How to Create a Project Plan
A project plan presentation is a visual way or approach to solve an exact problem or reach more opportunities. Attractive slides provide a clearer vision and outline important implications. Most commonly, they are used at the project’s kickoff to get people acquainted with your product, coordinate resources (whether human or material), establish common goals and achievements, and define every side’s task in a specific timeframe. Using project management plan templates is the best way to include all generally discussed and necessary things:
- Executive summary (company description, product & services, marketing plan, funding request, and so on).
- Background: history/problem/opportunity, requirements, suggested solution.
- Proposal: budget, scopes, resources, vision and goals, deliverables, reporting, risks, timeframe, implication, success criteria, authorization.
The pivotal part of your project plan is to create a scope statement. In layman’s words, it is a potential or real work agreement between you and the investor/client. Thus, this outline keeps everybody on the same plan page. It has to include objectives, deliverables, exclusions, constraints, assumptions, and milestones.
Based on this, you gather a team of experts to deliver project success, both full-time and part-time. As for the people involved in the project, you have to mitigate high-level staff as well. They are likely to have assumptions you need to get out. A lot of extra issues appear when assumptions are not worked off, both organizationally and project related.
Speaking about goals and deliverables, make sure you’ve had enough clear talk with the one in charge of the project. When things are not correctly understood, projects get in trouble. If you only assume project purposes and outcomes, you let your team and investors down.
How to Give a Project Management Plan Presentation
When the project plan is ready, it’s high time to present it to investors and all stakeholders. Beware – when it is READY. Many people make a common mistake: they forget about the timing significance and invite stakeholders as soon as they get their project basics. As you can see above, you have so much to do in preparation for that. Do not call for people when you just collected general information. You must have what to give them to meet expectations and induce excitement.
Besides, understand the purpose of presenting your project plan. Investors expect clear data, confident statements, and effective solutions. Do not turn this presentation into a clod of meaningless words. If you were forced to design these slides, we advise you to contact professional custom presentation agency or look for project plan PowerPoint presentation templates. It will free up more time for data collection or speech preparation.
Make sure your presentation includes basic project plan slides and the required filling:
➢ Project Scope (Objectives, deliverables, technical requirements, limits, and exclusions).
➢ Project Team Roles and Responsibilities.
➢ Schedule (milestones, start date, end date, phase percentage breakdown).
➢ Risks (human, operational, financial, technical, and natural) + risk response development and control.
➢ Dependencies and Constraints (technical, management, inter-project, and date constraints).
➢ Budget (total, estimated, and actual expenses).
➢ Communication Plan (audiences and communication message contents).
What is Project Communication Plan
The communication plan is to guarantee the project team prepares and arranges pertinent, credible, precise, and consistent project data for investors and all stakeholders. Such a practice identifies information to communicate, channels of communication, and frequency of messages. Each audience has different key communication messages to be delivered to them in either meetings or emails bi-weekly, weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly.
Overview types of audiences:
- Project stakeholder;
- Project core team;
- Project review team;
- Project staff;
- Project manager.
Consider communication message contents:
- Project plans;
- Status report;
- Project briefing.
At its core, a communication plan is a tool/technique to avoid plenty of understanding you will anyway meet. Every person lives in their own reality. The task of every project manager or lead is to arrange realities of investors with those of your team members. If you do so correctly, you will not spend time resolving conflicts, meeting unrealized expectations, and discovering new project plan gaps at each team briefing.
Traps When Presenting a Project Plan
⊗ Lack of preparation: document all significant data, be confident, and keep track of time.
⊗ Asking investors for real solutions: be limited to feedback, input, or consensus request.
⊗ Be short in the offered options: too many of them may create confusion and no real decision.
⊗ Define the next steps of your cooperation.
Best Practices When Presenting a Project Plan
✓ Start with the end in mind: what would you have the investors do?
✓ Know your audience and their styles: strategic, analytical, visual, data-oriented, etc.
✓ Set a vision: let investors know how your plan will look in real-life results after the suggested solution.
✓ Define success criteria: be concise with what investments you need for this project to succeed.
✓ Get buy-in and sign-off: do not give people a chance to forget what was said or agreed specifically.
✓ Ensure authorized approvers/signers are present: try to get a signature then and there.
Get Your Project Plan Approval
There is a hierarchy within organizations, and your project will have investors, sponsors, or senior executives who want to be aware of what’s going on. Despite your managing role in the project, you have to follow the channel of command. Once you’ve created everything with your team, after the kickoff is finished, as soon as you’ve presented everything back – decision makers approve budgets and ensure your team members can be successful because they can remove roadblocks.
Prepare for lots of negotiations and different assumptions. For example, they expect some phase to be done earlier while you have half of the team sick. We do not mean anything negative to avert you but consider the human factor and gauge the project responsibility. If you perform it correctly, you start executing, do it smoothly, and monitor easily. At last, you can see feedback from all that effort and energy contributed into all points, stages, and slides we described above.