Project Management Plan: Definition, Purpose & Examples

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  • 0:04 Why Project Management Plans?
  • 0:39 Project Management…
  • 1:09 Project Management Plan Steps
  • 2:34 Project Management…
  • 3:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jason Matyus
A project management plan is a document used to describe every phase of a project. The components may include initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

Why Project Management Plans?

Imagine it's Christmas, you are seven years old, and you just received a new bicycle for Christmas. But, as you rip off the paper, to your surprise, it's in a box. Bicycles don't come in a box! You think this has to be a joke until you realize assembly is required. The construction of the bicycle requires the assembler to follow the step-by-step instructions to be able to use the bicycle. Project management plans are the same because they require steps to be followed for the successful completion of a project. While the example of the bicycle assembly is a simple example, the same process happens with project plans.

Project Management Plan Purpose

The project management plan adds structure to the process by assigning an order to all the important parts involved in the plan. The purpose of a project management plan (or PMP) is to determine the project outcome, how a successful outcome will be achieved, who will be involved in the project, and how the project will be measured and communicated. Like any blueprint, you have to know what you're trying to do; so having a goal is important. Secondly, you have to know how you're going to achieve those goals by knowing which people in the process play which roles.

Project Management Plan Steps

There are multiple steps in a project management plan and can vary depending on the person and project; however, there are some standard steps to take when creating a PMP:

1. Initiating: In the first step of the PMP process, it is essential to the success of the project for the project manager to identify the project, secure finances to fund the project, and set up communication for the vital dialogue that will happen between shareholders.

2. Planning: The second step in the PMP process is the planning stage. The planning stage is critical because there are many high priority issues identified, such as time, cost, quality, change, and risk issues.

3. Executing: The executing phase is the most active stage of the process because things such as meetings and development updates of the process take place. These items are developed and delivered in this phase.

4. Monitoring and Controlling: In the monitoring and controlling phase, the progress of the project is monitored to ensure projects meet deadlines, and the project overcomes roadblocks. That is part of the monitoring. If something is wrong and needs to be adjusted or changed, it is done in the controlling phase.

5. Closing: This is the conclusion of the project. Any last items not finished are assigned, any nonessential employees are let go or reassigned, and efforts on the project are recognized.

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