One of the keys to effectively managing a project is project planning. The Project Planning process area involves the following activities:
- Developing the project plan
- Interacting with relevant stakeholders appropriately
- Getting commitment to the plan
- Maintaining the plan
Planning begins with requirements that define the product and project. Project planning is based on the acquisition strategy, which is a guide for directing and controlling the project and a framework for integrating activities essential to acquiring an operational product or service. The acquisition strategy outlines acquisition objectives and constraints, availability of assets and technologies, consideration of acquisition methods, potential supplier agreement types and terms, accommodation of end-user considerations, considerations of risk, and support for the project throughout the project lifecycle. Planning includes estimating the attributes of work products and tasks, determining the resources needed, negotiating commitments, producing a schedule, and identifying and analyzing project risks. Iterating through these activities may be necessary to establish the project plan. The project plan provides the basis for performing and controlling project activities that address commitments with the project’s customer. (See the definition of “project” in the glossary.) Project Planning involves the development and maintenance of plans for all acquirer processes, including plans required for effective acquirer-supplier interaction. Once the supplier agreement is signed and schedule, costs, and resources from the supplier are established, the acquirer takes the supplier estimations for the project into account at an appropriate level of detail in its project plan. Project planning includes establishing and maintaining a plan for the orderly, smooth transition of the acquired product from a supplier to its use by the acquirer or its customers. In addition, if an existing product is to be replaced as part of the acquisition, the acquirer may be required to consider the disposal of the existing product as part of the planning for acquiring the new product. All transition activities are included in the project plan and provisions for accommodating such specialized requirements are also included. All relevant stakeholders should be involved in the planning process from all lifecycle phases to ensure all technical and support activities are adequately addressed in project plans. The project plan is usually revised as the project progresses to address changes in requirements and commitments, inaccurate estimates, corrective actions, and process changes. Specific practices describing both planning and replanning are contained in this process area. Changes to the supplier agreement can also affect the project’s planning estimates, budget, schedules, risks, project work tasks, commitments, and resources. The term “project plan” is used throughout this process area to refer to the overall plan for controlling the project. The project plan can be a stand-alone document or be distributed across multiple documents. In either case, a coherent picture of who does what should be included. Likewise, monitoring and control can be centralized or distributed, as long as at the project level a coherent picture of project status can be maintained.