What is a project plan

What is a Project Plan

A project plan defines project goals and objectives, specifies tasks and how goals will be achieved. It identifies what resources will be needed and associated budgets and timelines for project completion.

It defines all work in a project and identifies who will do it.

A typical project plan consists of:

  • A statement of work
  • A resource list
  • Work breakdown structure
  • A project schedule
  • A risk plan.


Having a well-developed project plan is one of the critical success factors for projects.

A project plan is the Project Manager’s communications and control tool for use throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Project plans are living documents, which provide the project’s direction. As a result they contain all of the planning documents that are part of the entire process. Components of the plan include:

  • Baselines
  • Baseline management plans
  • Risk management
  • Quality
  • Procurement
  • Resourcing
  • Communications


The project plan identifies the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders.

The project manager gets clarity and agreement on:

  • What will be done
  • By whom
  • As well as which decisions each stakeholder will make.

The scope of work statement is one of the most important documents in the project plan. The scope includes:

  • The business need
  • Business problem
  • The project objectives
  • Deliverables
  • Key milestones


Project baselines are established in the project plan.

These baselines include:

  • Scope baseline
  • Schedule baseline
  • Cost baseline

The scope baseline will include all of the deliverables produced on the project. The deliverables can be developed into a work breakdown structure. Schedule and cost baselines will include estimates of the time to complete each task and the cost of each task. Task dependency is identified in order to develop the critical path.


The project plan will also include:

  • A scope change plan
  • A process for issue escalation
  • A risk management plan
  • And most importantly a communications plan

Project managers spend a lot of time developing clear project plans. Most importantly a well thought out project plan leads to smooth execution and successful completion.


This article was written by an experienced project planner with many years experience of working on major infrastructure projects


Project planning is one of the many services we offer. Contact us for a no obligation 30 minute consultation to see how we can help you with your project

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