What is a Project Management Plan?
A project management plan is a formal, approved document that defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled. It may be summary or detailed and may be composed of one or more subsidiary management plans and other planning documents. The objective of a management plan is to define the approach to be used by the Project team to deliver the intended project management scope of the project. The project manager creates the plan following input from the project team and key stakeholders. The plan should be agreed and approved by at least the project team and its key stakeholders.
[On a side note: In many organizations the term "project management plan" and "project schedule" are often used interchangeably. If this is the case in your organization, then please make sure that you understand that for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam, these are two distinctly different documents. We will discuss the project schedule in next week's tip.]
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) - Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute (PMI)®, Inc., 2013 also defines Develop Project Management Plan as the process of documenting the actions necessary to define, prepare, integrate, and coordinate all subsidiary plans. It defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled, and closed. The management plan content will vary depending upon the application area and complexity of the project. It is developed through a series of integrated processes until project closure. This process results in a project plan that is progressively elaborated by updates and controlled and approved through the Perform Integrated Change Control process.
The plan typically covers topics used in the project execution system and includes the following main aspects:
* Scope Management
* Schedule Management
* Financial Management
* Quality Management
* Resource Management
* Communications management
* Project Change Management
* Risk Management
* Procurement Management
It is good practice and mostly required by large consulting and professional project management firms, to have a formally agreed and version controlled plan approved in the early stages of the project, and applied throughout the project. Project planning is part of project management, which relates to the use of schedules such as Gantt charts to plan and subsequently report progress within the project environment.
Get a full load of the definition and examples of the Develop Project Management Plan process in the PMBOK® Guide 4.2 to 4.2.3
Here is another PMP® tip which can help you to be more prepared for the PMP exam. Watch it now!