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Project Planning

One of the most common causes of project failure is a lack of planning. This happens all too often as project managers and project planners are frequently under pressure to “get on with the work” and the risk is inevitably that robust planning is compromised.

The purpose of the workshop is not to force project managers/planners down the road of extremely detailed planning, rather it is to enable project managers/planners to prioritise their planning work more effectively than before. In the real world project managers/planners need to understand how to tailor accepted best practice to their projects and that is exactly what this workshop will deliver.

The workshop is based around a ‘live’ case study project which has already been agreed in principle in the ‘concept’ phase, subject to final planning work. The starting point is the planning of a project launch meeting based on a finalised business case, following which delegates will work in groups to understand the key plans for a project. The workshop is highly interactive with a skilled and experienced trainer taking the part of the project sponsor, to ensure delegates are directed and supported through the planning process.

Target Audience

Suitable for new project managers/planners or those with limited experience who wish to acquire the key project planning skills. This workshop is additionally good preparation for the APMP qualification.
An initial working knowledge of the most common tools and techniques (e.g. milestones, Gantt charts, network diagrams, risk procedures etc) is desirable. Those who need to learn the basic tools and techniques from scratch would be better suited to 'An Introduction to Effective Project Management'

Select specific date to see price, venue and full details.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Plan a project launch meeting
  • Create a practical project team structure
  • Understand how a detailed business case provides a robust justification for a project
  • Prepare a benefits management plan
  • Create product, work and cost breakdown structures
  • Complete a stakeholder management process and create an effective communications plan
  • Understand and use the most common estimating techniques
  • Create a network diagram, milestone plan and Gantt chart to schedule project activities effectively
  • Allocate resource using a RAM/RACI diagram
  • Create a histogram to support effective resource management
  • Lead a risk workshop to identify, assess and plan for risk related actions
  • Understand how to create a quality management plan
  • Ensure the project management plan is ready for implementation

Course Content

The Importance of a Launch Meeting

  • The structure of a project launch meeting
  • The reasons for holding the meeting

The Business Case and Benefits Management Plan

  • The minimum requirements of a finalised business case
  • The need for a benefits management plan at the start of a project

The Value of the Four Key Breakdown Structures

  • Advantages of an Organisational Breakdown Structure (O.B.S.)
  • The P.B.S. – why not simply do a W.B.S.?
  • What a Work Breakdown Structure (W.B.S.) will do for your project?
  • How to create a Cost Breakdown Structure (C.B.S.) and its value

Stakeholder Management and the Communication Plan

  • How to undertake stakeholder identification
  • Deciding which stakeholder analysis tools to use
  • Completing an effective communication plan

How to Schedule Project Tasks, Activities and Milestones

  • The value of having done a W.B.S.
  • Estimating methods – which to use?
  • Understanding how to create a network diagram from your W.B.S.
  • Gantt Charts - what they tell you and their suitability for reporting
  • The value of having a separate milestone plan
  • The links between scheduling and resource management

Resource Management and the Relevant Planning Tools

  • Creating a Histogram and what it will do for your project
  • Resource allocation and the RAM / RACI diagram
  • Planning how to use ‘S’ curves

Risk Management and Conducting a Risk Workshop

  • How to plan and run a risk workshop
  • How to identify risks – threats and opportunities
  • Understanding which risk assessment methods to use
  • How to plan risk responses – the options to consider
  • The importance of the risk log/register

Planning to Deliver 'fit-for-purpose' Quality

  • The key considerations behind quality planning
  • Why establishing ‘fit-for-purpose’ quality is essential
  • The importance of planning your quality controls

Ensuring the Project Management Plan is Complete

  • The P.M.P. – who writes it, approves it and uses it?
  • A checklist to test the content


In order to maximise the learning, delegates are provided with some reading prior to the workshop, so they can familiarise themselves with the project they will be planning. The pre-course activity is accessed online on a Delegate Learner Portal.

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