written by: Amanda Dcosta
• edited by: Jean Scheid
• updated: 12/2/2010
If you're looking for basic project plan samples, this guide outlines the process of project planning in alignment with simple projects for ease of understanding. Bigger and more difficult projects too follow a similar pattern. Find some useful tools here that you can use to get started right away.
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Sample of a Project Plan #1
The easiest way to understand project plans and the impact they have on a project is by explaining them using some basic project plan samples. Take for example the construction of a house. In order to build a house you would have to plan the type of house, size of house, number of rooms, type of roof, floor tiles, windows, doors, etc. This brings us to part where each aspect of the house would have to be considered. It would begin with the major variables such as foundation, walls, roof, floor, windows, doors, etc. From there on, a more detailed picture can be drawn as shown in the attached figure here (click to enlarge).
For each of the major variables, a list of sub features are noted, for example:
Time to complete the foundation
Time to complete
Fittings to be attached
Thus, for each of the major variables, many smaller sub-variables are also involved and must be included.
Screenshot by created and courtesy of author.
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Questions to Ask
By taking a closer look at this basic project plan sample, we can see that planning a project is a backward process from the end result to the starting step. From the picture of a house built, we have worked our way down to the smaller variables, activities, and tasks such as collecting material or gauging the amount of manpower required for each section. A much closer view reveals important points such as:
Why is the project being carried out?
Who is in charge of the project / each task?
What resources / manpower are required?
Howmuch funds can be allocated for the project / each task?
Another basic project plan sample would be the planning of a dinner party; lets say, a Christmas party. It would involve answering simple questions such as:
Why is the party being held? - To celebrate Christmas
Who is hosting the party? - Mr. & Mrs. Z.
Where is the party to be held? - At the residence of Mr. & Mrs. Z
What is the estimated budget for the party? - $ XXXX
When is the party to be held? - Date / Time
Who is invited to the party - Families A, B, C, D, E, F, G
How is the menu going to be taken care of? - By caterers
Once you have a basic outline of the important 'planning' questions, a more detailed list can be further drawn up:
Residence of Mr. & Mrs. Z.
Location: Outdoor in lawn by the pool
Mr. Z. in charge of ordering the furniture
Mrs. Z. in charge of interior decoration
Mr. & Mrs. Z. to jointly decide on the caterer and the menu
Number of families invited - A, B, C, D, E, F, G
Number of adults
Number of children
Estimated number of vegetarians
Estimated number of non-vegetarians
Gifts for Children
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In project management terms, planning a project is by working a backward process from the end result of the project to its very first step involving the questions of who, why, what, when, etc. According to the principles of project management planning all these are points involved in what is known as the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). It is these broken down steps in planning that give rise to the basic and lowest levels of tasks involved in the WBS; the backbone of any project plan.