A project management plan outlines the processes, procedures, and milestones involved in a project. It serves as a guide for both short-term tasks and long-term goals.
A project management plan typically lays out who is responsible for what within the project, how timelines will be monitored and maintained, and the budget associated with each task or deliverable. In addition, they make sure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page throughout its lifecycle. In order to make sure everyone remains on the same page throughout the process, organizations often use different knowledge management (KM) tools to help.
Knowledge management is defined as the process of creating, capturing, storing, sharing, using, and managing important data and information in an organization. An effective project management plan enables and incorporates knowledge management and ensures the program successfully runs its course.
With practical knowledge management tools in place, organizations can successfully spread information and improve the efficiency of their project management plan. Moreover, knowledge management practices increase the value and effectiveness of an organization’s project plan by enabling the right information to be available to the right people at the right time. That way, employees are never scrambling to find the valuable information they need to carry out their projects.
5 Steps to creating a project management plan
The 5 most common steps to creating a project management plan include:
1. Set your objectives
The first step in building a project management plan is to set objectives for the project. This includes defining the goals and outcomes of the project, as well as determining key performance measures and success criteria.
Using MindManager’s® mind maps, you and your team can collaborate and brainstorm in one centralized location, such as a Kanban board or Gantt chart. This will create the foundation for your project to come.
2. Define your scope
Establishing the scope of the project is important to ensure that all tasks needed to be completed are clear, and that unnecessary work doesn’t creep into the timeline. It also helps to create an estimate of time and budget needed for completion.
Using Workflow diagrams, you can visually represent a business process, project, or job. They show the various tasks and steps needed to complete the process from start to finish.
3. Prepare your schedule
After developing a detailed list of tasks and activities, use this information to create a timeline with estimated durations for each task and subtask within the project. Here, Timeline charts can help to keep everyone on task.
A Timeline chart should include milestones, deadlines, and any necessary contingency plans in case something takes longer than expected or if unplanned issues arise.
4. Implement quality assurance plans
Quality assurance (QA) plans are used to manage risks associated with quality within a project in order to achieve acceptable levels of product or service delivery that meet customer requirements.
Here, you can use Tree diagrams to visualize possible outcomes and probabilities for a given situation. Tree diagrams are particularly useful in charting the outcomes of dependent events, where if one element changes, it impacts the entire outcome.
5. Monitor and track your progress
Regular monitoring is essential for successful project execution since it enables managers to:
- Assess progress on ongoing tasks and activities
- Identify progress shortfalls early on
- Adjust plans accordingly when necessary
- Investigate potential opportunities for improvement
- Shift their focus on upcoming tasks as needed
Using mind maps, you can keep track of all of the factors that worked and didn’t work. That way, you can learn from doing and ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice.
Commonly used project management plan templates
Organizations use hundreds of different charts, diagrams, boards, and other templates to help with project management. Below are three of the most popular project management templates used and how MindManager can help you use them.
Kanban is a workflow management framework that emphasizes a continuous workflow. The Kanban methodology is based on visualizing a process as it moves through different stages. In addition, this method focuses on coordination and communication between teams to optimize workflows.
The primary purpose of Kanban is to coordinate teams more efficiently while improving their control over the output of tasks and projects. Team members can collaborate in real time while tracking their progress on the board. This allows teams to focus on completing small chunks and eliminating unnecessary steps or redoing tasks that were already done before.
MindManager supports the creation of Kanban boards to enable organizations to collaborate efficiently in one central location. Here, employees can stay on track while adding necessary resources and data directly to the map to keep projects consistent and clear.
A scrum board is a visual tool used to track and manage a project’s associated tasks. It consists of lists of tasks that need to be completed, categorized by “sprints” or “milestones.” A sprint is a short, time-allotted period when a team works to achieve a set amount of work. A milestone is a specific point in a project that marks a significant stage of development.
As tasks are moved from stage to stage, the changes are reflected on the scrum board. These boards also provide essential information, such as who is responsible for specific tasks and how much time it will take to complete them. Scrum boards help teams organize processes, prioritize tasks, and improve collaboration.
When building a scrum board using MindManager, you can leverage the drag-and-drop capabilities which make it easy to tailor the board to specific project needs. You can also add documents, links, and images to the board to achieve clearer communication and better results.
A Gantt chart is a visual diagram used for project planning and scheduling. Gantt boards often feature a timeline at the top of the board, representing the planned tasks over a set period. In addition, they have vertical bars beneath each item, which illustrate when each task should start and end.
Using Gantt chart, employees can plot out tasks and timelines so that teams can visualize what needs to be done to keep a project on track. They are an excellent tool for project planning and responsibility allocation and help you see the bigger picture of your project.
Gantt charts and the other templates listed above are just some of the options that MindManager offers users to aid in project management and planning. With visual diagrams like the above options and more, you can stay organized, productive, and task-driven from one centralized location.
How does knowledge management go hand-in-hand with project management?
Project management skills and capabilities are made easily transferable when the associated knowledge and processes are captured, stored, and organized. However, this is only possible when organizations and individuals set up knowledge management systems and processes to do so.
Knowledge management and project management go hand-in-hand because they involve collecting, organizing, disseminating, and applying information. Additionally, knowledge management is essential for successful project management because it enables teams to develop new approaches to specific tasks and objectives along their journey. This helps them keep track of progress and optimize the use of resources for maximum efficiency throughout the life of a project.
For example, MindManager includes a Small Project template, which can significantly improve your knowledge management system. A Coaching Map can help you organize strategies, methods, and techniques for defining and delivering smaller projects and tasks. Moreover, Coaching Maps can capture the ins and outs of project processes so that other employees can benefit from your efforts in the future.
How organizations can use MindManager to enhance project management planning processes
MindManager is an innovative visual productivity solution that offers a variety of pre-built templates to help you visualize projects more effectively, including Kanban boards, Gantt charts, Flowcharts, and more.
Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and scrum boards can all enhance project transparency for employees, fostering understanding and collaboration amongst team members. With MindManager, teams can easily work together in real-time across various platforms, including Windows, Mac, Microsoft Teams, and the web browsers of their choice.
Discover how MindManager can improve your project management planning.