I had an initial meeting with my project stakeholders and was able to define a strategy based on goals that everyone agrees with. The goals are:

  1. Data access
  2. Data storage
  3. Data validation
  4. Analytical solutions
  5. Real time support

All five goals translate to real, tangible tasks like firewall access, code design, database design, report writing etc...As a coder , I would structure my project plan from a standpoint of

  • Inception
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Implementation

But I sense it would miss the mark by doing so. I am thinking on using the five goals above as phases of my project plan.

Do you agree? How would you structure this project plan?

  • I just did a search on PM:SE for "project plan" - kind of remarkable that there is no good advice that matches this topic. Like several of the answers below, I feel like this question confuses project plan (how to manage the project) with work breakdown structure (Deliverables and associated activities). I feel like I should answer, "However your PMO has defined project planning in your organization", but I don't think that responds to OP's intent.
    – MCW
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 11:22
  • First five are functions of your project , just divide these functions into different subsets which may contain time etc..
    – mussdroid
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 18:50

3 Answers 3


I agree on half of what you submited. Planning also includes, budgets, human ressources, deadlines, material ressources, etc Those are specific tasks, but very good ones. You have to ask yourself other questions, depending on the nature of your project. What do you start with? What do you do second, etc. You have to reflect on a brother basis, with a global view. You have to understand what is your role. Are you the project manager? Will you use the Agile or Scrum models or you own? In one word, you have to figure out how you are going to organize yourself with the team and money you have for your clients to be fully satisfied on time.

  • 1) I am the (super new at this) pm. 2) This is not a software project of my end: we are transferring code, reports etc. to another team. I guess my job is going to be more of identify what's required and coordinate accordingly.
    – Chris
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 22:54
  • But my point is that planning is a management task that can apply to many different situations. You have to understand how it works and if you have the abilities to do so. I think you do. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 23:07

What you're talking about is a Work Breakdown Structure.

Your first five are not phases, but rather separate deliverables or work packages. Break them down that way, with the requisite tasks, and then follow the process or progression you would normally follow for each.

  • Thank you. This makes complete sense to me. Accepted and voted up.
    – Chris
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 22:45
  • Actually, my project is about more transitioning away from my team to another software code, reports, data files etc...There would no effort involved on my side but more on theirs. Does a WBS still apply?
    – Chris
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 22:48
  • 2
    Yes. Whether or not you should have a WBS isn't contingent on the type of project. If you have a project goal and deliverables, then you should have a WBS. This helps you break down the overall project into its' component parts (decomposition) for better management. So even though there's 'little effort on your side', you and your stakeholders were able to identify the specific deliverables (your 5 items), so now you can break those down into the relevant tasks to achieve each, and ultimately the end project goal. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 0:30

To create a project schedule for my projects, regardless if they are agile or not, these are my first 6 steps:

  1. Open the latest version of you work breakdown structure to outline the schedule
  2. Ask to your team what needs to be done to deliver what is in the work breakdown structure
  3. Identify with your team in which sequence they suggest to do the activities
  4. Get to know what the team needs to work on the tasks and to deliver what is in your scope
  5. Get the first estimations of the effort and duration
  6. Consolidate all the information in the project management tool you will use to manage the project schedule

You can get more details about in my post "How to create a project schedule", where you will also find information about how to create a product oriented WBS.

I hope this helps, Cheers, Falcon

  • 1
    +1 for "ask your team" - the most important step; project plans done without the cooperation/active input of the team are shelfware at best.
    – MCW
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 11:07
  • @MarkC.Wallace "shelfware" LOL. I'll have to use that.
    – Peter K.
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 12:58

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