International Project Management Day




IT Project Plan Document


Quick Summary
A project plan outline explaining how a project will be executed and monitored, in this case an IT or software development project. Covers management of scope, schedule, cost, quality, process improvement, staffing, communication, risk, and more.


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What this is

A project plan outline explaining how a project will be executed and monitored. Project plans define how the team will work together to deliver the project's scope. It may be a detailed document describing the management approach, or a summary pointing to a variety of other planning documents. This template takes a middle path between those options, by outlining key strategic guidelines and referring to other documents where appropriate. It includes several sections particularly useful for managing IT projects.


Why it's useful

Project management plans include a definition of scope and project deliverables, a plan for managing the project's schedule, the cost management approach, a quality assurance strategy, resource planning guidelines, and a variety of other key project details. After reviewing the plan, all project stakeholders should have a solid understanding of the approach of the project management initiative. This is useful for setting stakeholder expectations.

The plan also helps the project team better understand project details, especially during the initial stages of project planning. It also creates the foundation for building the project's schedule, as well as a means of identifying project risks and constraints. Finally, it provides a means of evaluation and control during project development, and a framework for project approval and completion.

The project manager should use this document as a guide for continually evaluating and maintaining the project's health.


How to use it

  1. Create a summary version of this document early during the planning phase. At minimum, this summary version should include a basic scope definition, high-level timelines, resource needs, and key project risks. Request input from the project team and key stakeholders.
  2. Add additional detail throughout the planning phase. The project management plan is a living document, and it should be updated to reflect any new direction for the project. Again, request input for this more detailed version from the project team and key stakeholders.
  3. Get approval of the plan from the project sponsor, stakeholders, team before beginning project execution. Don't thwart your team's effort with a plan that does not have buy-in and support from all involved parties.
  4. Once the plan is approved, refer to the plan regularly, to verify that the project is meeting expectations.
About the Author

Sinikka L. Waugh, PMP, is the founder and head coach of the project management coaching firm Your Clear Next Step, L.L.C. Sinikka is an actively practicing project management consultant, known for consistently helping teams find innovative ways to leverage effective project strategies across multiple disciplines and technologies. With over 10 years in project roles (primarily program manager, project manager, and business analyst) Sinikka has successfully applied project and leadership expertise to improve project performance in a wide variety of industries, including publishing, education, product fulfillment and distribution, insurance, event and travel management, human resources, and financial services. As a coach, Sinikka's down-to-earth, Òtry this nowÓ approach blends with her passion for helping others improve. Her energetic and engaging style helps make both the art and science of project management accessible to those she works with.

Sinikka holds a BA from Central College, an MA from the University of Iowa, and is a certified Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute.


This template requires a Premium Subscription
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Related Templates
User Impact Assessment (IT)
This template guides the team through an assessment of the user impacts of technology changes, to enable better planning and communication and a smoother deployment experience for everyone.

Project Plan Signoff Checklist
This checklist helps the project manager and other stakeholders ensure the plan and high-level design are truly complete before officially signing off on the design and planning phase of a project.



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