by MaryGrace Allenchey, PMP

Project and Program Management Professionals very often encounter stakeholders who believe “planning” is a “waste” of time, and that a project or program “plan” is not needed!

But PM Professionals know and acknowledge PLANNING as a critical process for successful delivery of the quality products and services that meet or exceed stakeholder functional specifications and performance expectations!

The purpose of the PM-Planning process:

“Devise and maintain a workable scheme to address the business and stakeholders need for which the project or program was established”.

Examining the elements in this definition of the purpose of the PM-Planning Process, it becomes evident that the primary objective of PM-Planning is to develop the implementation strategy that is required to effectively produce and successfully deliver quality products and services.


  • Devise: An implementation strategy is created and defined to perform all of the required tasks and produce the required deliverables; to attain the objectives of the project or program, attesting to the art of PM best practices
  • Maintain: The implementation strategy is judiciously managed using specific processes, tools and techniques, to continuously meet the current and approved “triple constraint” of the project or program, attesting to the science of PM best practices
  • Need: The implementation strategy ensures all the required deliverables are produced, and all products and services meet stakeholder functional specifications and performance expectations, attesting to the quality assurance of PM best practices
  • Workable Scheme: The implementation strategy is a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound) approach, attesting to the discipline of PM best practices.

Using the phrase, implementation strategy, is a very effective technique for overcoming the paradigm of stakeholders who believe “planning” is an ineffective use of time, and that a project or program “plan” is not needed!

To ensure this critical component of PM best practices is performed, advise your stakeholders that resources are required to think through an effective approach and develop an implementation strategy for effective and efficient delivery of the required products and services.  Most stakeholders believe and accept that thinking is a very beneficial activity, and strategizing is a critical and worthwhile effort. They then acknowledge and concur with the need for the Planning process; readily approve the time, budget and resources required for the associated functions and activities; and are eager to review the results of a well thought out implementation strategy for delivery of quality products and services!

Development of a comprehensive, effective and efficient Plan must ensure that the three critical  process areas of every project or program environment are continually addressed, throughout the life cycle of the project or program,

During the PM-Planning Process, the required deliverables associated with each of these process areas, are finalized and the associated tasks are defined:

  • Business Management Processes
  • Product and Service Delivery Processes
  • Project Management Processes

The following matrices outline the critical outputs and deliverables for these Process Areas.

Business Management Processes: PM-Planning requirements to comply with enterprise policies and guidelines

Think About   Business Management … and Determine   PM-Planning Requirements for


Constraints to   the implementation strategy


Procedures /   tasks to meet business guidelines


Product and Service Delivery Processes: PM-Planning requirements to successfully deliver quality products and services

Think About   Product & Service Delivery …  and Determine   PM-Planning Requirements to


Define product /   service functional requirementsDefine product /   service performance expectations


Architect   product/service functional requirementsArchitect   product/service performance expectations


Construct product   / servicePerform quality   control (QC) tests


Install /   implement product / servicePerform   integrated quality-assurance (QA) testsProvide client /   end-user training


Transition to   maintenance/production environmentProvide product /   service documentation forcontinuous support


Project and Program Management Processes: PM-Planning process outputs/deliverables to effectively manage all nine PM-Knowledge Areas

Think About the   Nine Management Knowledge Areas….  and Produce   PM-Planning Outputs/Deliverables


Integrated,   deliverables-based Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)


Schedule Baseline


Budget BaselineCost-Control   Procedures


Quality-Control   Procedures


Communication-Control   Procedures

Human Resources

Resource   Allocation and Assignments


Leased &   Purchased Products and ServicesContract-Control   ProceduresProcurement-Control   Procedures


Risk-Control   ProceduresIssues-Control   Procedures


Value   Added-Control ProceduresPM-Plan &   Kick-Off SessionApprovals

Think about the

“Triple Constraint”

Change-Management/Control   Procedures

Always produce your Project or Program Plan … a dynamic product….

the Implementation Strategy that ensures success…


If you found these tips from MaryGrace Allenchey, PMP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.


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