Project Planning Process

The planning process determines what needs to be done (scope, deliverables), how it will get done (activities, sequence), who will do it (resources, responsibility), how long it will take (duration, schedule), and how much it will cost (budget).

It includes the following steps:

  1. Establish project objective. The objective must be agreed upon by the sponsor or customer and the organization that will perform the project.
  2. Define scope. A project scope document must be prepared. It should include customer requirements, major work tasks or elements, a list of deliverables, etc.
  3. Create a work breakdown structure. Subdivide the project scope into pieces or work packages
  4. Assign responsibility. The person or organization responsible for each work item in the WBS must be identified in order to inform the project team of who is responsible and accountable for the performance of each work package and any associated deliverables.
  5. Define specific activities. Review each work package in WBS and develop a list of the detailed activities that need to be performed for each work package and to produce any required deliverables.
  6. Sequence activities. Create a network diagram that shows the necessary sequence and dependent relationships of the detailed activities that need to be performed to achieve the project objective.
  7. Estimate activity resources. Determine the types of resources required to perform each activity, as well as the quantity of each resource that may be needed.
  8. Estimate activity durations. Make a time estimate for how long it will take to complete each activity, based on the estimate of the resources that will be applied.
  9. Develop project schedule. Based on the estimated duration for each activity and the logical relationships of the sequence of activities in the network diagram, develop the overall project schedule
  10. Estimate activity costs. Activity costs should be based on the types and quantities of resources estimated for each activity as well as the appropriate labor cost rate or unit cost for each type of resource.
  11. Determine budget. A total budget for the project can be developed by aggregating the cost estimates for each activity.

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