A continuing post in the Project 911 series…

Your project is going sideways, it’s in critical condition and you can’t figure out why.  Scope has been nailed down, you have the right people, communication is great.  What next? 

Who has a better list than Santa – nobody!  Your project needs a list too – the Work Plan.  A work plan essentially lays out all the deliverables (the things we will create) with the associated tasks to complete them.  It is the core plan that supports the broader project plan.  Don’t mistake it with your schedule.  A good work plan is a straight list of deliverables with underlying tasks and dependencies.  No frills.

Creating a work plan is a process of “deconstructing” the deliverables.  If you are going to paint a wall, what are the tasks?  Depending on your level of detail, this could be 4 tasks or 40.  Every Project Manager is different and plans to differing levels of detail.  If your project is off track through, you may not have planned to enough detail.  Continue to deconstruct your deliverables and you too can have a rock-solid work plan – just like Santa.

If you have a solid work plan and your project still doesn’t feel right, check out the next post in the Project 911 series – Issues & Risks.