What is Agile Project Planning

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Most agree that successful projects are carefully planned, controlled, and managed with keen attention to details.  The manner to accomplish the project plan includes project planning, scheduling, and controlling. As outlined on a agile project management course apmg.

In this article, I’ll briefly describe project management.  This is a broad field that includes project planning, scheduling, and controlling which are a major part of putting together a project plan.   There are many terms and definitions that I will not list here to keep things simple.  Since so many people choose to work in this field, I will focus on defining and understanding a few important ideas associated with project management.

Project Planning

What is Project Planning?  Basically, the work of planning the work in a project.  Whether the formal project plan is created in-house or is given to someone external to the company, planning is an important part of the overall project.  Whether the project is an extracurricular activity or is required at some external location, it is still work that goes into making a great project.  Any projects require time and effort.  The most efficient and effective way to deliver that time and effort is to plan in advance and properly execute the planning.

Project Planning is not a complicated activity if you are familiar with the concepts of offline project management.  The basics of project planning go Back to Wealth of Time Management (WOTM) as it is often used to define the motivations behind a project.  A WOTM goal is to create solutions for the problems the project will address and how the solution will benefit the company.

For starters, you can start with an offline system using a three-step approach.

Step 1.  Strategy

In basic project planning, once the project is decided on and final goals are set, the strategies for the execution are drawn from the strategy.  In this step, you identify your core business.  In this step, you will be taking all ideas you have and choosing a niche market.  Your core business is the best selection for concepts to cover the smallest portion of the given market without having your primary market become too large to support your efforts.

Step 2.  Execution

The execution step is what most calls the nuts-and-bolts bit of the project.  This is where you will implement your plans to get things done.  Execution can mean all sorts of things, from scheduling personal time to managing an entire system of people and resources.  The execution step typically calls for the organization to act in a specific fashion.

For example, in the private equity community of 2000, the stock market crash of March 2008 caused massive panic and reaction to do nothing.  Many investors were forced to sell all their money at one time and some had to recover significant amounts of money for a number of years.  In contrast, the 2008 market crash before the financial crisis caused a lot of distress but did not impact the global business community in the same way.

A very common mistake made by project managers is that they have a strategy they think the project will need to use to get things done, or they think they have an operation the efforts will need to follow to get their system to that state.  Often, they do not.  While the strategies might work for daily communications on each project, they do not apply to your organization.  Unfortunately, this thinking usually comes in the form of passive-aggressive behaviors that don’t work any where inside the organization.

In other words, there are sometimes significant differences between where your organization stands and where you want to go.  It is vital for the project managers and project team members to recognize this and proactively take steps to recognize it as well.  This can be done through timely feedback, accurate tracking, and overall success measures of the project.

Step 3.  Monitoring

Monitoring is what constantly spurs things on when you need to turn things around or are going off track.   Using a CMMS tool, it is possible to see every step of your team, where and how it is working, and what it is doing at any given time.  This is where it can maximize your results and make the set-up of the project go much more smoothly.

Project Monitoring is like having a team within a team.  While a time management system is very useful for organizing time in a way that focuses on the task at hand, feedback is essential for making adjustments to that time as needs differ.  Project team members also can handle important communications in a different fashion, so with these tools in place, you are able to track, but not for a specific task, checking in with the team as needed, rather than having a tool that requires them to move on.

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