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Project Management

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Broad Contents


Project Planning

Plan of Execution

Information Required for Planning Execution of Projects

Early Stage Documentation by Project Manager

15.1 Introduction:

Planning is done to facilitate later accomplishment. Planning techniques covered here are

intended to smooth the path from idea to accomplishment. Project planning is a complicated

process to manage project and planning act as map of this process. Map must have sufficient

detail to determine what must be done next but simple enough that workers are not lost in welter

of minutiae.

Almost all project planning techniques lead to plans that contain same basic elements. They

differ only in ways they approach process of planning. At its best, planning is tortuous. It is

iterative process yielding better plans from not-so-good plans, and iterative process of

improvement seems to take place in fits and starts. Process may be described formally, but it

does not occur formally. Bits and pieces of plans are developed by individuals, by formal group

meetings, or by formalized planning teams and then improved by other individuals, groups, or

teams, and improved again, and again.

15.2 Project Planning:

In order to do successful project management, (whether it is in response to an in-house project

or a customer request), it must utilize effective planning techniques. The quantitative and

qualitative tools for project planning must be identified. Management must make effective

utilization of resources, from a systems point of view.

A systematic plan is required in which the entire company is considered as one large network

that is further subdivided into smaller ones. This would ensure effective utilization over several

different types of projects.

In this regard, the first step in total program scheduling is to understand the project objectives.

These goals may be to:

  • Develop expertise in a given area
  • To become competitive
  • To modify an existing facility for later use
  • To keep key personnel employed.

Both implicitly and explicitly, the objectives are generally not independent and are all


The following four questions must be considered, once the objectives are clearly defined:

i) Which functional divisions will assume responsibility for accomplishment of these

objectives and the major-element work requirements?

ii) The required corporate and organizational resources available?

iii) What are the major elements of the work required to satisfy the objectives, and how are

these elements interrelated?

iv) What are the information flow requirements for the project?

Both the direct as well as the indirect-labor-charging organizational units must accomplish

careful planning and analysis, if the project is large and complex. The project organizational

structure must be designed to fit the project; work plans and schedules must be established so

that maximum allocation of resources can be made; resource costing and accounting systems

must be developed; and a management information and reporting system must be established.

Unless all of the necessary information becomes available at project initiation effective total

program planning cannot be accomplished. These information requirements are:

  • The statement of work (SOW)
  • The project specifications
  • The milestone schedule
  • The work breakdown structure (WBS)

As the name indicates, the statement of work (SOW) is a narrative description of the work to be

accomplished. It includes the objectives of the project, a brief description of the work, the

funding constraint if one exists, and the specifications and schedule. The schedule is a "gross"

schedule and includes such things as the:

  • Start date
  • End date
  • Major milestones
  • Written reports (data items)

Report writing is a specialized area. Written reports should always be identified so that if

functional input is required, the functional manager will assign an individual who has writing

skills. It is no secret who would write the report if the line people did not.

15.3 Planning of Execution:

As described earlier, project planning is a structured sequence of events that lead to a desired set

of objectives.

A detailed, written, “Plan of Execution (P of E) ” for project is drawn up, once project

viability has been established and decision to proceed has been made. This plan must show:

a) Who is to do what

b) When

c) How

d) Major decisions requirements

It is essential that the project objectives must be clearly tied to overall mission of the firm.

Senior management defines a firm’s:

  • Intent in undertaking project
  • Scope of project
  • Project desired results

In this regard, the Plan of Execution:

  • Becomes a vehicle for communication with all stakeholders
  • Becomes a prerequisite for detailed scheduling of work
  • Helps documentation for preparation of “cost estimates”

Project management plans are more comprehensive than either management plans or project

plans. The preparation of plans is a simple, straightforward approach designed to promote and

ensure comprehensive project planning. The project management plan is a combination of two

plans that are often prepared separately: the traditional management plan, which describes

operational management systems and approaches, and the project plan, which includes the work

breakdown structure (WBS), logic, schedules, and cost estimates. They reflect awareness that

the people, the system, and the detailed planning are all critical to project success.

15.4 Information Required From Planning of Execution:

Following information is required:

  1. Type of project
  2. Its capacity and location(s)
  3. Scope of work to be performed
  4. Preliminary cost estimation
  5. Site visitation report
  6. Preliminary schedule of major objectives
  7. Pertinent contract requirements
  8. Special design and/or construction requirements
  9. Climate restrictions
  10. Environmental study, feasibility study reports, etc
  11. Proposal document

Following are the basis for Project Manager’s planning endeavors for planning of execution.

  • Existing documents:
  • Client’s inquiry
  • Proposal (as modified/amended in negotiation period)
  • Contract and preliminary wok plans (during proposal preparation)
  • Before Execution Planning:

Before Execution Planning, project manager is required to provide the complete scope

definition of work.

Planning of Execution provide basis to:

a) Schedules

b) Detailed cost estimation

c) Control budget

d) Quality and performance assurance program

It leads to develop Work Breakdown Structure and integrates work schedule costs into trackable

and controllable program. During this phase, performance baselines are also estimated

during project planning.

15.5 Early Stage Documentation by Project Manager:

This includes:

1. Coordination Procedure (CP):

Coordination Procedures or Job Instructions. It includes administrative procedures in



2. Early Work Schedule (EWS):

  • This helps in tracking activities requiring immediate action.
  • Cannot wait for release of formal schedules.
  • Early work Schedule (EWS) contains:
    • Running list of activities started early
    • Name of responsible individuals
    • Completion date of an activity.

15.5.1 Emphasis Placed on Early Planning:

As we know that planning does not stop with the initial plan. It is a continuous process

which is fine tuned whenever necessary. Many events can potentially adversely affect

/disrupt plan targets. In this regard, many a times, corrective actions will be required to


a) Integrity of schedule

b) Budget

15.6 Example of Building House to Common “Activities in Each Phase” of Project Planning:

1. Definition Phase:

Problem defined in request document

House need heating, plumbing, lighting, storage etc.

2. Analysis Phase:

Produces functional specifications (deliverable)

Location of ventilators, air conditioner, outlet for phone etc.

3. Design Phase:

System proposed to solve problem

System divided into functional components

Components are interconnected

Expectation: rooms, ventilation, wiring etc.

4. Programming Phase:

Actual work conducted to bring system into being.

Expected: building of house

5. System Test Phase:

Brings pieces together and tests them as whole

House: test plumbing, electricity, roof, etc.

6. Acceptance Phase:

Customer tests complete system for acceptance/ payment

Minor problems are fixed

Major problems require negotiation

Minor problem may include house buyers ask for repairs to cracked plaster, or outlet

Major problem can be two fireplaces vs. one built.

7. Operations, Installation and Use:

House buyer moves in and lives in house

Problems developed/found upon use are fixed during warranty period

Not included in this are:

a) Maintenance

b) Upgrades

c) Extensions

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