The project management plan defines how the project is to be executed, monitored and controlled, and closed, and it’s established by the Develop Project Management Plan process and refined throughout the entire duration of the project.
The project plan isn’t a Gantt chart and it isn’t just a project schedule. It’s a comprehensive, consolidated document that contains everything anyone needs to know about the project and how the project will be managed.
Project Management Plan Characteristics:
- The project management plan is formal
Nothing equates to formality like a written document, so we should think of the plan as a written document.
- The project management plan is a single document
The plan document itself contains all essential and subsidiary components. It is not a document that simply references other documents.
- The project management plan is approved
At some point, an authority within the project accepts the plan. This could be the sponsor, project manager, organizational management, or the project organization (PMO management).
Once the plan is approved, it’s considered baselined, and any further changes to it are governed by integrated change control.
- The project management plan can be summary or detailed
The characteristics of the project (such as its scope, effort, cost, and risks) will affect how detailed the plan will be.
Not all project management plans have to go into finite details as long as all major elements are covered.
However, for the PMP examination, it'd be best for us to think of the plan as being an extremely detailed document.
- The project management plan contains subsidiary plans
The project management plan contains subsidiary plans, such as those that establish how the project’s scope, schedule, cost, and quality will be planned for and managed.
The detail that goes into these plans depends on the project's characteristics. These subsidiary plans may be simple paragraphs or full-fledged plans.
- The project management plan is the first place to refer to
Everything about the project is to be found in the plan.
For our PMP examination, if we're presented with a question asking where to find project information, in lieu of a more specific choice, choose the project management plan.
Project management plan components
The project plan includes the project scope, schedule, and cost baselines (and sometimes other baselines like quality).
These baselines are collectively known as the performance measurement baseline. A baseline is what was originally planned for with any approved changes incorporated into it.
- Milestone list
Milestones are important dates the project must meet, and they need to be included in the project management plan.
- Resource calendar
This provides the schedule of when work will be performed by specific resources or when resources are needed, such as facilities or equipment.
- Risk register
The risk register is a complete log of identified risks, how likely they are to occur, and what the risk response will be.
- Open issues
Any open issues, including targeted dates and responsibilities for resolution, should be identified.
Develop Project Management Plan Process Decomposition
Develop Project Management Plan Process: Inputs
- Project charter
The project charter formally authorizes the project and the project manager. It also provides the business case, objectives, and success criteria of the project. The charter provides the framework for project planning activities.
- Outputs from planning processes
All of the outputs from the project management processes in chapters 5 through 12 are used to establish the project management plan, and any approved changes or updates to process components will usually require a correlating change in the project management plan.
- Enterprise environmental factors
Any of the many enterprise environmental factors and systems that influence the project should be considered for their impacts on the project management plan.
Those can include infrastructure, personnel hiring and firing practices, and availability of project management software (PMIS).
- Organizational process assets
Organizational process assets are the source of existing policies, processes, organizational data, and knowledge.
Of special importance will be historical information from similar projects, organizational methodologies, project closure procedures, change control procedures, and the configuration management knowledge base is available.
Develop Project Management Plan Process: tools and techniques
- Expert judgment
Expert judgment is based on the experience and knowledge of subject matter experts. It's used to assess and evaluate the inputs and the information they contain.
Develop Project Management Plan Process: outputs
- Project management plan
The project management plan details how the project will be executed, managed, and controlled, including many subsidiary plans as to how changes to major project components, such as scope, budget, and schedule, will be handled, and how important factors such as communication, risk, and quality will be managed.
The project management plan is the key source of information relating to project management for the project.