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Building a New Project Plan


"A relevant, revised project plan is an essential tool for a successful rescue intervention. This chapter assumes that the reader already has some knowledge of the basic techniques for project planning and building project plans. The original project probably had a project plan, albeit one that did not address all the potential pitfalls. Instead, this section focuses on the additional or special techniques and information that are required to turn a good project plan into a stronger one - one that is relevant for rescuing the project. The key concept of 'relevance' is examined in more detail in the sections that follow."

Guiding Principles for Building a Project Rescue Plan

Tips, tricks and criteria for creating your project rescue plan.

Common Elements and Features of a Rescue Plan

Elements to consider for your project schedule such as milestones, deliverables, activities and tasks, and slack. Also tips on what to avoid when planning your project's budget.

Common Problems with the Project Plan

Project managers will be faced with challenges creating project plans, whether they are initial plans or rescue plans. This section explores some problems common to formulating plans. Subsequent sections explore some common solutions to these problems.

Formulating the Plan

This section describes the first step in the plan building process: Formulating the Plan. It describes the methodology, estimation, and building the core team.

Building the Plan

This section explores some of the questions that must be answered in order to arrive at a plan that will be useful to govern the project rescue. Among the issues it explores are: the level of detail, skill sets, estimates, commitments, and third parties. This section also provides tips on plan validation.

Maintaining the Plan

Now that you've built a viable Project Plan for your rescue, how do you go about maintaining it? What information do you include? What information do you exclude? How do you ensure the accuracy of the information that you do include? This section answers these questions.

Project Plan Formats

You've got the perfect project plan; you've included everything that needs to be included and excluded information that doesn't help the plan. Now you need a vehicle to capture the information and communicate it to your audience. This section discusses several formats that will help with that communication. Of course, the MS Project plan (or other project management IS tool) is still the mainstay for managing project information but isn't very useful when it comes to communicating that information.

Defining Date Commitments

Choosing the right milestone dates is critical to building a good plan. There are 3 different approaches to identifying milestone dates: the date-driven approach, the resource-driven approach, and the combined approach. This section looks at all 3, identifying strengths and weaknesses in each.


The above is an excerpt from a book written by Sanjiv Purba and Joseph Zucchero, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2100 Powell Street, 10th Floor, Emeryville, California 94608 U.S.A. Sanjiv has over 20 years of experience managing large projects and many years engaged in rescuing ailing projects.