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A project plan is critically important to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page. They don't need to be complex. This article demonstrates a quick way to assemble a practical project planning framework.  It is a Yellow Belt article.

There are any number of ways to construct a project plan and unlimited variety in the amount of detail that you could go into.

In a small business, a great level of detail is often not necessary because the plan is largely done in the owner-operator's head and the team involved is quite small.

The planning process is really just to "get your head straight".

But having some written notes is an excellent way to ensure you have all your ideas lined up and can communicate them clearly to your team. 

Very often one starts with a blank sheet of paper and it's difficult to think where you begin to write!

This recipe outlines a rapid project planning technique that a small team can use as a focus for how to progress with a project.

The approach uses the well known mantra; Who, What, When, Where, How and How Much as its framework

 Who

 Consider:

  • The people involved in the project.
  • The clients or customers that you are targeting.
  • Any outside agency such as a government department or a professional like an accountant that needs to be involved.
  • The members of your team that will be intimately involved.
  • Who will be running the project.

 What

Consider:

  • Describe the nature or describe the project in sufficient detail for someone to get a clear understanding.
  • Importantly, you should outline the goals of this particular project so that everybody is clear on what is trying to be achieved.
  • Human and other resources required.

 When

 Consider:

  • Describe the time frame for the entire project and any sub-projects that are important from a time point of view within the project.

 Where

Consider:

  • Where the project will be carried out.
  • Any other location related issues involved.
  • Work / office space required.

 How

Consider:

  • Outline the methodology for the project in sufficient detail for people to have a quick understanding about how it works.
  • Are there particular techniques, technologies, ways of working involved?  Outline in enough detail for someone to understand.

 How much

Consider:

  • Outline any quantities involved in a project such as money, materials.

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