When developing your project plan for a large initiative, consider a comprehensive review with the sponsor, key stakeholders and the project team before finalizing the plan and moving forward with implementing the project. This will reduce problems during implementation, ensure you have captured everything needed early on in the project, get stakeholders involved/engaged and enable for more effective project planning overall. As part of your project plan review, consider:
- Is the business case for the project clear and concise? Does it map to a long-term strategic initiative of the organization?
- Is the scope of the project clear? (No ambiguity.) Check by asking someone from outside the project team to read it and explain to you what is being accomplished by this project.
- Are the project objectives clearly outlined and do they help to accomplish the project?
- Have stakeholders who will be impacted contributed to/reviewed the project requirements?
- Does the project plan clearly delineate the deliverables of the project? What does success look like to the stakeholders?
- Are stakeholders delineated? Is anyone forgotten?
- Have all potential risks been considered? Is there a plan in place for those risks that are likely to occur and/or have a negative impact on the project?
- Is there a plan in place to roll out of the project?
- Are project team members assigned with roles and responsibilities aligned to their skills and expertise?
- Is there a communication plan in place? How will you report status on the project? Who needs to be involved in status meetings?
- How will changes to the project be managed? Has this been agreed to by the sponsor and key stakeholders?
- What milestones exist for the project?
- Is the timeline reasonable and achievable given resources and budget?
- Has the budget been approved and signed off on?
And once developed, don’t tuck away the project plan in a folder! For longer initiatives do a mid-project review to ensure that any changes/updates have been captured in the plan and you are still on track and managing to your plan.