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Why Do You Need a Project Plan and What Should You Include in It?

Before you get started with the execution of a project, it is a good idea to prepare a project plan, detailing out the strategy, process and resources required for its efficient execution.

Why do you need a project plan?

A project plan explains the scope of the project and helps track its progress. It acts as a roadmap to focus resources and efforts toward accomplishment of the project goal. Following are the major benefits of having a project plan:

What should a project plan include?

A project plan should include a list of stakeholders, the scope of the project, completion schedule and timelines, estimation of cost involved, and the communication plan. Note that all of these components can change anytime during the course of a project and you may have to update your project plan accordingly.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for writing a project plan. It’s meant for the internal use of your team and you can write it in a manner you think would best serve your purpose. However, it should be well-organized and engaging so as to keep your team motivated.

Here are some of the important elements of a project plan:

How to prepare a project plan

Unlike a project charter, a project plan need not be comprehensive. You just need to tell your team what is to be accomplished and how. A project plan typically begins with the project goal or what you intend to achieve from the project. You should then break down the goal into an actionable plan. Once you have documented the course of actions to be taken to achieve the project goal, you can start making provisions for budget, resources and execution schedule.

Ask yourself the following questions while writing a project plan:

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