……………………………………………….Expertise in .NET Technologies

Project Plan

Posted by Ravi Varma Thumati on March 16, 2009

What is the purpose of a project Plan?

The purpose of a project plan is to maintain control of a project. As a complicated process, a project always threatens to exceed the limit of your control. Some people are better than others at controlling complex problems, but all of us reach our limits at some stage. To maintain control you need help in the form of tools and your best tool is your plan. The project plan controls the project by:

  • Breaking a complex process down into a number of simpler components
  • Providing visibility for obscure or ambiguous tasks in the project
  • Providing a single point of reference for everyone
  • Enforcing scrutiny of the sequence and nature of events
  • Providing a baseline against which execution of the project can be compared
  • Anticipating likely events and providing pre-planned means of avoiding them

A project plan must be as accurate, complete and as specific as possible. How accurate, complete and specific of course depends upon how much time and resources you have.


How does a project team plan a project so that it can deliver software on a budget?

Here are some of the specific features of a well-planned project:

A Software Development Plan: This plan maps a course for the project. Committing the plan to writing allows the project’s stakeholders to refer to the plan throughout the project.

Project estimates: Project estimates provide a foundation for project plans. A careful estimate leads to scoping the project appropriately, which in turn leads to budgeting, staffing, and scheduling the project appropriately. A shoddy estimate can undercut the project in all these respects, making it difficult to complete the project successfully and impossible to complete it efficiently.

Revised estimates: Revised estimates created at the end of each major phase of the project allow for mid-course corrections and help to keep the project on solid footing.

A Quality Assurance Plan: A Quality Assurance Plan that includes both technical reviews and testing assures that the project will not succumb to a costly and defect-ridden test, debug, and correction cycle.

A Staged Delivery Plan: A Staged Delivery Plan defines the order in which the software will be constructed. It ensures that the software solution is developed to both maximize the value to the customer at each stage and minimize the risks to the project. In addition to the explicit planning activities I just listed, several of a software projects other major activities are also planning activities, though they aren’t usually thought of that way.

Requirements development: Requirements development identifies in detail the problem that the project team is trying to solve. It amounts to planning to solve the right problem.

Architecture: Architecture is a high-level specification for the way in which the problem will be solved. It is a plan to build the right solution to the problem.

Detailed design: Detailed design is a comprehensive plan of what the project is going to build. It is a plan to build the right solution in the right way.



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