How to Benefit from Readymade Project Plans

How to Benefit from Readymade Project Plans

Project plans are important to adding structure & keeping the focus on your project execution.

Starting with a well laid out project plan provides proper visibility to the depth of the project.

Mainly around

  • Scope clarity
  • time estimates
  • resource and skills requirements
  • the technology stack to be deployed
  • various inter-department touch points
  • overall budget required for successful completion

The above list gives a good glimpse of how your project would shape up as you plan and move through execution.

However, let us first understand some of the salient features of a project plan.

According to Wikipedia –

project plan, according to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), is: “…a formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control. The primary uses of the project plan are to document planning assumptions and decisions, facilitate communication among project stakeholders, and document approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines. A project plan may be summarized or detailed.”

Now, this is a formal approved document and is considered to be the bible for all purposes of the project.

But when your project hits the execution phase there are tons of things that need to be handled on the fly and referring the document isn’t practical or possible.

Thus, enter – project management tools like Orangescrum that bring your project plan alive in a centralized platform with:

  • Detailed work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • Task Groups, tasks, subtasks sub-subtasks & checklists
  • Estimated hours across each task
  • Resource allocation & availability
  • Gantt View for dependency mapping
  • Task Linking for meaning association among project tasks

Let us take a step by step look at project plans within Orangescrum.

How to create a Project Plan?

Orangescrum Project Plans allow you to replicate and reuse the structure and work breakdown of existing projects, including Task Groups and tasks with estimated hours, task type and task priority to speed up new project creation and standardize workflow processes.

Majority of our clients have reported that their projects usually have a 50 to 70% tasks overlap across their projects.

“It is a humungous waste of precious time to recreate all these tasks again for every single project. Hence project plans are just the thing I was looking for streamlining project planning & execution.” – Hayley Turner, USA

Step 1 – Get to the Project Plan in Orangescrum

Head over to the “More” section from the left menu of Orangescrum and select “Project Plan”.

Project Plan

Step 2 – Name your project plan

  • Click on the big + at the bottom right corner of the Project Plan page to create a new plan.
  • You will be presented with a pop-up; type your new Project Plan name and click on Save.
  • You will now be redirected to the project plan list page and will see the newly created plan.

New Project Plan

  • Click “Manage Task” on the 3dot menu on the specific project plan card & you will be redirected to the detail page to start building your plan.
  • An empty project plan would like below.

New Project Plan

  • Click on Quick Task Group and Quick Task to start building your plan.

Quick Task

  • A completed project plan would look like below.

Data Management

Step 4 – Activating the Project Plan

  • Once you are ready, Click on “create a project” or “add to project” to bring your project plan alive.

Note: Create Project will open the Create Project pop-up with the project plan per-selected. And the Add to Project will open a project listing pop-up to choose the desired project you want to add this project plan to.

Create Project pop-up

Create Project Pop up

Add to Project pop-up

Data Management Task

Step 5 – Executing your project plan

  • Once you have linked the project plan to a project or created a new project, you will see all task groups, tasks and subtasks auto created within the specific project.
  • Head over to the task list and start executing your tasks

Executing Project Plan

Step 6 – Visualize and interact with your live project plan with Gantt Chart.

Gantt Chart is an interactive view of your project with clarity around timelines, task dependencies and how the project would flow from start to end.

Gantt Chart

Benefits of Project Plans

Well, there are quite a few practical benefits of using project plans.

At a high level, you are able to structure your project, create a vision for your project team and share it with your stakeholders for transparency.

Similarly, what it means in terms of actual project execution is

  • Scope is translated into well-defined tasks
  • Assigning priority, assignee and time estimates becomes easier
  • Create once and reuse forever – saves time & reduces manual efforts
  • Processes are streamlined – key tasks aren’t missed
  • Human errors are prevented
  • Optimize the plan project after project to replicate success
  • Teams know what’s on their plate and what to do next
  • Reduces chaos and confusion
  • Task dependencies help in avoiding delays
  • Scope creep or change requests are easily identified
  • Greater control over quality & timeliness of delivery
  • Overall execution is smoother & faster

Conclusion

Making your processes, teams and technology work together is crucial to a successful project management practice.

Teams always have their plates full, project managers are always concerned about deliverables and clients want reduced costs, high quality product/service in record time.

As different the priority of each of these user segment be, the need is to align them with the collective vision and the project goal.

No matter how great your processes are, if they are not easy to follow and enable the teams to get their work done, they will never be adopted.

Project management and collaboration software brings them all together.

The reasons are very specific as the project management tools

  • Save time and hassles for the team
  • Help them get the work done – faster
  • Enable remote team collaboration
  • Project information is centrally accessible
  • Reliable & real-time insights instead of data enable faster decision making
  • Digital medium grants greater flexibility and ease of use
  • Processes become alive, enable adoption & increase org-wide alignment
  • Customers are served transparently leading to better retention and CSATs

And lastly let me trigger some thoughts with a list of probable use cases for your project plans:

  • Business proposal steps
  • Web Development Project Plan
  • App development Project Plan
  • Product Development Workflows
  • SEO team activities
  • Audit or QA Project Plan
  • Event Planning
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • New Employee On boarding activities
  • Installation Checklists & so on

When did you last reuse an established project plan?

Still recreating manual project tasks for similar projects?

Create automated project plans today with Orangescrum!

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