When a project manager performs project planning online, there is no doubt that he will yield several advantages. With the presence of potential project team members who may be working remotely and the emergence of distance-workers getting involved in projects, project managers can better mobilize their plan of action more efficiently this way. While the processes of project planning will still be the same, planning a project online is just a lot more convenient and a lot easier.
We define a project plan as a formal and approved document that is utilized to direct the project's execution and its control. It is the project manager's job to plan their project in as much detail as they see fit or in summary. His duties and responsibilities, as well as the basic principles of project planning, remain the same whether he does this traditionally or with the assistance of an online project planning tool.
As soon as the project has been initiated and gets preliminary approval and funding, the plan should be written in the project planning phase. Like a map showing you how you can get from point A to point B, your project plan is your guide in getting your project to its desired objectives in a cost-effective and timely manner.
Simply put, project planning involves setting a sequence of tasks in the proper order and establishing any dependencies between the tasks, in order to achieve a desired result at the end of the project. Project planning is a discipline for conveying how the project will be completed within a definite time frame, typically with defined phases, and with selected resources.
Once you are certain that your project is actually doable, you will need a comprehensive project plan that illustrates how you and your team will go on about it happening. The project plan should include a thorough account of projected results, a listing of all restrictions or limitations the project must deal with, a register of all suppositions related to the project, a list of all compulsory work, a breakdown of the functions you and your team members will perform, an in-depth project schedule, requirements for human resources, funds, as well as non-personnel resources like equipment, facilities, and information, an account of how you plan to deal with any major risks and uncertainties, project communications plans and plans for guaranteeing the quality of the project.
More and more entrepreneurs and several small - and medium-sized businesses are opting to use Web-based project management and collaboration tools to efficiently assist them with all the work they need to accomplish, and to effectively collaborate and communicate with a global project team. These tools maximize a project manager's productivity, organization, and help tremendously in keeping on top of projects, effortlessly.
There are numerous online project planning packages that have all the necessary features and tools which a project manager will need for project planning, and more. Because there are a lot of a choices with so many different feature options, deciding on what will work best for you can be frustrating. However, many of these online project planning packages will have features that you will need to create a detailed task list, schedule the starting and ending dates of tasks and add links to them, help you create baselines for your project, assign resources to make sure that the right tasks are timely accomplished by the right people and provide email alerts for tasks that are lagging behind.
These online tools also allow a project manager to view real-time actual progress against planned progress and compare your actual and planned views against your baseline view online. Results are shown instantaneously in your project plan as your team enters their time on the project. Many are now more flexible by being integrated with MS Project and a lot more of them provide mobility by providing integrations with the iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Whichever project planning tools you may decide on, remember to always put project plans in writing. This will help shed light on details and lessens the chances of you overlooking something along the way. Make sure that your project has been reviewed and approved, in writing, by the drivers and supporters of your project before you begin. A brief email will do, for as long as there is documentation for it. However, a formal process for your organization's management may be needed for larger projects.
While the choices and options for online project planning tools are numerous, to say the least, keep in mind that their output will only depend on the quality of input. It is still the human factor which will influence the final outcome of the project. The tools are just there to assist. Your project's success depends on the transparency and precision of your plan and on your people's belief that it is achievable. To make project plans more realistic, consider past experiences when creating your project plan. Involving team members when doing project planning online will also bolster their dedication to attain the project's goals.
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