This guideline explains how to create a project plan document—a management summary document that provides project essentials like objectives, justification, and how the objectives are to be achieved (including an overview of the time, costs, and people it will take), as well as describing how the project will be managed. Seventh in a series—see the Related Templates below for the others.
What this is
This is the seventh of a series of guidelines on plan and schedule development. A Project Plan Document is a management summary document that gives the essentials of a project in terms of its objectives, justification, and how the objectives are to be achieved—including an overview of the time, costs, and people it will take to get it done. It should also describe how the project will be conducted and managed, including controlling changes, handling issues, and judging completion.
NOTE: Some people interchange the terms "project schedule" and "project plan." In fact, the project plan expresses more than the schedule aspect of the project. The work breakdown structure and summary of key schedule milestones are included in the project plan, but the project plan and project schedule are not the same.
Why it's useful
The project plan is a communication document. It captures what the team understands the goals of the project to be and what the team has decided to do, how, and by when, to meet those goals.
For large projects involving multiple organizations, the project plan document is useful for capturing in one place all the parameters of the project and providing it to multiple organizations. It can evolve and be used as a working document and communication tool during the early project investigation and planning work, as the team works through aspects of the project.
For smaller projects, a very streamlined version of the project plan can be created. The same benefits hold: clearly stating what the project must accomplish and how the team will do so, and making sure all the involved team members and their organizations are on the same page.
How to use it
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