Project Planning: Steps, Process & Return

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  • 0:01 Why Manage a Project?
  • 0:55 Planning a Project
  • 1:50 Performing a Project
  • 2:22 Learning From a Project
  • 3:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

More and more, the ability to plan and execute a project is a way to get ahead in work. In this lesson, we'll go over the basics of project planning, from the drawing board to completion.

Why Manage a Project?

Congratulations, you've just been chosen to manage a new project at work! Under your leadership, a crucial process will be reexamined, making sure that what is happening is most efficient for the company and takes the greatest advantage of the employees and capabilities of the unit. In fact, it could mean great things for your career, showing that you have organizational acumen and initiative. There's just one little problem…

You have no idea how to plan a project.

That's alright. In this lesson, we're going to walk through the major steps of project planning. We'll start with actually planning the project by nailing down exactly what we want to focus on. From there, we'll move on to putting the project plans into motion, seeing how to implement and adjust the plans as necessary. Finally, we'll see how we can learn from the project, making sure that the next time we're ask to lead a change, we're more able to do so.

Planning a Project

First things first. When it comes to planning a project, you need to know what the project in question is. This is pretty simple if your supervisor has asked you to pointedly fix something about a particular process. However, many times you'll find it is more open-ended than that. Instead of fixing a process, you'll be asked to find a way to increase productivity or reduce costs—especially with respect to a particular aspect of the company. Therefore, being able to identify your project, knowing exactly where you should focus your energy, is a great first step.

Next, you need to start to figure out your options here. This involves a great deal of brainstorming. It may be that a new piece of equipment is needed or that the process simply needs to have a few redundant pieces removed. It may even be as simple as moving employees from different areas to reduce inefficiency. In any step, it is now up to you to find the best overall option.

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