I think everyone agrees that one of the primary responsibilities of the project manager is planning. As part of the planning process, the project manager's main responsibility is to build the high-level plan. However, it is the responsibility of the line/functional managers to build in or provide the details of the plan. We know that the project manager does not or should not control the resources that will ultimately do the work, but the project manager is responsible to see that that work is done right, on time, and on budget with expected quality....and the customer is satisfied with the project results.
Some items to consider when starting the planning process are:
Define your tasks using non-technical language, and include descriptions or notes detailing the work involved
Create milestones in your schedule to help track progress and use them as quality gates
Ensure you have agreement with the line managers about the skill sets required of his or her resourcesEnsure that key stakeholders assisted in building the Scope Statement, Project Objectives and the Project Plan.
Define up front how you will measure performance
Define up front how you will measure quality
Ensure you have a strong project sponsor that is engaged and supportive
Use Communication plans to keep everyone informed
While there are many other things that will go into the planning process, I believe the above list is a good start.
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