The process of project management has five phases: (1) design and initiation, which you just completed; (2) finalizing your plan before implementation, which you will do now; (3) implementation; (4) monitor and control; and finally, (5) evaluation and lessons learned, as well as knowledge transfer.
During Phase 2 (finalizing the project plan), you will continue to create the tools and documents you will need when you implement your project as the project manager in Phase 3.
Week 4: Communications Plan
Week 5: Deliverables and Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
Week 6: Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Gantt Chart
Week 7: Risk Management and Human Resource Management Plans
In this assignment, you will define and document the project’s tasks and project’s deliverables and their relationships to each. You will develop the WBS and project timelines using a Gantt chart.
The WBS identifies the project’s tasks that need to be completed by priority, and it flows into and facilitates project scheduling. This breakdown helps the project team identify all tasks needed to get the work done and the resources necessary to complete it. This framework allows you to assign tasks to individual team members, making them accountable for those tasks in the process. It is important that all tasks be identified and broken down, because project delays or even failure frequently result from forgotten or overlooked tasks rather than imprecise guesstimates.
The Gantt chart, named after Henry Gantt, clearly shows the start and completion dates for all major project activities and subtasks. The Gantt chart is straightforward, easy to understand, and simple to change. It provides a snapshot of the project, and one can immediately identify task durations and distinguish tasks dependent upon other tasks to be completed before they are started. Understanding of all dependencies is critical for the project manager, who is ultimately responsible for time, budgets, and resource allocation.
To assist you, there is a PowerPoint file demonstrating a two possible WBS formats and a WBS checklist, above. A click-by-click tutorial for developing the Gantt chart using Excel can be found in the week 6 lesson content.