Project planning is a necessary step that helps project teams identify deliverables, determine responsibilities, and set up timelines. This is also the time to establish the project budget and consider risks and countermeasures.

It’s important to involve project stakeholders in this phase of the process so that everyone is on the same page about scope, goals, and schedules. Stakeholders are also a great resource when it comes to identifying possible obstacles and roadblocks that may arise during the project.

Once all of the information is gathered, project managers should prioritize stakeholder needs and set clear goals for the project. The goal should align with at least one of the identified needs and be measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. A SMART framework is a good tool to use when creating project goals.

When planning a project, it’s also critical to determine which resources are needed and when they are needed. This includes not only human capital but also any other assets needed to complete the project, such as equipment and space. It’s also important to assess whether any of these resources are in short supply and/or have the capacity to handle a larger workload.

Having the right highly skilled people on your team can make or break a project. That’s why a well-crafted staffing plan should be created during the project planning phase. This should take into account the length of time each task will require and how much of the project’s overall scope can be accomplished by a single person.

This is also a good time to determine what roles different people will play on the project and who is responsible for each task. As a result, you can better allocate workloads and set clear boundaries for each team member’s role.

As the project progresses, it’s likely that the project will require changes to the original plan. That’s why it’s important to document any changes and update the plan as a result of those changes. During this phase, it’s also helpful to include a formal change management process that provides opportunities for stakeholders to review and approve changes before they are implemented.

Finally, the project planning phase is a good time to create a visual project plan. Using a software like TeamGantt to create a graphical project plan allows stakeholders to visually see what tasks need to be done by when, which helps avoid missing deadlines. In addition, TeamGantt’s drag-and-drop feature makes it easy to add dependencies between tasks. These dependencies help ensure that all tasks are completed in the correct order and prevent work from falling through the cracks. It’s also a good idea to include the most challenging tasks early in the project timeline, so that they can be managed carefully and potentially avoided delays. You can do this by adding milestones to your project plan and linking them to milestone dates. This way, you can be more confident that your project is on track to meet its goals and deliverables.

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