Mudassir Iqbal

The Planning Process Group consists of those processes that establish the total scope of the effort, define and refine the objectives, and develop the course of action required to attain those objectives. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Sixth Edition

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail by Benjamin Franklin

Once authorized, the project management team needs to plan the project at an appropriate level of detail using progressive elaboration techniques. This is thinking ahead of time about the project. The Planning Process group contain the biggest chunk of the Project Management processes from the 49 processes. The process group brings together all of the different types of planning needed to run the project.

This is not only to identify the ScopeCost, and Schedule but also to identify the resources needed and plan proper mitigation strategies against any unforeseen future event. The project management plan provides all the necessary planning to complete the project and deliver the objectives with the identified constraints.

Project planning emphasizes on developing a roadmap that needs to be followed. It begins with setting goals and two popular methods for this purpose are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) and C.L.E.A.R. (collaborative, limited, emotional, appreciable, refineable).

The most important task here is to develop the baselines i.e. for Scope, Cost and Schedule. These baselines are used for Performance Monitoring in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

With poor planning, the execution will go bad too… and eventually, the whole project will suffer. So to be successful in Execution, you need to plan carefully and diligently.

There are many processes which you may not use on your project, or you may do it as part of one process like Create activity, Duration, Resource, Sequencing and Scheduling. The process attempts to answer questions like

  1. What detail is expected in the plan? What sections require details and which will survive without detailed planning
  2. The levels of WBS and eventually identify what is needed to plan as neat future
  3. What level of engagement is expected from stakeholders in planning
  4. How to keep the planning process streamlined
  5. How to determine the quality and reliability of this information
  6. How often to re-plan
  7. How to administer changes to the plan
  8. How to minimize the effect of changes on work-in-progress

Though there are many deliverables listed in the deliverables section of this page, the most important is the master document known as the Project Management Plan which contains almost 19 documents. This document can be referred back throughout the project for planning, execution and monitoring and controlling. The document also serves as the official document to initiate the project work after the proper final authorization and approval.

Project Management Plan
Project Management Plan

Let me close this discussion on advise to be aware of the paralysis by analysis syndrome

Purpose of Planning Process Group

  • Outline the strategy and tactics to successfully complete the project
  • Identify risks that are not visible upfront
  • Document how to execute the other processes in the project

Tasks in Planning Process Group

  • Establish Project Deliverables with stakeholders based on the Project Charter
  • Develop Project Management Plan and subsidiary plans
  • Identify the project team and define roles and responsibilities
  • Obtain project plan approval
  • Conduct kick-off meeting

Processes in Planning Process Group (24 Processes)

The Planning Process Group has processes from each knowledge area.

  1. Develop Project Management Plan Project Integration Management
  2. Plan Scope Management Project Scope Management
  3. Collect Requirements Project Scope Management
  4. Define Scope Project Scope Management
  5. Create WBS Project Scope Management
  6. Plan Schedule Management Project Schedule Management
  7. Define Activities Project Schedule Management
  8. Sequence Activities Project Schedule Management
  9. Estimate Activity Durations Project Schedule Management
  10. Develop Schedule Project Schedule Management
  11. Plan Cost Management Project Cost Management
  12. Estimate Costs Project Cost Management
  13. Determine Budget Project Cost Management
  14. Plan Quality Management Project Quality Management
  15. Plan Resource Management Project Resource Management
  16. Estimate Activity ResourcesProject Resource Management
  17. Plan Communications Management Project Communication Management
  18. Plan Risk Management Project Risk Management
  19. Identify Risks Project Risk Management
  20. Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis Project Risk Management
  21. Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis Project Risk Management
  22. Plan Risk Responses Project Risk Management
  23. Plan Procurement Management Project Procurement Management
  24. Plan Stakeholder Engagement Project Stakeholder Management

Key Deliverables

  • Project Management Plan
  • Subsidiary Plans
  • Baselines (scope, cost, Schedule)
  • Requirement Traceability matrix
  • WBS
  • Project Schedule
  • Budget
  • Scope Statement
  • Risk Register
  • Procurement Documents

Further Readings

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