Any successful Project Manager will tell you that the success of a project is determined by the initial plan. This plan, although changes may arise, provides a blueprint that allows managers to measure deliverables that determine the project’s success or failure. In the beginning phase of planning, the specifications are outlined which results in an agreement by each member of the team to handle specific responsibilities. This allows each member to gain clarity and understand how he or she fits into the overall plan.
Then the plan is looked at in a manner, which points out easily identifiable obstacles that can cause the project to fail. This is important because it allows the Project Manager to determine an initial outline that should be followed. As Blair states, “From a purely defensive point of view, the agreed specification also affords you protection against the numbties who have second thoughts, or new ideas, half way through the project”.
During the specification stage, errors and challenges are identified through rigorous brainstorming and outlining the procedures that are to follow. This is important because it eliminates ambiguity and puts everyone on the same page. It also ensures that team members aren’t duplicating efforts or straying away from the initial plan. It is often easy for someone to find an easier or more efficient way to do something but if it deviates from the overall goal, it’s not worth it to implement the change.
Once the beginning phase is over, there are numerous events, resources, and people that must be allocated to the project. This is extremely important as well. The Project Manager must ensure that resources, time, and personnel are orchestrated correctly so that the ball is never dropped and the plan continues to move as scheduled. Without an initial plan, it would be impossible to measure the failure or success rate and projects would never be on schedule and there would be chaos.