Who should get a copy of the Project Plan document?

Once we create the project plan, and the document that summarizes everything the project's going to do, who should get a copy of it?
Well, who do you want to know about your project, actively support it, and not inadvertently impact it through commission or omission? (The answer to the question above is one of common sense.) Unfortunately, though, the question does come up, because the perception of the Project Plan document sometimes gets divorced from common sense. It gets a bad rap as a big pile of overhead, a thing that must be done, with the reasons behind it obscured. The Project Plan document needs to be broadly communicated to all who are associated with the project, including those sponsoring the work, those providing resources to the team, anyone else who has a stake in the outcome or the ability to influence the project for ill or good, and especially those who are doing the work.

The plan provides a summary of:

  • the team's approach to achieve the objectives in terms of cost, schedule, and resources,
  • how the effort will be managed,
  • how progress and results will be communicated,
  • the methods to be used by the various functional groups associated with the effort.

Broad communication of the completed and approved plan will give everyone involved a better understanding of what the team is working to accomplish, what support they owe, who they need to make available for the project, etc. The communication of the project plan and other project information needs to be defined during the planning phase. Use your judgment and give a copy to anyone who can help or hurt your project!

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