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Why Project Planning Comes Before Design and Analysis

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 7/6/2011

This article answers this critical project management question.

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    When coming up with a new product, it is easy to get excited about product design and analysis. However, jumping into this phase of the project too soon can compromise your project. Before working on design and analysis, it is important to plan your project carefully. Careful project planning will encorporate the design and analysis phase. Efforts towards product design will be facilitated and organized. Analysis will occur systematically rather than in bursts of inspiration.

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    Why Wait?

    Project failure is often a product of poor project planning - something that can easily be circumvented. While your team might be eager to jump in on the design or analysis of a new product, getting them to hold off will benefit everyone. Multiple people may undertake the same tasks, leaving other tasks completely open. During the project planning phase, the project manager may learn that a particular design (which also happens to be the team favorite) carries too much risk or crosses over the budget boundary. If analysis is undertaken too soon, important nuances of the needed material may be overlooked. Thus, by staving off the excitement for jumping into a project feet first before planning, many mistakes and time consuming detours could be realized. For further information on poor project planning, you may wish to read Joe Taylor Jr.'s article "Five Signs Your Team Suffers From Poor Project Planning."

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    But I have a Great Idea for the Design (or Analysis)!

    picture If you have some ideas, great, just don't put too much effort into them during the beginning stages of your project. Imagine you are building a house. Before you even consult your budget, you draw up an awesome floor plan. You become attached to this floor plan. You even show it to your cousin when he comes to visit for the weekend. But then, you take the floor plan to a contractor. The contractor looks over the floor plan and shakes his head. He then tells you that the plan cannot be supported by the type of foundation that you want. The proper foundation will cost four times what you had budgeted. You then feel crestfallen at the fact that your fabulous design cannot be realized. If instead, proper time was put into researching different foundation types, costs, etc. this dissapointment could have been prevented. Patience really does save time and sanity.

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    To Help you Get Started...

    To help get started on project planning before you dive into design or analysis, Bright Hub has some wonderful articles to assist you. Among these articles are:

    "Improve your Project Management Process by Developing a Good Methodology" by Natasha M. Baker

    "Phases of Project Managment" series by Deanna

    "Creating a Project Plan" by eschulze


    "Project Planning Forms" by Joe Taylor Jr.