The Planning phase involves the creation of a set of planning documents which will guide the team throughout the project.
The key stages are as follows:
- A comprehensive Project Plan is critical to the success of the project. It identifies the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of phases, activities and tasks to be undertaken to complete the project. It also identifies the sequencing, duration and dependencies of tasks and the resources and financial expenditure required to complete the project.
- The Resource Plan should give a detailed assessment of the resources required to undertake the project. It should list the required labour, equipment and materials and quantify the amount of each resource. It should also give a resource usage schedule to give the Project Manager with a complete view of the total amount of resources needed at each stage.
- The Financial Plan describes the financial resources required during each stage of the project.
- The total cost of each item of labor, equipment and materials is calculated, as well as the total cost of undertaking each activity.
- The Quality Plan lists the quality targets that need to be achieved to ensure that the project deliverables meet customer requirements. Quality Assurance and Quality Control activities are scheduled to make sure that the required level of quality is achieved throughout the project.
- The Risk Plan identifies all foreseeable project risks and rates them in terms of their likelihood of occurrence and potential impact on the project. The risks are prioritised and actions identified to reduce the likelihood of each risk and minimize its impact on the project.
- An Acceptance Plan is created to ensure that customer acceptance is sought for each deliverable produced by the project. The Acceptance Plan provides a schedule of Acceptance Reviews.
- The Communications Plan describes the information to be provided to project stakeholders to keep them informed of the progress of the project. A schedule of communication events and activities is drawn up to make sure that the right information is communicated to the right people at the right time.
- Finally, a Phase Review is carried out to ensure that all of the required Planning activities have been completed and to provide formal approval to proceed to the next phase.