The planning phase, contrary to popular belief, is not correspondent with the stage of designing a project but is instead the phase when those managing the project create supporting documents to aid the project along. Project management retains its usefulness in different situations, aiding any plans from engineering to any ones that involve any overhaul (Synnott, 2014). Out of the eight tasks presented by Sipes (2016) within the planning phase, three may be highlighted as entirely used: scope identification, its division into team-assigned tasks, and scheduling of deadlines according to time constraints.
A breaking down of the project scope into task bundles makes future documenting achievements and advancement of the plan easier, instituting easy-to-follow milestones. Thus, to avoid “a potential gap in the planning process,” an appropriate amount of time and human resources was spent on the preparation of the project to achieve its successful application (Sipes, 2016, p. 59). Allocating responsibility among team members helped attain this goal through the identification of those liable for different parts of the schedule.
Risks and Constraints
A risk plan may be created against the possible dangers that a project may face from within and without the undertaking, determining those responsible for counteracting against unforeseen circumstances. Constraints, either “ethical or practical,” were identified in advance to prevent any possible hindrances to the project’s advancement (Moule, Aveyard, & Goodman, 2017, p. 192; Sipes, 2016). Sipes (2016) defines budget adherence as one of the most common obstacles, which was right within the computerization of the sepsis protocol plan. Outlining and monitoring constraints, thus, becomes one of the most important and feasible goals of the resource-management plan, necessary to circumvent possible, foreseen complications with which the project may be presented.
Critical Success Factors
Critical success factors (CSF) are aspects of the plan that define the extent of the project’s success in a quantifiable form. Additionally, they help identify “which tasks affect the project’s finish date and whether the project will finish on time,” a consideration that affects time-related constraints (Sipes, 2016, p. 71). Thus, appropriate CSF identification has had a direct influence on the deadlines pre-set by team members on the task bundles, strengthening the goal-orienteered approach.
Crewmembers choosing their own pace allows for a flexible schedule, which unfortunately is not always effectively communicated across different teams or even within them. A network diagram allows not just structuring project relationships but also identifying and managing the sequence in which tasks must be completed to advance the plan forward (Sipes, 2016). However, a lack of a network diagram does not prevent sporadic communication between teams or individual task achievement, but negatively affects the general project’s progression.
Importance of the Final Step in the Planning Phase
Building a schedule was identified as the last step within the project-planning phase, one that was dependent on the proper implementation of all the previous actions. Through inter-team communication and identification of internal deadlines, the ultimate project time limit was instituted, taking into consideration task bundles as contributing to the general progression of the plan and adhering to a network diagram. Without consideration of all the big and small tasks that build up to finalize the project, it would not be possible to identify the steps necessary for progress correctly (Sipes, 2016). Thus, as a final step, scheduling appropriately ended the planning phase through the institution of accordingly identified deadlines, which contributed to the bigger project’s timeline.
Moule, P., Aveyard, H., & Goodman, M. (2017). Nursing research: An introduction. New York, NY: SAGE.
Sipes, C. (2016). Project management for the advance practice nurse. New York, NY: Springer Publishers.
Synnott, L. (2014). Setting the record straight: Why you need to learn project management. Physician Executive, 40(2), 102-104. Web.