Ten types of Project Plans – Which type is yours?

Plans Project plans and planning are inevitably a part of any project initiative. In almost all enterprise environments projects are next to impossible to initiate and to execute without a plan. By “plan” I mean any artefact that attempts to define the current and future activities and outcomes for a project. I know there are many who don’t support the idea of a forward looking or deterministic plan, but even those who don’t follow “big plan” methodologies recognise there is value in some level of planning. And in fact very few plans at all ever produce the level of certainty that their stakeholders would wish them to provide. This post focuses more on the communicative and predictive purposes which attempt to answer the questions: “is the project going to complete on time?” and “how do we know what is going to happen?” Regardless of any “standards”, e.g. from a PMO, that might dictate the ideal form and function of a plan, the actual plans that are used day-to-day evolve pragmatically around local stakeholder drivers and influences and are often the lowest common denominator of all inputs that the project can get away with. Very few plans ever get to the stage where they “lead” the project and can be put to use as predictors of the future or can drive discussions about what might need to be done differently...

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