Effective project management relies on an effective planning and control process.
Even small projects require planning.
Planning provides all personnel involved in the project with information on:
The Planning (PL) process is where the technique of product-based planning is used.
Product-based planning is a key technique of PRINCE2® and provided a comprehensive platform for effective planning.
It is the technique that enables the Project Manager to:
Planning is a repeatable process and plays and important role in other sub-processes, the main ones being:
Planning is also an iterative process.
There will be a series of loops through the planning steps as extra information becomes available or adjustments are made.
The philosophy behind producing plans in PRINCE2 is that:
The product-based planning technique provides a start to the planning activity and a planning framework.
After these initial steps, the normal steps of planning are:
The steps involved are the same for all levels of plan.
Several iterations of the Planning process are normally needed.
The Project Approach is a prerequisite for planning.
This should have been defined as part of 'Starting up a Project (SU)'.
Planning is essential, regardless of the type or size of project.
The amount of detail varies according to the needs of the project.
The Product Checklist is optional in a project.
It can be a useful tool for the Project Board to use to review the project’s progress, rather than a Gantt chart.
It may also be used to clarify the information contained within the Gantt chart.
The first sub-process Designing a Plan (PL1) is done only once in a project.
Where the project is part of a programme, all the design decisions will probably have been taken at programme level.
In a small project it may be just a matter of deciding on a planning tool (if any).
Keep plans relevant.
Beware of the audience for the prepared set of plans and aim to provide an appropriate level of detail.
Time must be allowed for planning because it is a time-consuming exercise.
Planning for the next stage should start towards the end of the current stage.
It is easier and more accurate to plan short stages than long ones.
Past Lessons Learned Reports are an excellent source of information and guidance for planning at all levels, and should be reference where appropriate.
Where the project is part of a programme, programme staff should be involved or referenced during planning to ensure that any questions that affect the programme are resolved. This will help avoid rework following presentation of the plan.
Involve those with Project Assurance roles in proposing quality checking resources.
This should happen in Team Plans as well as Stage Plans.