3 Biggest Myths of Project Planning

Believe the myths and you are almost guaranteeing that your project will fail to meet it’s objectives.

Myth 1: “I don’t need a Project Plan

Often PMs believe that they have a PID / definition / charter document and that has sufficient information to make production of a project plan unnecessary.  Wrong!  The aforementioned document is the foundation on which to build the project management plan.  Once the project is approved, the principal responsibility of the PM is detailed research, preparation, creation & sharing of a plan.  This will guide the PM through the project execution step by step, covering all of the relevant aspects of the project (see diagram).  The plan is a wise investment by the PM.  It forms the basis of communication with the project team and broader stakeholders.

PMAdvisor_PMPContents

Myth 2: “It’s just a Gantt Chart

Wrong! The project management plan isn’t just a visual representation of the work breakdown (WHAT) with dependencies, timing (WHEN), resources (WHO) & possibly critical path.  The professional PM also needs to consider all of the other aspects so as to maximise the chances of success.  Look at the mind map above for some of the other aspects to consider.

Myth 3: “I’ve got a great plan, and it’s filed

Wrong.  The project plan is a significant investment in getting the project in order.  As such is should be a living document that the PM will use day-by-day to guide them through the execution, helping make sure that they stick to the intended path.  As and when the inevitable deviations are encountered then the plan should be updated to reflect the change, helping the PM to make necessary impact assessments.  It is also the most important communication tool for the project manager to keep their team and stakeholders abreast of progress and direction.