Many project managers and teams do not plan projects because they fail to understand the importance of planning in project management. The planning component helps guide teams, sponsors, stakeholders through the project phase.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Even Abraham Lincoln knew that you run a risk and chance of a higher failure rate if you do not plan. Although it can be daunting and detailed at the time, planning can reduce the risk of failure.
Regardless of the type of projects such as marketing campaigns, events, and web development, when project managers neglect to plan projects, it is generally because of the following reasons that they feel the need to rush this crucial component.
Some project managers are overwhelmed with unrealistic demands. As a result, they prefer to skip the planning process or rush through the planning process, not realising the future damage it would potentially cause as the project progresses.
‘Planning is a waste of time’
The project is doomed right away with an attitude like this. The effects of rework and regret down the track when project managers realise that:
- resources are overstretched,
- timelines are being dragged further, or
- they do not have the right people on the team for critical components to complete the project time.
Uncertain where to begin
Some managers have no clue how to plan projects and fail to understand that planning plays a vital role in executing a project to its eventual completion and success.
According to hydra.cloud, The Pareto Principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. More specifically, it asserts that by focusing on the 20% of work that most matters to your client, you will produce 80% of your project’s results.
What are some crucial components in a project that should give planning and organising/budgeting/scheduling importance for The Pareto Principle to work?
Above all, it is essential to plan the scope of the project – the resources, timelines, tools, software, hardware required. Outlining the scope will allow the project manager to facilitate creating a breakdown of the work structure.
Preparing to Breakdown Work
Preparing a detailed plan of a breakdown of the project into tasks and sub-tasks.
Planning Project Schedule
Preparing a listing of all the activities and specific details and implementation.
This planning allows for the exact number and mix of resources required, when required, and will allow for the planning schedule to include third-party contractors with unique skills.
Budget planning is crucial. When project managers list all expenses from start to finish, how and where the money can be more easily allocated.
Where large projects are concerned, there is an entire procurement department that will source out vendors and subcontractors externally.
Risk management is now a significant component in planning for projects as there are possible risks, and contingency and mitigation plans have to be in place.
The importance of planning in project management helps to achieve the following when executed well:
- Planning reduces potential risks
There will always be a risk, regardless of the project size. Proper planning will allow teams to flag risks and mitigate them before they roll over into the other areas of the project, causing a costly disruption.
- A reduction in project failure rates
The importance of the planning phase in project management will ensure that you cross the T’s and dot the I’s, have scoped out the timeline, cost, deliverables, and taken note of the risks and how to navigate them. These steps will allow the project to run its course and reduce the risk of project failure.
A flawed plan will never deliver good results.
In the end, the project planning importance kicks in when you have a project manager and a team who work together where they consider all the activities of the project from start to finish. Their end goal is to achieve the objective and complete the tasks on time and on budget. In conclusion, planning reduces stress during execution and avoids disappointment when the project is delivered.
Contact On Point Support to discuss support with projects or management of projects.