Tag Archives: Planning

Project Planning Essentials

Very few project plans are simple and straightforward because there are often so many contributing factors to take into account. What exactly are all the tasks that will be required and how long will each task take? Are there dependencies between tasks? Some tasks or activities may require specialist skills or training and sub-contractors may need to be hired for certain aspects of the project. The initial brief may not be very detailed or, even if the requirements are fully documented, problems or omissions may still be revealed at the planning stage. There may also be an unrealistic fixed deadline to contend with.

Time and Money
Project Managers can come under enormous pressure to complete a project by a fixed deadline that has been set because of factors outside their control. This may be a marketing issue where time-to-market for a new product is critical; it may be an investor requirement or any number of other reasons. Whatever it is, the project manager has to work with it. But the worst thing to do is to try and squeeze all the necessary tasks into the schedule and allow for no slippage.

It is completely unrealistic to expect that there will be no need for contingency in the schedule of any project however large or small. So what can be done if all of the required tasks simply will not fit into the time available? Assuming that you have reasonable estimates for these tasks (and make sure that you do) then the best option is to negotiate with the project sponsors to scale back the requirements by either removing some aspects altogether or altering the final deliverable. It is far better to deliver a working product without lots of fancy bells and whistles than to deliver a product with myriad features but in which the basics do not function properly.

Surveys of individuals affected by the roll-out of a new product highlight the fact that users are usually only interested in the basics working.

So always ensure there is a time contingency built into your plan and if the schedule simply does not allow for this because the project is over-ambitious then negotiate for a reduction in the features of the final deliverable. The same applies to the costs of the project “” keep them within budget by scaling back the features rather than cutting corners and delivering a poor quality product or service.

Planning a project is a balancing act between achieving a high quality product or service at the end of the project and having a responsible and realistic attitude towards the timescales and costs involved. These two aspects are not mutually exclusive and with the right skills they can be balanced very effectively.

People
You may, as a project manager, be fortunate enough to be able to select your own team members, but very often the team is the one assigned to you. This is particularly true where work is outsourced to sub-contractors or partners.

In either case the key element that will affect the whole of the project, and your ability to manage it effectively, is how committed the team members are. For large projects you will have to appoint just a few people, gain their commitment and then ensure that they work with more junior members of the teams to ensure the commitment of everyone involved.

Project managers have different skills, personalities and methods of working so it is difficult to define one approach that works better than another. But the key factor to gaining commitment throughout your team is to nurture the individuals within that team. That means noticing when they have done a good job and praising them for it, taking an interest in their concerns or problems with the project and watching out for issues between different team members such as personality clashes. You might think these are not part of the role of a project manager but try taking a personal interest in key members of the team on your next project and see for yourself what a difference it makes when you build up a team that value each other, trust each other and can work together with real commitment.

Planning Techniques
As with every area of business today, there are software packages available to make the job of a project manager easier. However, a full understanding of the basic principles of project planning is essential in order to get the most out of these tools. The tools are only ever as good as the workman.

Some of the most frequently used techniques in project planning are Brainstorming, Cause and Effect Diagrams, Gantt Charts and Critical Path Analysis.

Just as brainstorming is a useful technique during the business analysis and requirements phase so it can also be useful at the planning stage to identify relationships between tasks, to throw up ideas for efficiency or cost savings, to raise issues of concern and highlight potential problems.

At the planning stage the charts and diagrams are useful tools to visualise all of these issues and more. They can help to clarify different aspects within the plan and, depending on the type of project, they may all be used for different, but equally valid reasons.

Each of these four techniques: Brainstorming, Cause and Effect Diagrams, Gantt Charts and Critical Path Analysis are covered in detail elsewhere.

The author is a qualified PRINCE2 Project Manager and believes the right project management training is essential for a successful outcome to any project. She recommends informal project management courses, such as podcasts, which are now available as an alternative to formal project management courses.

Diy Party Planning

Birthday party, wedding party, annual dinner, and any other important day, usually we would organize a party or special event to celebrate or memories this important day. All these need carefully thinking and planning. Therefore, event planning is knowledge or skills that needed. We have to learn it in order to plan and organize an event successfully. What is event planning? It comprises of budgeting, selecting, reserving, and coordinating tasks which need meticulous and complicated tasks on it. Therefore, the market has the event planning business which provides professional service for the company and public. It guarantees that there will be successful event for the customers, even there is any unexpected incident occurs, the event planner will react and find a solution to solve it.

What if, we do not have any budget for the professional services or help? Is alright that we can organize the event by ourselves. There are several tips or way to organize or carry out the event. Before carry out the event, we should understand or clarify the purpose or theme of the event. As different purposes of the event require different planning, for instance, for birthday celebration, we would prefer to the warm celebration which suit to small size of number of guests. Second, budgeting this is how much that you will spend for event. Budgeting will influence the few steps then after that, let said the checklist. A checklist has to be listed out for the location or venue for the event, food and beverage for the event, guest of the day and others.

Referring to the checklist, we will know what things that we needs and how much budget for each item. We also have to schedule facilities which include the table or chair, rooms and others. Time management is crucial too where the things should be done within the time frame and before the event. Lastly, to organize an event, network is needed too as it help in launching the event smoothly. It shows that event planning is essential in living.

More tips and ideas:

Party Planning Ideas;

Helpful Ideas to a Successful Meeting;

Choosing the Right Event Venue

Advice For Planning A Home Improvement Project

Whether you are inexperienced or you have years of experience, making home repairs will improve your way of life. Your home is part of who you are. The following information is designed to help you get an idea of what you can do improve your home, thus improve your life.

Store your paint cans upside down. A skin forms inside used cans of paint. When you open the can it’s a mess to remove. One solution is to put the used paint cans in your storage area upside down! That way when you turn the can over and open it, the skin is underneath the paint where it can’t cause a problem.

If you own a smartphone, use it to help you collect inspiration for your next painting project. There are a variety of apps available that will match paint colors to anything that you can snap a photo of, so you can collect potential paint chips right on your phone. Some apps will even allow you to order a sample of a shade you like.

If you have furniture that is dull, faded, or even peeling its original paint or finish, don’t dump it. Stripping off whatever finish was on the furniture will give you a clean slate to refinish it however you would like.

Venetian blinds can be vacuumed but at some point, they need to be washed. One way to wash them is to put them in the bathtub and use a brush and solvent to clean off the accumulation of dust. An easier way, may be to wash them while still hanging. Put a plastic drop cloth underneath to keep water off the floor.

For a unique and highly on-trend look, consider hanging flocked wallpaper on a large focal wall or in the main living area of your home or apartment. This type of wall covering adds texture, color, and style to any room, but is especially ideal for homes without children or in master bedrooms.

When you are looking to lower your utility bills, an easy way to improve your home and save money is to check your home for leaky faucets and pipes. This way you can prevent the waste of water just dripping down your sinks and lower your costs over the span of the year.

When removing cabinets as part of a kitchen remodel, make sure you don’t just unscrew and yank them off the wall. You will more than likely end up taking some or all of the drywall off with you. Take time and care to remove each and every screw, and use a utility knife around the edges to break the caulking that was most likely used to seal between the cabinet and the wall.

In conclusion, fixing up your home will make you feel good about yourself. No one wants to be living in a home that is in desperate need of repairs. Hopefully, the above information can get your home back into a condition that will make you love to be living in it.

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Planning a Home Improvement Project

What is your ultimate goal? What is your budget? What is your timeline?

Before you select any contractor for a project, such as the myriad professionals from http://www.247pro.com, you need to determine exactly who you need. Contractors are like other professionals, they specialize in certain areas. Some are experts at outdoor projects, other indoor projects, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Some do it all, with specialty departments.

It’s important to know what your ultimate goal is; just a simple “redo” of something you have now, or a full remodel? By doing research first – creating your “dream” result – you may be surprised at what you can accomplish on a given budget. As an example, in a kitchen, if you are thinking about repairing or replacing just a few items, what savings are available for a more extensive remodel? The costs and requirements of doing some basic work may make it affordable to do more extensive work for a small amount more, with a much greater result. It’s always best to dream big, and then scale your project to fit your budget as you refine your thoughts. You never know how one piece is tied to another, making savings possible.

Understanding timelines is important. Home improvement projects often require things you may not have considered, such as city or county permits, safety and quality inspections, and the availability of materials.

What may appear to be a project of a day or so more realistically may take more time because of coordination necessary between government agencies, materials suppliers, and labor for specialty work.

A successful project is one which is planned along a timeline, allowing for time consuming parts of the project and the arrival of materials. Once everything is in place, it is important to have the time to do things right the first time, without undue pressure to finish in a hurry because of outside influences.

Planning a home improvement project before a big event, such as a wedding or anniversary, needs to include planning for the entire project to be completed well before the arrival of guests. Home improvement projects are permanent improvements, and you want them to be done well, and to your satisfaction. This includes time at the end for any tweaking which may be necessary for last minute inspirations.

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