Have you ever faced this – You work with all your might on a project, but it still fails to produce the expected results?
Now, take a step back and evaluate what really went wrong.
Did you start the project on the right note? Did you create a roadmap defining how your project will move and where your efforts will be dedicated?
If not, you know where you fell short!
A well-thought-out plan helps you work smartly by channelizing your efforts and time in the right direction, leading to successful project completion. It acts as a guiding force that monitors every step you take, keeps you from derailing, and prepares you for any unforeseen events.
Learn about how to create a project implementation plan in detail in this blog and explore its benefits, components, risks, and more.
Let’s move your projects forward with successful implementation planning – one step at a time!
Project Implementation Plan Defined
A project implementation plan lists the steps required to implement all tasks and, by that extension, the entire project, driving it to completion. It brings your strategic project plan to life by dividing it into simple steps and demonstrating how to achieve them.
This plan gives a detailed description of the project objectives, final deliverables, and activities to be carried out to accomplish the project. In a nutshell, it comprises every little step you need to take to achieve your project implementation goals.
The project management implementation plan allows you to :
- Plan implementation activities for successful project completion
- Define the scope and schedule of tasks and projects
- Adopt best practices to take your project from initiation to execution
- Keep a check on project quality and ensure top-notch deliverables
- Employ risk management techniques for hassle-free execution
- Incorporate and manage changes in the project
But, what exactly an implementation plan looks like? What does it comprise? The next section answers all your questions.
Read More: A Step By Step Guide To Project Planning
Essential Components of an Implementation Plan
A project implementation plan follows a carefully managed approach that increases your project’s likelihood of completing on time and within budget while meeting the quality standards.
There are some key components that an implementation plan comprises. Complete know-how of these components is essential for successful project execution.
1. Goals or Objectives
Setting the right goals sets the tone for the entire project management process. It creates a solid foundation that decides the fate of the project. Can a building stand tall if its cornerstones are weak? No, right? The same goes for the implementation plan. It can fail anytime if the goals and objectives are not clear from the beginning. So be clear about the purpose of your implementation plan from the start.
2. Set Milestones
Scheduling milestones is a critical part of a project management plan. It gives teams a clear picture of how they are supposed to achieve the milestone and by when. Let your project team take every step carefully and watch their progress as they reach closer to the milestones.
3. Resource Allocation
One of the primary objectives of an implementation plan is to determine whether or not you have adequate resources – time, money, and teams to get the job done. Get the necessary data and analyze whether what you have is enough to meet project goals. Doing this assessment in the beginning is a good idea to avoid any hassles later.
4. Roles & Responsibilities
Put clarity and transparency at the center of your execution plan. There should be no confusion regarding who is accountable for what, as that can slow down the project implementation process. Assign roles to each member and group and make their responsibilities clear from the start for faster project completion.
5. Success Metrics
During project execution, how will you know that you are moving in the right direction and your actions are translating into meaningful results? That’s where success metrics come in. Metrics such as time spent on tasks and projects, time spent by individuals and teams, etc., give a bird’s eye view of whether your efforts are generating the desired results.
6. Plan for Contingencies
Challenging situations don’t need an invitation to bother you. They can arise anytime, and they have the power to derail your project. Planning for contingencies, in the beginning, helps you navigate rough waters without panicking. This is an essential component of an implementation plan that keeps your project from going off-track, come what may.
Read More: Excel in Project Execution With These 5 Surefire Tips
Key Benefits of Project Implementation Plan
An iron-clad plan makes no sense if the execution is poor. And to put your strategic project plan into action, you need an implementation plan that’s fully focused on how to execute every step of the process and lead your project to a happy ending.
This bouquet of benefits that a project implementation plan offers will convince you to create one for your project.
1. Injects Clarity in the Process
A thoughtful plan brings increased clarity as to how and when work will be done. Without clarity, confusion ensues, and it is carried along till the last stage of the project resulting in project delays and low-quality deliverables.
Creating a project implementation plan gives a transparent picture of every step you need to take, when, and how it’s to be taken. It gives you the flexibility to think things through and prepare your team for what lies ahead.
2. Keeps Your Team Members on the Same Page
A well-designed implementation plan lays a strong foundation for how things will move in your project. It streamlines work by defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member, creating a smooth line of communication, and keeping team members on the right track.
Employing an implementation plan helps you define all tasks and describe the steps necessary to accomplish them. Clearly define who is responsible for what, and you will see team members being more accountable while managing projects. A project management tool like ProProfs Project makes this possible.
3. Improves Collaboration & Communication
When team members work together, their combined synergy positively impacts the quality of work and the final deliverable. With a proper project management plan, teams know what they are supposed to do and what will be the impact of their collective contributions.
They are well-versed with the project’s goals and the actions required to achieve them. They are also well aware of their roles and responsibilities, which keeps them in the right frame of mind when working on the project. Collaboration and communication get a lot easier when things are planned, and there is a proper system to achieve them.
You know the ‘what’ and the ‘why.’ It’s now time to learn the ‘how.’ The next section talks about how you can create a project implementation plan that guarantees success.
Related Read: 10 Surefire Ways to Improve Team Communication
Let’s get started.
Get Your Implementation Plan Ready in 7 Simple Steps
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for creating an implementation plan. Assess your requirements on the basis of your strategic project plan. Keeping that as a reference point, you can develop a suitable project implementation plan that offers the best route to successfully complete the project in hand.
Follow these simple steps to get a practical implementation plan for your project.
1. Define Your Ultimate Goal
Defining goals and objectives happens in the introduction phase. It helps you set the right tone for your implementation plan. Narrow down on your purpose, mission, and vision of the project. Identify any risks that you might encounter once you start implementing the project.
Analyze how this plan connects with your organizational mission and accordingly create your next steps. Chalk out your budget and resources so you are crystal clear about how things will move. This is also the right time to jot down any assumptions that you have and identify any limitations that you feel might hamper the implementation.
2. Create Teams & Define Their Roles
Bring the right individuals and teams on board who have the potential to lead your project to success. It’s important to consider their experience and knowledge level of working on such projects before taking them in.
Once you have a team or teams ready, assign them the right roles and responsibilities. This is a crucial step that determines which course your project will take. Unclear roles often lead to confusion, chaos, and disputes among team members.
When you keep things transparent as to who is responsible for what, work becomes streamlined and manageable. While some can take charge of the project administration and project management, others can be task managers, collaborators, and team managers.
Get the right project management software and assigning roles will be a piece of cake for you.
Read More: Project Management Process & Phases
3. Develop a Schedule
Like a well-designed narrative, an implementation plan should ideally have three stages – beginning, middle, and end. It should progress from initiation to final execution.
The beginning phase involves basic work like setting project timelines, deciding the budget and resource, etc. The middle stage includes doing real work like prioritizing, executing, and tracking. The last stage focuses on quality checks and submission.
Developing a schedule requires you to have a macro look at the project and chalk out all stages in detail so as to meet both quality and deadlines.
4. Create Tasks & Sub-Tasks
Create a list of tasks and subtasks that will drive your project to successful completion. Once you are done, don’t forget to assign these tasks to appropriate individuals and teams. Set due dates, prioritize tasks that matter the most, and let your team take every step carefully.
Set realistic and achievable deadlines. You don’t want the implementation plan to crash by striving to achieve tasks in a hurry. Let everything move in a step-by-step way, at a healthy pace.
It’s also crucial to give your team the flexibility to check task progress and monitor their pace. They should be able to prioritize tasks and figure out the best route to meet deadlines.
You can employ a project management tool for the same. If the tool offers a Kanban board where teams can get a glimpse of all their tasks, progress, and workflows, it would be great.
5. Map Your Risks
During project execution, you might face daunting challenges and unexpected complications that put a question mark on your project implementation plan, showing you in a bad light as a project manager. That gives you all the more reason to do a risk assessment right at the planning stage to avoid a crash or delay later.
Risk assessment is the best defense mechanism to guard you against unforeseen events.
But it cannot and should not be done by a single person. Bring your team together to brainstorm, gather different perspectives around the risks that your project might face, and discover possible solutions.
Another way to identify your risks is by checking previous records of implementation strategies that are similar to yours. Studying them deeply will give you a chance to identify the risks that they faced and analyze what worked out in those projects and what didn’t.
Learning from previous mistakes is a wise way to ensure that you don’t end up making the same mistakes in your project.
Read More: Project Risk Assessment: All You Need to Know About
6. Set Workflows for Increased Clarity & Faster Task Completion
A clear picture of all stages that tasks go through before completion is essential to keep teams on track. For this, you can set workflows for all tasks and keep project members informed of which tasks to take up and in which order.
For example, you can have workflows like – Open, On Hold, Completed, Pending Review, and the like, depending on the number of stages you want each task to go through.
This gives project members a clear status of tasks, and they know what needs to be done first and what can be taken up later. They can better analyze the situation and take their next steps to reach the intended results within the set timelines.
7. Define the Metrics for Project Review
Peter Drucker once said something, and it rings true to this day.
“If you can measure it, you can improve it.”
It’s as simple as that.
To measure your project performance, it’s essential to define specific performance metrics and decide the frequency of such monitoring. You can review the project every week or maybe once in fifteen days to stay abreast with its progress, team performance, and more.
Performance metrics such as – resource utilization, schedule performance index, planned and earned value can be useful here.
Let’s look at these metrics in detail.
Resource utilization shows the amount of time your team members spend on a project. If you have a good project management tool, you can easily capture this data using built-in reports.
Planned value is the cost estimate of the project activities planned in the beginning. This metric gives you the scheduled value of the project, not the actual value.
It can be calculated as – Planned completion percentage x project budget.
On the contrary, earned value shows the actual value you earn in the project. It is based on the work your team has already done and not what they should have done.
It is calculated as – Actual completion percentage x project budget.
The last metric that we feel is immensely helpful in measuring project performance is the Schedule Performance Index. It shows how much ahead or behind you are in the project schedule.
It can be calculated as – Earned value / Planned value
Monitoring these metrics will give you a clear inside view of how your project is progressing.
Also, modern project management tools provide built-in reports. You can leverage them to unlock insights into project and task status, their due dates, time spent on them, and much more. A visual representation of this data makes project analysis and improvement easier.
Happy that you now know the ins and outs of how to create a powerful implementation plan? You’ve all the reasons to be happy, but don’t forget that any good thing comes with its share of flaws. An implementation plan, regardless of how impactful it is, is not completely averse to risks.
There are a few risks associated with a project implementation plan. Let’s see what these are in the next section.
Risks Associated With an Implementation Plan
Any project implementation plan, regardless of how well it is designed, runs the risk of failure due to various factors. Your plan might be ready, but issues related to stakeholder buy-in can arise. This can happen because of two major reasons – a lack of confidence in your team or a mismatch of opinions on budget or deadlines.
If you don’t have stakeholders’ back, executing the plan can get challenging. Transparency in communication about your goals, resources, and the route you are going to take to complete the project, is key to convincing key stakeholders that your plan will be successful, come what may.
Other factors that might spiral your project off-track are a sudden natural disaster that affects your business or key team members resigning or leaving the project due to some reasons.
Take these risks into account while creating your implementation plan.
Stamp Your Project With Success With a Powerful Implementation Plan
The success of any project, large or small, largely depends on how well it is implemented.
An implementation plan gives your project the much-needed boost, taking it closer to its destination. But, you need to be very careful while building the plan.
A plan with flaws arrests the momentum of the project, preparing it for failure. If you don’t want that to happen, remember to plan it right.
Start by setting clear goals and objectives. Create teams, assign them roles, create a project schedule, map your risks, define performance metrics, and take every necessary step to get a powerful plan.
Follow the above-given steps and employ ProProfs Project to create and implement your project plan with confidence.
Q. What are the categories of constraints to project plan implementation?
Any project plan faces constraints that hold it back and prevent it from realizing the intended results. Some of the constraints fall in categories like staffing, budget, priority, timelines, and scope. Issues related to these categories can arise during project plan implementation.
Q. How to prepare a plan for project implementation?
It’s simple. The first thing you need to do is set your goals right, and everything else will fall in place. Then, create a team, develop a schedule, create tasks, set priorities and workflows. You can also define performance metrics to be used during implementation. These metrics will help you measure the progress and make constant improvements in your project.
Q. What is the primary purpose of the project implementation plan?
The primary aim of a project implementation plan is to define how exactly all tasks and the entire project will be executed. The plan intends to make the execution process free of hassles and confusion.
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