The Project Plan section of the Project Charter focuses on five key things:
- Approach to different phases of the project
- Overall plan that includes the sequence of each of the phases
- Resource plan
- Quality plan
- Financial plan
The key to doing these effectively is thinking it through and communicating at the appropriate level of detail. Let’s take a look at each of the components of project organization.
Approach to Different Phases Of The Project
You need to think through the process that will be used at each phase – Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Control, and Closing. Depending on the complexity of the project there will be specific activities, methods, steps, and processes that you plan to do. It is helpful to do that up front.
Overall Plan That Includes the Sequence of Each of the Phases
Think through the key activities in each phase, as well as the timeframe. This will be the beginnings of a schedule – and possibly good enough to be approved as the final project schedule. Do this using at least Excel if not MS Project, and show visually the timeframes for each activity. If you need a more detailed plan, it should include milestones and dependencies, or you may just want to highlight a few key ones.
For each role, identify the start and end date, and the effort level required (full time versus some % of time). If your project is very small, you can list the individuals, but otherwise stick with the roles and exclude individuals.
Figure out what it will take to ensure a quality result from the project. Approach this by thinking about the processes that you will execute to get your desired outcome. For the customer service system, this will include processes for testing, change management, identifying and managing risks and issues, and configuration management. There also are overall managerial aspects of managing the projects, to include reporting and communications, procurement, timesheets, and related items.
Include the major cost categories and the key costs. If you have an approved budget, map it to this section. Keep this high level for the project charter.
The project plan section of the Project Charter focuses on how to get the project done. Take a process-oriented approach to how you are going to manage different phases of the project, sequence each of the phases, manage resources, quality and financial aspects of the project.
This post is part of the series: How to “Wow” Your Clients with the Project Charter
The Project Charter is a foundational document for managing your project, and on small projects you can add tremendous value and even astound and impress your colleagues with a high impact Project Charter alone.