A project plan is more than a MS Project Gantt Chart

A project plan not only outlines the specific goals and timelines for a project, it also breaks down the various tasks needed to accomplish the goal of the project. Project planning is an important part of making sure a project gets done right and within a specified time frame. There are many resources available to project managers that will help them in both planning and plan execution. Charts like the Gantt Chart (or Bar Chart in the PMI world) are helpful in establishing a deadline and marking progress toward that deadline. Most projects, however, need a more detailed project plan.

Planning methods such as The Project Management Life Cycle (by PMI) are more practical than Gantt Charts because they include important aspects of planning such as process groups which outline the tages of project development and knowledge areas which break down the process groups into areas of expertise. These methods allow project managers to better distribute their project to employees.

Risk management plans help project managers and the project team to anticipate various risks associated with their project and plan for them. Another planning necessity is a resource allocation plan. Resource allocation plans ensure that the appropriate resources are made available for each stage of the project, and are not overused in any of the beginning stages.

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