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The Art of Project Planning: How Defeat the Deadlines Rather Meeting Deadlines?

In the present times, right from a school going student to a corporate, all are obsessed with achieving their own set targets. The line of action undertaken is called as a Project. Thus, every project has a definite end result that is desired by the person working on it. Project planning refers to the process of evaluating various variables and arriving at a probable course of action which can be undertaken with the planned dates. However, it should be noted that Project planning is an art by itself.

This article shall try to depict certain aspects wherein, Project planning can qualify to be a true piece of art. Basically, there are three steps that can render excellent Project planning viz. Evaluation of capabilities, Gap Analysis and Action Plan of Completion. These steps need to be performed with proper study and with utmost care so as to complete the targets within the deadlines. But as the title speaks of an art, it is necessary to execute each step in a certain specific manner to ensure success. It has been observed that people lack skills to plan projects due to which there is a constant complaint of delay in completion of the project. By following above mentioned three simple steps, success can be ensured provided the proportionate hard work has been invested.

The first step is the evaluation of capabilities. In this step, evaluation of the skills of the task force involved is the primary aspect. This is required because the people involved should be competent enough to carry out the task. Once this evaluation is done evaluation of the available resources has to be from. As an outcome, we can understand what is the present capability with respect to the workforce, i.e. human resource and that with respect to the equipment as well. The art of evaluation involves proper consideration of variables like process capabilities, skill set, endurance limit, diligence and the working ability of the available resources. Once this step is concretized, we can move to the next step.

The next step is a Gap Analysis. Having known the present capabilities on the basis of evaluation, a gap needs to be identified between the present state and the desired state of the project. While carrying out the Gap analysis, emphasis needs to be laid on a comparative study because it has been a time tested method to easily point out shortcomings. The art involved in this step is the sincere evaluation of the gap without omitting any aspect. It is also important that the desired results should be clearly known before beginning with the analysis. The outcome of the gap analysis should be such that an action plan can be easily devised to lead to success of the project. It is also required that the further plan of action should be feasible and should comply with the standard requirements as the case may be.

Having successfully completed two steps towards the completion of Project Planning, the final step involves devising an Action Plan of Completion. This is a crucial step in the process. The evaluation of capabilities and Gap analysis provides the basis for this step. The Action Plan should be such that all possible impeding factors must be appropriately considered and their effect on the completion of the project should be documented. An efficient plan should be made considering suitable safety factor such that any unexpected delay does not cause hindrance to the completion of the project. The art of preparing an effective action plan involves proper forecasting using various techniques with regard to various stages of the project right from procurement of raw material to completion of the finished product. Thus, if these steps are meticulously followed, any deadline can easily be met by successful completion of the project.

It can be concluded that each of the steps should be sincerely completed to obtain the desired results. Utmost care needs to be taken to eliminate all errors since a minor error at an initial stage can lead to error magnification in the future. Therefore, these three steps can render assured success if the Project is planned accordingly.