What is meant by Project Planning and why we need a detailed project plan for every project - Essay Example

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Download file to see previous pages The present study would focus on project planning as an essential part of project management. It refers to the use of specialised tools such as Gantt Charts in order to plan and monitor the progress of a project. The use of project planning ensures that the project environment is stewarded continuously so that any known and unknown risks are monitored and dealt with in order to optimise the project cost and schedule. Typically, project planning begins with the definition of project scope. This ensures that fitting methods are determined in order to take the project to completion. Once project scope is well defined, the next step is to define activity structure. The various tasks required to execute the project are listed down as activities and the estimated time for these activities is listed down. These activities are grouped together and the resulting structure is known as the work breakdown structure (WBS). The WBS provides a fitting insight to how various tasks and activities are fitted together in terms of their dependencies on each other. Generally, the WBS tasks and activities are defined through the use of an activity network diagram. This tool allows the determination of the critical path which in turn provides information regarding:
- all activities and tasks needed to complete the project that are arranged within a WBS;
- the duration of time required to complete these activities and tasks;
- the various kinds of dependencies between various tasks and activities.

This optimisation is carried out in order to comply with the overall project goals and objectives. This process is known as resource levelling and it is carried out to ensure that all activities and tasks are carried out with the optimal use of resources and time. When resource levelling is carried out, the formed plan is known as the baseline. As the project proceeds, the baseline is used to compare the status of physical activities on ground with the agreed objectives. Generally, the baseline is used throughout the entire project life to both monitor and steward progress. The process used to compare actual progress to the baseline is better known as earned value management (Fleming, 2005). The major inputs required for the project-planning phase include the concept proposal as well as the project charter while the outputs are the project requirements, the project management plan and the project schedule. These inputs and outputs are used in tandem and may be revised as the project proceeds. Most projects that are executed are unique in nature and so entail unique requirements. This requires that projects are planned individually and executed accordingly including any changes that may be required as the project proceeds. 2. Need for Project Planning Planning is required for all sorts of processes that have economic value in order to ensure that these processes are competitive. The lack of planning lends credence to the fact that execution would be inefficient and would cost more than usual. In addition, projects are generally unique by their intrinsic design so that the tasks and activities are differentiated from one project to the other. When projects are being ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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