Project management plan is derived from the project’s strategy to achieve it’s goals. Project’s are considered as successful if they achieve the project’s goals within agreed upon time, cost. When we say project’s goals, it is not only meeting the scope but also meeting the project’s business objectives as well. The project’s management plan contains the following sub plans or subsidiary plans;
Requirements management plan – Explains how the project’s requirements will be captured, analyzed and finalized.
Scope management plan – Details how the project’s scope will be defined and managed.
Cost management plan – Explains how the cost of the project will be estimated, baselined and managed
Quality management plan – Nothing good happens without planning. That applies to the quality factor of the projects as well. Quality is conformance to requirements and fitness for use. Achieving the desired level of quality needs meticulous planning. The quality management plan explains the quality assurance and quality control activities to be performed during every phase of the project.
Resource management plan – How are we going to get the resources on time for smooth execution of the project?. Resources include both manpower, equipment and material.
Communications management plan – As per the Project Management Body of Knowledge, it is the responsibility of the sender of information to ensure that the recipients got the message and understood the intended meaning of it. Majority of the project issues happen due to improper communication. If the team size is bigger, the complexity of communication is also higher. In the case of distributed teams, it becomes more complex. Communication management plan explains what, when, how and to whom of communications.
Risk management plan – There is a school of thought that project management is all about risk management. If we can identify all the potential risks well in advance and manage them, projects will succeed. Unfortunately it is very difficult to do so. As the project progresses, new risks surfaces and some of the existing risks become irrelevant. Risk management explains the process of identifying, prioritizing, responding and mitigating the risks of the project.
Procurement management plan – During execution of projects, non availability of the right material on time is one of the causes for delay. While overstocking of material have cost impact, non availability or delay in supply cause project slippage. Procurement management plan explains the process to be adopted by the project to get the right materials on time within budget.
Stakeholder engagement plan – Lack of interest or loss of interest of the key stakeholders in the project is one of the key symptoms of project disaster. Stakeholder engagement plan defines the actions to be taken pro-actively to ensure high degree of engagement by the key stakeholders throughout the project.
Change management plan – As usual, changes, especially those leading to rework is one of the most demotivating factor for the team. If not controlled, the accumulated changes will play havoc with the schedule and cost. Change management plan explains how the changes associated with the project will be managed.
Configuration management plan – Projects contains several artifacts (design documents, plans, scope documents, components etc). Controlling changes to them calls for version control. For example, when we release a project plan, it will be Version 1.0. Based on the changes to it, the version numbers progresses into 1.1, 1.2, 1.3…2.0 etc. Configuration management plan explains how the configuration management of the project’s artifacts will be managed.
The project management plan will also have references to the approved baselines of schedule, cost and scope. Other components of the project management plan can be the life cycle adopted by the project (waterfall, agile) and the development approach (concurrent engineering, automation) and the performance measurement baselines of scope and cost. Very often this refers to the project milestones with dates and cost against which the actual progress can be monitored.
Project management plan is not the schedule. Project management plan is a document which explains the components explained above. For smaller projects all these components gets into a single document where as for very large projects, each of these can be separate documents.