Every project has something important to say. The goals, enthusiasm, time limits, deliverables, and what not! Expressing everything in just a few pages and that too, with the pressure of approvals or rejections, is not an easy task. It requires lots of efforts to tell the right story at the right time and in the right amount. Some of them are short and sweet, and some are amazingly lengthy.
The stories can either be ‘straight to the point’ or the ‘beat around the bush,' but the beauty is that both types are fine if the crux is correct. No matter what is the length of such stories; if you want to make it popular, wanted, or approved, you have to create an outline which can cover the arc of your proposed matter.
That outline is a ‘project plan’ in the language of project management. It is the most important thing to start with, in any project. It is the process of defining objectives, scope, and the steps of completion of the project. In this article, you will get to know how you can design the best project plan in minimum time!
First of all, let’s understand where we waste our time while working on a project plan;
- To make it fancy,
- To write a lot of descriptions,
- Not using the right project management tools,
- Doing constant changes in the initial strategies,
- Not following the project schedules, etc.
These were the common flaws in project management.. Avoid such issues to be quick. Make a priority list, set goals, make a strategy, and stick to it. You must include situational flexibility in your schedule, but not the sudden or major changes. That activity can confuse your subordinates/ team, and it may create chaos.
So, what should we do to minimize the wasting time and focus on the actual and valuable work? Read further…
Best design plan in less time
1. Keep it simple
As I have mentioned earlier, most of the people waste a lot of time to make a project plan fancy and descriptive. It is not required. The beauty of an effective project plan lies in its simplicity. The reason to keep it simple is that it will be easy to understand.
Let’s face the fact that you will be given only a few minutes to explain your plan to the stakeholders, and during this time you have to make them interested in your project. Trust me, they have clear expectations and look only for benefits which your project will deliver. So, the project plan should be scannable.
2. Never avoid your homework
Invest your time in homework. A good homework can give clarity to so many things at a time. This process will save a lot of time in future, so it is a good deal to do homework at this stage.
If you want to cut the trees with minimum effort, then you have to invest some time to sharpen the axe. First, identify the stakeholders, and then define the beneficiaries, expected benefits, communication channel, skill set requirements, etc. It will make the whole process fast.
3. Choose your warriors wisely
Team selection is a major step while working on the project plan. It defines work breakdown structure. It also strengthens the project. You must take it seriously as it will directly affect the output.
Choose a team which is quick, confident, and deliverable. You must know all the team members’ skill sets, as those will be useful to divide the project’s responsibility. Try to make a team of multitaskers, who can handle the given work.
4. Make a SMART strategy
The strategy is as important as the research process. There are several tasks, subtasks, milestones, goals, and expectations in the project management. If there is no strategy, everything might become a mess.
As you know, SMART stands for goals which are;
● Realistic/ Result focused, and
Make a strategy which covers all these things. Strategy gives a way of thinking about everybody and defines the job roles for each team member. The strategy can also schedule the project, which makes everyone active and gives them an expected deadline so that they can work accordingly.
5. Communicate like a PRO
You must have heard that communication is the key to success. How? It's because it gives clarity and avoids many misconceptions/ misunderstandings between two team members. You should also communicate with each other frequently.
Inform your stakeholders about the progress, review the project, keep your team members informed, be transparent by sharing details with your team. 'Describing' leads to questions, and to find out the answers to such questions, you all must have some brainstorming session, which leads to more clarity – which will drive to the predictability.
6. Keep a track record and never abandon your expectations
If you want your desired results in less time, you have to keep a track record. You should take care when a particular task is supposed to start, who is going to do it, what are the steps to follow, the further actions, when all of these will be completed, etc.
Moreover, you should never abandon the expectations, (i.e., goals) which were decided at the time of strategy making. With the passing time, you and your team must know about the project risks. To keep the record of the risks, make risk charts which can display the risk factors.
7. Be calm
This is the most efficient and important thing (and always works positively). Don’t panic under any circumstances. Hyper mind or actions may lead you and your team in some wrong direction. To avoid silly mistakes, it is fundamental to have a calm mind.
Neither rush too fast, nor go too slow. Be stable and moderate. Balance the whole journey. Take certain breaks and keep your team motivated. Be your team’s biggest support and have faith. Always remember that positive thinking and positive actions can lessen the chances of mistakes, which ultimately saves a lot of time.
So, these were some simple, but not so known ideas to design the best project plan in less time. Try to implement these strategies once, and I am sure you will be able to present a perfect project plan to the stakeholders with a much more professional approach.
I hope this article will help you to make a project plan. It will surely save your time as well as extra & unwanted efforts so that you can utilize them in some other important tasks.
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