When you get an assignment asking you to prepare a project plan, what are the things that you focus on? Or better, how do you begin? I am sure that most of you start off the assignment with “Project plan is a plan of the project in which we define the scope and objectives of the project.”
Look closely and see if this statement is really necessary in your assignment? What are you, nine? You are a university student and there is a format that you need to follow while writing the assignment and you certainly don’t have to start the assignment with the definition of project planning.
That’s the kind of focus you need to give.
Step 1 – Scope Statement
Every person involved with the project wants to learn the capabilities of the project, what it can achieve and what it cannot. It is like mentioning strengths and weaknesses of the project. To prepare the scope statement, you need to understand the question carefully word for word.
The assignment file, generally, has all the necessary details that are needed from the end of the stakeholders in order to create the project scope statement.
When you are submitting the project plan, chances are that the professor is going to study this part carefully. Why? Well, because this statement acts as the foundation of the entire project and helps the professor how much have you deviated off the track in the project.
A clear and complete scope statement is needed from your end to gain the confidence of stakeholders (or in your case, the professor).
Step 2 – Conduct Research
You are the project manager of this entire project. It is your job to make sure that the project is working as per the requirements. How are you going to get the professor on your side by making him or her believe that you did a good job? By gathering supporting evidence, of course.
That’s the part where research comes in.
Read the scope carefully and make a list of everything that you need to prepare this plan as the best plan your professor has seen. Prepare questions that will be asked from the stakeholders in accordance with the project. For example, “what are your expectations from this project”, “what do you think will be the success rate of this project?”, “do you think taking up this project is a wise decision by the board?”, etc.
You identify the available resources, the expertise of each person that you have and then assign them roles accordingly.
Step 3 – Draft A Plan
You have the scope, you have done your homework and now you are ready to drop the bomb on ‘em.
The first draft of your project plan is all set to be prepared. But hold your horses, don’t get too excited yet. Your draft is not your solution. The following things will be included in your draft –
- The general process of the project from point A to point B
- The end product (good or service) that will be obtained after the project is complete
- The signoffs are an important part of the project once it is complete
- Mention the deadlines of all the stages and phases clearly
- The feedback of the stakeholders should also be included
Now, I will tell you why you should include these things so that your draft can be even the more specific rather than bullets in the dark.
Writing the process of the project tells you and the client (professor) that what all stages will the project go through. Hence, the professor can judge if the method used by you is best or not and judge you accordingly. You should take care that the project process you mention in the assignment is well researched and the best in your knowledge so that you can defend it if questioned.
The project deliverables are important and the professor will surely hover his watchful eye over it. To be able to write good project deliverables, you need to read the scope statement properly and identify if the process chosen accelerates or retards achieving of the goals.
Your assignment’s project plan also has something that is called signoff. See, signoff depend on people to people. But it will be good if you include it in the project. This is because it happens a lot of time in the real world that the stakeholders involved in the project change by the time it reaches the end. So, keeping a formal process in place to signify the end of every phase and step helps in creating an understanding of the project status to the newcomers.
Working with the deadlines keeps you on your heels and prevents any procrastination related to the project. The deadlines in the project are necessary to let the client know when are you going to deliver what part of the project.
Step 4 – Project Schedule and Approval
Once you have the project plan (draft) in your hand, you need to pick up a sledgehammer and break the entire process into smaller goals. Baby steps, John, baby steps. The task is divided into various deliverables and responsibilities are assigned to other people.
The project schedule will have details of when one task will be started, till when it will be delivered, how will it be achieved, why the task cannot be completed, why the delivery will be delayed and other details.
Once everything is in place, the final approval by the stakeholders (your professor’s ‘Okay’) will be received. Once you have that, you have passed and it is time to partyyyyy.
Wait, Can You Just Turn Around?
Ah, there you are. Pardon me asking but do you not want any further assistance? Are you sure because I have heard that the research and writing part is too time-consuming and the project management assignment experts are a great help. You can try them via the live one-on-one session. What say? Or maybe you can send your assignment details and we will see what guidance will be best for you.