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Specialists in Fractional IT Director Services for SME organisations 
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Spending time at the start of a project to ensure all detail is captured and planned is crucial. Projects tend to fail because they are poorly planned. Spending time at the very beginning and running through the processes will minimise the risk of something being missed. A project manager is only a facilitator of the activities so needs to engage the experts to understand and define all the activities in a plan. 
Here are our five reasons, why it is crucial to take time at the start of a project to create a thorough project plan. 

1. Clear Objectives 

Once you know what you’re aiming for, you are more likely to reach your goal. You can now create milestones, prioritise tasks and have a well-defined roadmap to follow. Clear objectives also enable tracking progress. 

2. Risk Management 

Good project planning includes a risk assessment. It is important to identify, evaluate and mitigate possible risks in order to make your road to success as clear as possible. Of course, there are always unexpected occurrences, but the better prepared you are, the less like they are to derail your progress totally. Including contingency plans can save a lot of time should the worst case happen. Contingency plans need to be made for budget as well as schedule to incorporate all eventualities. 

3. Communication 

Your team will know what to expect if it’s written down. A major role of a Project Manager is communication. They are the lynchpin between stakeholders and the team executing required tasks. The project plan acts as a useful communication tool during project meetings. 

4. Avoiding Scope Creep 

Scope creep is one of the biggest threats to your project. According to businessdirectory.com it is defined as “small changes in a plan or project that necessitate other changes which lead to still more changes – and so on.” In no time, budget as well as schedule are a distant memory. Scope creep can go unnoticed until it is too late, if there isn’t a solid project plan in place that can stop these initial changes in their tracks. 

5. Expectations 

Project planning sets realistic expectations in all stakeholders. CEO and the Executive will be clear of the budget, which resources are required as well as when the project is due to be finished. On client projects, you are showing the client that they are getting what they pay for. Finally, everyone involved knows what is expected of them due to clear objectives and detailed task lists. 

Conclusion 

A good project plan provides the roadmap for the whole project. It not only defines which tasks need to be in what order, but it also defines responsibilities. Tracking progress becomes possible. A thorough project plan also contains defined communication channels as well as contingency plans should risks turn into reality. 
 
Don’t just take our word for it, though. In 2012, a study proved that “Planning is associated with project success; both project efficiency and overall project success.” 
 
Study: Serrador, P. (2012). The importance of the planning phase to project success. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2012—North America, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute. 

How Green Giant Consulting can help 

We help you design, build and implement an appropriate level of project governance. This will ensure that you achieve successful outcomes without placing undue burdens on your organization. We can also help with setting up a Project Management Office. This is a function within your organisation that has responsibility for providing project tracking, reporting and budget management across all your projects. 
 
Please get in touch for a complimentary 2-hour Project & Programme Management Consultancy session to see how we can help. You can contact Green Giant Consulting today on 0844 259 6210 or visit our Project & Programme Management Consultancy contact page. 
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