Project management planning techniques
Posted: Aug 03, 2016
Knowing how to plan effectively is a fundamental requirement for any project manager. Efficient organisation is one of the main foundations for success in any type of project, which is why it makes up a key part of the curriculum on all project management courses. Below, we will take a look at the different planning techniques you have at your disposal as a project manager.
Nowadays, you can find software solutions for all aspects of a business’ operations, and project management is no different. You will likely make use of one of the software packages that are available to help you plan tasks and such like efficiently. Nevertheless, you still need to have a full and frank understanding regarding the fundamental project planning principles; otherwise you will not be able to take advantage of the tools at your disposal.
Four of the most widely utilised project management planning techniques are as follows: critical path analysis, Gantt charts, cause and effect diagrams, and brainstorming. Brainstorming is one of the oldest and most basic forms of planning, yet it is undeniably one of the most effective. You can use this during the requirements and analysis phases, giving you the ability to highlight any potential issues, identify cost saving opportunities, and establish relationships between all tasks.
But, what are the other techniques? Let’s begin with critical path analysis, which is also known as critical path method. This is a mathematical network analysis technique that allows you to plan complicated worked processes with regards to the critical path of each system. It gives you the ability to determine if the project can be delivered on time. You can also use this approach during the project in order to keep everything on track.
Next we have Gantt charts, which were devised in the 1910s by Henry Gantt. This is a form of bar chart, in which there are a number of horizontal lines, indicating the amount of production completed or work done for a specific period of time, which is then plotted against the amount you have planned for those periods. This allows you to make sure you are keeping on track and not spending too long on certain phases of the project.
Finally, we have cause and effect analysis, which is also referred to as Fishikawa diagrams, Herringbone diagrams, Ishikawa diagrams, and Fishbone diagrams. This is used to identify the likely causes of any problems in the project. If a problem occurs, it is important to consider all of the things that could have caused it to happen prior to thinking about what solution to adopt. Thus, you identify the problem, work out the main factors involved, identify possible causes, analyse the diagram, and then come up with the solution.
These are all important techniques used for project management planning, which is why they often make up a core part of training courses such as the APM introductory courses and such like. If you can master these techniques, you will have a good basis in place to ensure that your project goes smoothly.
The author has written and published articles on a wide range of topics including Small Business Advice, Tax and Accounting, Interior Design, House Renovation and Project Management.