Project Planning Assignment

A project is a set of definable tasks related to each other. The project has a beginning and end and a budget of money and resources. It should have a clear objective. For the project assignment you will expand the project concept to make a plan for the project. This document is the thing that tells me what your project is, why you are doing it and how you will manage it.
I should have enough information to see what you are doing, why you are doing it and what you need from me. You should assume that you are writing to your boss (me) and that I am the one that will authorize you with a budget and resources to do whatever you are trying to do. You may take the approach that I requested you to look into something since that is common in business and may feel more natural.
This document should be somewhere between 5 and 15 pages plus any appendices, as needed. A plausible outline might be something like this:

  1. Intro
    1. Your company information (I should know who you work for and your role as PM in it.)
    2. Problem
    3. Solution
    4. Justification
  2. Scope of work (WBS)
  3. Team (skillsets, personnel, subcontractors, etc…)
  4. Risk evaluation
    1. Risk management steps (mitigation)
    2. Risk assignment steps
  5. Budget
  6. Schedule
  7. Management plan
    1. Site management
    2. Process management (quality assurance)
    3. People management
    4. Communication management
  8. Other important stuff

The actual appearance and outline will vary based on your project. You can ask me if you want some input on it. A construction project would need to include a site map so that you can show how the site would be organized. Wherever there is physical work to be done, an image showing the layout is probably needed.
The big part of this project is clear scope definition. This should be done in a WBS format. For construction and design, that is the CSI MasterFormat. It may be anything that is logical.
The risk evaluation is important because it helps determine the budget and schedule and the management plan – especially process management.
The budget should include the things necessary to make the project happen but I am not going to get hung up on the correct prices. If you are building a bicycle, I would expect to see tires on your budget but would not check sources to find the real price. Try to get as close as you can to make it as realistic as possible.
The schedule some have enough detail to tell each team member when they are doing certain tasks and how they relate to each other. Projects is probably the most effective way to communicate most schedule. A Gantt chart is probably the best way to portray it. There are exceptions to most rules. The # of items on the schedule may vary from about 15 to over 50 – it will depend on your project. You should show relationships and float on your schedule.
The management plan will likely be the longest part of your plan. It is the system that you will use to ensure that the scope is accomplished within budget, on time and per quality standards.
There is a tendency for some students to use flowery, descriptive language. This is not appropriate here. Stick with the facts and keep it short. A few bullet points is far better than a paragraph of prose prattle. The scope is best done in WBS (hierarchical format), the budget should be in a spreadsheet layout, the schedule a bar chart, and the management plan in lists, bullets, maps, diagrams, etc. Do not tell me that the cool waters of refreshing joy will trickle over my body if I enjoy the fruits of your delightful company’s time saving and provident offering. Just tell me what you want to accomplish and how you will do it.

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