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Developing the Project Management Plan
Once the project has been initiated, it is time to do some planning. Project planning starts with the process of developing a project management plan, which defines, prepares, coordinates, and integrates all subsidiary plans, such as scope and risk management plans, into one big plan called the project management plan. The goal here is to develop a source of information that will work as a guideline for how the project will be planned, executed, controlled, and closed.
One reason why it is important to develop a project management plan is that not all projects need all the planning processes, and to the same degree. Therefore, the content of the project management plan will depend upon specific project that is being worked on. As the project goes through different stages, the project management plan may be updated and revised through the change control process.
Below are some issues that a Project Management Plan is expected to address.
1. Which project management processes will be used for this process, what the level of implementation for each of these processes will be, and what the inputs and tools and techniques for these processes are
2. How the changes will be monitored and controlled
3. What the needs and techniques for communication among the stakeholders are
4. How the project lifecycle looks, including the project phases if the project is a multiphase project
5. The lifecycle selected for the project at hand
Let us take a pictorial look at the process of creating the Project Management Plan.
As you can see, the Project charter, Enterprise Environmental Factors & Organizational Process assets along with the output of other planning processes are used as the input to this activity.
A project manager’s expertise is used extensively to process these and the project management plan is the output.
Depending upon the complexity of the project, the project management plan can be either a summary or a collection of subsidiary plans and components, which might include the following:
1. Standard plans from the project planning process group, such as the cost management plan, communication management plan, process scope management plan, and risk management plan.
2. Some necessary plans, which may not be generated by standard processes, such as a change management plan that describes how changes will be monitored and controlled.
3. Other components, such as the milestones list, resource calendar, and baselines for schedule, cost, and quality.
The process of developing the project management plan falls in the knowledge area of integration management because it coordinates the various processes and activities.
Now that the project management plan is ready, let us look into the details of one of the important parts of planning – Project Scope Management.
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Next: Managing Scope