Definition - What does Project Plan mean?
A project plan is a formal document designed to guide the control and execution of a project. A project plan is the key to a successful project and is the most important document that needs to be created when starting any business project.
In IT, the term project plan refers to a a Gantt chart or any other document that displays project activities along a timeline. However, considering these documents alone as a project plan is inaccurate. These particular documents can be more precisely termed as project schedules, and may be considered only a part of the actual project plan.
A project plan is used for the following purposes:
- To document and communicate stakeholder products and project expectations
- To control schedule and delivery
- To calculate and manage associated risks
Techopedia explains Project Plan
A project plan answers the following basic questions regarding the project:
- Why? - What is the task related to the project? Why is the project is being sponsored?
- What? - What are the activities required to successfully complete the project? What are the main products or deliverables?
- Who? - Who will take part in the project and what are their responsibilities during the project? How can they be organized?
- When? - What exactly is the project schedule and when can the milestones be completed?
Project initiation requires detailed and vital documentation to track project requirements, functionalities, scheduling and budget. Poor documentation can lead to disastrous results for all project stakeholders. Formal project plans establish detailed project requirements, including human and financial resources, communications, projected time lines and risk management.
A project plan is a formal agreement between the project procurer and developer. It documents and ensures mutual project stakeholder approval while assisting management and technical teams with project tracking.