Keys to Success for Effective Project Planning


Business success can be accomplished many different ways. Generally the easiest and most cost effective way to accomplish change and success in an organization is via the bottom up approach. The reason for this is when an organization involves its workers in any change or improvements, the employees gain a sense of pride or a feeling of ownership. This reasoning stems from personal experiences and observations.

In two thousand and three, Best Buy went through a type of change to stay in the “big box” market and make a profit where other companies like Circuit City failed.They facilitated a bottom up approach, and incorporated the employees company wide. This paper will take a look at what causes companies to be successful and some of the tactics they use. Keys to Success for Effective Project Planning The keys to success for effective project planning are the same keys that make businesses successful.

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The trick is being flexible and finding out what is best for the market at that time. Joe Britton, the CEO of Sugar Ventures, wrote an article called “Keys to Success in Business”. In the article, he lays out five steps that he believes are essentials in building and maintaining a prosperous business.The five steps are as follows: “develop good ideas, work smart, surround yourself with great people, be frugal, and execution”. One or more of the keys can be found in the articles written to emphasize the key components to an effective project planning. The article on the Harris Corporation hit on almost every aspect of Joe Britton’s model.

Their idea was planned in a roadmap which showed the various levels of development and how the process will progress. The working smart portion is covered when the engineering department started a “lean product development initiative”.The overall plan with the lean production, set the ground work for the company to become number one in the tactical radio market. The planning phase of a project needs to lay out how quality control will be handled and by whom. Quality control does not necessarily have to be someone monitoring the progression of the plan, but a type of feedback on what is working and what is not by those who are implementing the project. Along with this control a type of budget needs to be established.

This is where the “be frugal” component of the business aspect comes in.A successful plan will find the best work, or workers, for the least amount of money. Contractors play a big role here. Depending on the type of project, the project management plan may call for the project manager to supervise or maintain the quality assurance of the contractors work. In other cases, the quality control plan may be handled by the contractor. The “Leadership Based Project Management Model Tested On Food Services at Arizona State University” study proved that in some instances, it is better to allow the contractors to govern themselves as long as the contractors being dealt with have a reliable track record.

When contractors allowed to govern themselves they take all the risks. According to the study, “If risk is transferred to the vendor, and PM assists the vendor instead of managing, directing, and controlling the vendor, performance of the vendor in this test was optimized”. In essence, the contractors have more to prove. This is a gamble the project manager may or may not choose to take. Overall, the key to a successful project plan is communication and feedback. From all the readings, it seems that brining in those who will be involved in the exaction phase helps to stream line the project plan.

If everyone or most everyone is there at the beginning, some problems may be worked out in the planning phase. This would save time and resources in the long run. The plan design can evolve very rapidly in one meeting, and may turn out better than the “initial plan”. Another step which makes perfect sense, was written about by Debra Lavell and Russ Martinelli. Their article about “Program and Project Retrospectives: Achieving organizational buy-in”, hits on several points which would allow the project plan to be successful.

They emphasize not creating a project for a problem and not for a solution to prevent a specific problem. In other words, if there is an issue that needs to be addressed then create a plan to solve that particular problem. Do not create a plan to solve that problem and potentially future issues. The reason behind this, is because change in an organization is slow and hard to come by. People like to not have problems and are more willing to do something about a particular problem. They do not however, want to change “just in case”.

Designing a plan for a specific issue would make it easier to implement.This also makes it easier for the project manager to gain support from the top executives who may or may not have noticed a problem existed. The problem can be resolved with little or no interference from the top, while making the potential changes easier to adopt at the lowest levels. In conclusion, a successful project plan incorporates several different factors. The factors of a well developed plan include a solvable problem, interdepartmental input, an established quality control plan, a sound budget plan, means of receiving feedback, a streamlined execution plan, and reliable workers.All these components are the basic building blocks of running a successful project.

Other aspects can be added, but overall these are the essential ingredients needed to make the project plan work and be effective. References Britton, Joe (2011). Keys to Success in Business. Business Insider War Room Contributors. Retrieved August 1, 2011 from http://www.

businessinsider. com/keys-to-success-in-business-2011-5 Lavell, Debra ; Martinelli, Russell. (2009). Program and Project Retrospectives: Achieving organizational buy-in (Part 2 of a Series). PM World Today.

Vol. X, Issue II.Retrieved February 3, 2011 from http://www. pmforum. org/library/cases/2008/PDFs/Lavell_Martinelli-2-08.

pdf Michael, John K. , Kashiwagi, Dean ; Sullivan, Kenneth T. (2008). Leadership Based Project Management Model Tested On Food Services at Arizona State University. PM World Today.

Vol. X, Issue X. Retrieved February 3, 2011 from http://www. pmforum. org/library/cases/2008/PDFs/Kashiwagi-10-08.

pdf Scott, Mark. (2009). Transforming the Project Management Culture at Harris. PM World Today Vol XI, Issue V. Retrieved February 3, 2011 from http://www. pmforum.

org/library/cases/2009/PDFs/may/SCOTT-Harris. pdf