How To Create a Project Plan
You may be one of the programmers who have great ideas but do not know where to start and turn those ideas into a project. If so, this article is probably useful for you.
The most crucial step in a project is “creating the project plan.” The project plan includes all the activities required to complete the project, including events, affiliations, resources, and time frames.
This article explains three necessary and simple steps to create a project plan:
1. Define the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
2. Identify the required resources
3. Schedule activities
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Have you ever wondered how a wolf feeds on an animal as huge as a deer?
Yes, wolf tear deer to pieces. Indeed, if the wolf of our story does not do that, it will starve to death! (of course, we will not discuss the mechanism of swallowing a deer entirely by a python!)
As you see in the example, you need to break the whole project down into smaller, more manageable goals to achieve a large and complex purpose.
More scientifically speaking, a set of activities performed to achieve a goal – which can be the production of a product or a service’s performance – is called a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). From the PMBOK standard perspective, the WBS structure is actually the heart of a project.
The same goes for creating a project plan for programming. You must first define the project using WBS and then allocate the required resources for its various parts and schedule them at the end.
The first step to prepare the WBS is to determine the subject of the project. In the next step, you should divide the project into summary tasks.
“Work packages” are the smallest unit of work that a project can be divided into when creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). This part of the WBS includes activities and tasks that directly lead to a goal.
To design a WBS for a project plan, you should continuously ask yourself: What input is needed to achieve this goal?
Work packages are the central part of the project management because activities are at these levels. Each work package can be left to a specific individual or group.
These packages should be small enough for the project manager to estimate their duration, cost, and resources. The bigger the project, the more work packages there are.
Identify required resources
To better understand the project resources and how important they are, let’s play a little ” Do you prefer” game:
Suppose you have to move a large boulder to the top of a mountain.
- Do you prefer to do this with your own hands?
- Do you prefer to use a crusher and carry a small piece yourself?
- Do you prefer to get help from your friends?
These questions may be very easy to answer, but they clearly show the importance of allocating resources to a project.
Projects – especially complex ones – are like boulders being carried to the top of a mountain. To do this, you must allocate sufficient and appropriate resources to achieve your goal.
Good! What exactly are project resources?
- Project resources are the people, capital, and material needed to complete the project.
In short, project resources are what you depend on to get the job done, which can vary depending on the type of project.
Full-time or part-time employees, contractors, equipment, and supplies are examples of resources. For each type of resource, required quantities, due dates, and assigned tasks must be specified.
As you can imagine, scheduling a project is more than just what you do to plan your weekly tasks. Project scheduling involves creating a document that describes the project schedule’s details and the organizational resources needed to do each task.
Here, you should check exactly how much time each work package needs.
Be aware that underestimating time will make you miss the project. Being behind in one task can lead to falling behind in other related tasks and leave your client completely frustrated.
Besides, overestimating the time can cause boredom and confusion for team members and yourself. To estimate the most appropriate average, you should look at previous tasks to see how long each task takes.
In the next step, specify the start and end dates for each work package. Some tasks must be done at the same time or in combination with another task. Be sure to consider weekends or national holidays. Then enter all of these schedules into the Gantt chart and make them available to all team members.
Of course, there are several models and formulas for developing a project schedule in addition to Gantt. Each of these methods alone is worthy of the article, so we will not discuss them here. After these steps, you should officially start the project by holding a formal meeting.