Phase 2: Planning
The second phase of the project life cycle is particularly important. The planning phase is where most of the work is done, and a roadmap is created to help guide throughout the project. The key questions that are answered during this phase are:
- What is the project and what are we doing
- When are we implementing the project?
- How are we implementing the project?
- How will we know when we are done with the project?
Once you identify and engage with the fundamental components of your idea, the second phase of the lifecycle—the game plan—begins. As the name suggests, this stage is all about formulating a detailed plan for how you will execute, monitor, and ultimately close your project. Think of your game plan as a road map that outlines specific instructions on how to execute your project from start to finish. Everything from your tasks, timelines, budget, and risk assessments need to be accounted for and effectively structured in this phase.
During the planning phase, a project plan is created to outline what a project team needs to do to carry out their goals. The project plan is an important document that provides a detailed look at each team member's roles and responsibilities while ensuring each task is completed promptly.
In addition, a Gantt chart provides the team with a timeline of when each task will be completed. Each task includes the start and finish dates and the sequence in which they should be completed. A project should adhere to the scope, timeline, and budget.
A successful team is also important for resource planning, as well as risk and mitigation. A risk plan should be considered along with a mitigation plan to either avoid the risks or overcome them.
Lastly, communication with your team during the planning phase is particularly important. An effective communication plan can help each stakeholder and team member keep track of who to contact, how to contact them, the frequency of contact, and about which topics. Although the team can be reached, weekly or biweekly meetings can help keep the project on track and ensure everyone is on the same page. Meeting minutes are documented and saved for the team's reference if necessary.
|Gantt Chart||Provides a timeline of each task and milestone.|
|Risk Plan||Analyzes the potential risks and mitigation plan during the project.|
|Meeting Minutes||Documents what is discussed in each meeting.|