How do you make a project plan? – Follow these 5 steps for a good foundation.
A project plan is the most important design element of a project. With a project plan, you set clear boundaries with a clear goal. In this way, you work purposefully towards the end result. That is why, as a project manager, you want to have a good project plan.
But you can only make a good, clear plan if you know what the goal of the project is. With a project plan, you can then set and meet the deadlines. A project plan prevents firefighting and ensures that you keep a grip on all your construction projects.
That is why it is so important to draw up a plan at the start of a project. If you’re wondering how to make a project plan, this blog is for you. Here, we will give you a step-by-step plan to get a running start on all your projects. Follow these 5 project scheduling activities for a good foundation:
- Define the full scope of the project.
- Divide the construction project into steps and phases.
- Determine which external factors will influence the project.
- Draw up a schedule.
- Draw up a communication plan.
A complete project plan in 5 steps
These steps need some explanation in order to get the most out of your project plan. We explain the steps in more detail below.
Step 1: Define the full scope of the project
As a project manager, you do not start at the very beginning of a project. The scope of a construction project is already determined before a drawing has been made at all.
However, it is still important that you draw up some kind of framework for yourself. We’re mainly talking about the following elements:
Making an overall schedule
Although this is not yet a completely detailed account of all the different elements, it is important to make a specific overview. What materials do you need, and what expertise? Which tasks follow each other, for example because they depend on each other? By drawing up a complete picture of these dependencies, you can fill in the next steps more easily.
Calculating the parties on the basis of the drawings
The drawings have been made, and you have the rough outlines of a planning. Now you can look further into the parties that will be involved in the project. You make an estimate of the costs, when parties must be scheduled and at which location. The rough design of the schedule is very useful here: you have a better idea of which tasks are dependent on each other.
Drawing up a cost estimate
Once you have a list of the materials you will need, together with the work that needs to be done in this project and the parties you will need to carry it out, you can draw up a cost estimate. Ask yourself: how much will the building material cost? What are the costs for quality assurance? By scheduling deliveries to the construction site in advance, you avoid delays, possible costs, and you are working sustainably. KYP Project helps you with this by providing various integrations such as BMN, with which you can order building materials directly from the scheduling stage!
Step 2: Divide project into steps and phases
After the project definition, you divide the project into phases. Which crucial tasks must be completed first? Group tasks that are related to each other in stages. This way you keep it clear for the parties that are linked to these tasks. And you, as a project manager, have a better overview of the progress of the project.
Step 3: Determine which external factors will influence the project
Projects are always influenced by different environmental factors. Delays caused by other parties, regulations or other factors can slow down the project. Make an inventory of the parties and factors in the environment that influence your approach to the project or the project itself, such as municipalities or clients. This is called an environment analysis.
In addition to the environment, there are also those directly involved, such as project partners or internal staff. Make an inventory of the people you need in and around your project, so that the schedule can be adjusted accordingly.
Step 4: Link tasks to parties
Now that all elements of the schedule have been inventoried, it is time to link all tasks to the correct executing party. In this way, the mutual relationships of the tasks are clear for the whole team, and you avoid mistakes.
Visualizing this overall planning can be done in various ways. You can choose to set up a strip planning or bar planning / Gantt chart. With KYP Project, you can easily and quickly put together a fully interactive schedule. Link the involved parties to their tasks so that everyone becomes part of the schedule.
Step 5: Draw up a communication plan
Now that the overall project schedule has been drawn up, it is important to think about how to keep track of the planning. KYP Project makes this very simple. Tasks are displayed in our project management tool as digital post-its. The various parties involved carry out their tasks and tick them off. The tasks are checked by the executors, who then tick them off. This makes the task transparent, and it is no longer editable.
KYP Project automatically gives you a signal if the schedule is likely to run late. This happens, for example, when digital post-its are not checked off by the parties. Moreover, this data will enable you to make more realistic estimates of deadlines and budgets in the future. KYP Project collects the relevant and interesting data with KYP Analytics, which provides insight into the elements that are running well and those that are not.
Finally, also consider how you will inform people during and about the project. With KYP Project, it is very easy to supply the right and complete information to the right parties.
Drawing up a project plan
The above 5 steps will give you a good foundation to draw up a project plan. With this, you make an inventory of the most important factors that influence the project scheduling. Do not underestimate the importance of a good project schedule, but remember that in practice, a schedule can always change. This outline will help you manage your schedule in a project as well.
Ultimately, an initial schedule is intended as a guideline and the actual schedule will change several times. The idea is that you have a good inventory of the steps to use for as realistic a timeline as possible. This way, regardless of your role and experience, you have more control over your projects.