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Project Plan Development: Project Management Tools

A project involves carrying out a series of events with the purpose of meeting given objectives. In order to meet the set objectives, the activities undertaken should be commensurate with the organizational policies of the team (Wysocki, 2011). The project agencies usually undertake scheduling in the initial periods of the project cycle. Planning depends on the completeness of the project’s necessities. However, in many instances organizers may plan after project scoping.

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A Project plan is a product of scope forecasting, schedule development and cost estimation of the project in question. Project planners use various methods in developing tools for the three core processes in the project plan development. Developing tools for the facilitating processes is of similar importance. Such include tools for quality, risk, team and procurement planning (Milosevic, 2003).

This work looks into two critical tools involved in planning. A Gantts chart is an illustration that uses bars to demonstrate when project activities will take place. It is a scheduling tool which shows the time and corresponding activity. The value of the chart depends on the scope of the undertaking, roles and responsibilities, accessible resources and the structures available for management (Milosevic, 2003). The capacity of the chart should be sufficient for management. It should neither be too burdensome to implement, nor too small to omit some vital information concerning the project activities.

In large and multifaceted projects, sole use of the Gantts chart is ineffective. In this case, its use may be complimented with the CPM chart. As opposed to the former primary scheduling tool, the CPM chart can handle more activities with interrelated data. The presence of a Gantts chart in an organizational setting enables all the participants to comprehend the timetable of events. It becomes easy to develop thus communicating effectively by creating visual impressions. It contrasts actual and intended project progress. It also plays a key role in resource allocation (Wysocki, 2011).

Sources have revealed the milestone chart as another essential tool in the planning process. This chart identifies key targets to be attained within a specified time span. Urgency in achieving the targets usually draws attention of the management team. In its development, one needs a concrete description of the project scope. The schedulers should have a satisfactory understanding of the project facts and the milestones to be achieved. Essentially, one engages milestone charts in focusing the administration to concentrate on extremely significant events regardless of the project size (Anema & McCoy, 2009).

The milestone chart endeavors to attain the short term goals of a project. It redirects emphasis from activities to the achievement of the goals. Aligning the chart increases its commitment to the precise requirements of the project. Customization of such charts aims to achieve the realignment. When customizing the chart, the acceptable confines of alterations should be distinct, such as the level and number of milestones. Furthermore, it should allow for inclusion of new features and possible relationships to indicate dependency (Milosevic, 2003).

Creating the charts is relatively straightforward by use of the excel tables. There also exists other computer-based software program, such as Microsoft Project, that may be involved in the creation. The preparation instructions using excel are basic and easy to apply. Gantts charts have fewer rows and columns. CPM charts are more complex to develop than Gantts charts as they are more detailed. This makes them have more rows and columns.

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I would recommend the integrated use of CPM and Gantts charts. Gantts charts are easy to make and show a clear visual communication. CPM charts, conversely, can handle more information as compared to the former. This justifies the integrated use of the two charts.

References

  1. Anema, G., & McCoy, J. (2009). Competency-based nursing education: guide to achieving outstanding learner. Massachusetts, MA: Springer Publishing Company.
  2. Milosevic, D. (2003). Project management toolbox: tools and techniques for the practicing project. New Jersey, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  3. Wysocki, K. (2011). Effective project management: Traditional, agile, extreme. Indiana, IN: John Wiley & Sons.

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