Project Planning

Hi, my name is Gary Wilson. I’m the owner of GPW Consulting Limited. We are a Project Management and Management Consultancy business that covers a lot of key areas.  We mainly work in the oil and gas sector currently. This blog is about project planning, my take on it and what I think the pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses of a good approach to project planning are.

You can also read this post about how to develop flexibility in your Project Management Plan.

Project Planning

So what I found throughout my career is that if you are involved in Project Planning and management, and you have a plan, which is a good thing to start with.  But that plan can be a very rigid thing. However, some people do not seem to understand the flexibility of the project that they’re on.

I think that one of the main things to look at, especially when you’ve got a rigid plan, is that you’re not looking at all the possible outcomes and problems that could come your way. If you have a rigid plan set with the client, they will expect it to be delivered to that.

If you are not communicating correctly then that plan may not come to fruition as you expect it to.  I think my main point would be, if you are running a project you need to be quite calm and relaxed about the fact it may change on a weekly, daily, or hourly basis depending on the project itself.

Tools to help you plan your project

I use various planning tools, including Microsoft Projects or Primavera.  They give you key milestone dates that you need to achieve. But again it’s about looking at this plan as a live document and understanding that changes can be affected by anything.  These could be such things as the weather to staff sickness to equipment breakdowns. These need to be factored in.

You need to have flexibility in your plan to enable you to deliver that project to the client successfully, on budget and on time. I would also say that you need to consider communicating with the client as to whether any of these setbacks are actually an issue they need to know about at the time it occurs.  Or if it is something that can wait until you’re having your weekly/daily update on the plan.

Planning for Project Management

Planning is a key tool for Project Management. You’ve got to have a plan.  Because if you just turn up and try to deliver a project without anything in place, it’s not going to work! But I think my main point will be to look at your
flexibility on the plan and ensure that you’ve understood that changes could well happen.

You also need to be communicating with your client, and with your team.  But most of all, ensuring that you’re calm and collected throughout the project.  Use your plan, and this will enable you to deliver that project to your client in the best possible way.

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