How to write a project plan

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How to write a project plan

When you’re taking on a new project it is a good idea to step it out into a plan. If your organisation has received funding from another source like government then a project plan will be a requirement. A well-written project plan gives your team a clear direction to follow. It helps you meet your deadlines and stops you getting off track. Of course a plan can be changed but it’s good to have one in the first place.

Cover Page

Prepare a cover page with the title of the project, the organisation, key contact person and details. Include a picture if you want to.

Description

Get the reader interested straight away with one clear sentence describing the project and what you’re trying to achieve (your core message).

Background

What is the purpose of the project? How and why project was initiated? Describe the strategic context.

Activities/Products and Outcomes

What activities/products will you produce in this project? What result you are seeking to achieve for this project and the long term?

Scope

What is part of this project (in scope) and not part of this project (outside scope)? Are there any issues unresolved?

Assumptions and constraints

Including funding body requirements, internal policies, any legislation.

Governance

Who is involved in the project and what is their responsibility? What is the project accountability and reporting requirements? What is the governance structure?

Budget

List each item with details and their cost. Include non-financial resources required.

Risk management

What are the risks? What is the likelihood of them happening? What are the consequences? What is the plan for dealing with them?

Evaluation

Ask the key questions: How much did we do? (activities, products) How well did we do it? (cost-efficiency, participant or stakeholder satisfaction) Was anyone better off? (if it worked well what would you see that is different?)

Communications plan

See the Communications Plan template.

Work plan

What are the key tasks? Who is responsible and what are the timeframes?