the following aspects: scope and schedule, costs, quality, human resources, communications, risks, and procurement
- Requirement management plan
- Change management plan
- Configuration management plan
- Process improvement plan
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Developing a Project Management Plan
The project management plan is an output of the Develop Project Management Plan procedure in the Project Integration Management Knowledge Area, according to the PMBOK® Guide.
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The project management strategy isn't made in one sitting. It is developed, refined, revisited, and updated as it is further developed, refined, revisited, and updated. Because the project management plan ties all of the knowledge area management plans together, it must be put together after all of the component plans have been completed.
The majority of the project management plan's components are formed in the PMBOK® Guide's various processes; for example, the Communications Management Plan is created in the Plan communications process.
The Develop Project Management Plan process, on the other hand, creates the Schedule Management Plan, Cost Management Plan, and Scope Management Plan. When the starting process group makes a project charter, it includes a summary of scope, budget, and a summary (milestone) schedule.
You can go ahead and construct the scope management plan, cost management plan, and schedule management plan because you already have these items before you start developing the project plan. You can amend the components of the project plan with greater information later, when you execute the Plan Scope, Estimate Costs, and Develop Schedule processes, to reflect a deeper understanding of the project.
Approval of the Project Management Plan
Because the project management plan is a formal document used to govern the project's execution, it must be approved in writing. The organizational structure and some other criteria influence who approves the project management plan.
The project management plan document is usually not approved by the customer or the organization's top management. The customer signs the contract, but the internal workings of the project delivery organization are frequently overlooked. Typically, the project manager, sponsor, or functional managers who provide the project's resources approve the project plan.
The approval of the project management plan becomes less hard for a project manager if:
- All stakeholders, as well as their requirements and objectives, are identified.
- Conflicting priorities are handled in advance by the project manager.
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