Project Planning In A Team Environment
When I first started in Project Management, I made the mistake of believing I had to create the Project Plan.
Big Mistake. Whenever creating a Plan, the Project Manager should see themselves as a facilitator and owner of the plan – not an ‘expert’. Your project is highly likely to fail if you fail to perform project management planning in a team environment. And by team — I mean every stakeholder – not just the specialists…
Rule Number One…
Never create the Plan in isolation, ALWAYS invite the Team so that the Project Manager
can facilitate the project planning meeting.
By inviting as many people who will be involved as you can, a more complete and accurate plan can be developed for the project tasks, resources, risks, estimates and deliverables.
Rule Number Two…
By inviting as many stakeholders as possible a much richer picture will be obtained and
the Plan will benefit from this. While you’ve got them all in the room, capture as much as
possible on the Products to be created, the resulting tasks, work effort, and costs,
the risks, and any other estimates.
Book a suitable room and have an agreed agenda, making sure everyone understanding what the project must do
Rule Number Three…
Start the meeting by agreeing what the Scope of the project is. If you have any Scope
documents or a Terms Of Reference for the project, then use them to drive the project planning session.
Use as many ‘organic’ tools to develop the plan such as ‘thought-showering’ the tasks, risks using Post-It Notes on large sheets of paper. Make sure you generate ideas from everyone. Start by developing an agreed hierarchical diagram such as a Product Breakdown Structure, then lead onto PERT/Precedence/Network Diagrams (using Post-It Notes).
Rule Number Four…
Involved The whole Team during project management planning, plus any external Stakeholders, using them to help estimate and identify/capture risks. Use the output from the meeting for you, the Project Manager to generate any software-based diagrams such as Gantt Charts, and distribute these to the team for feedback and review.
Whenever possible encourage input from Customers and Users…