project planning

E593: Project Planning Process

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.  Ben Franklin


  1. Project planning is a key part of successful projects
    1. It determines how we are going to execute the project
    2. Takes the estimate to a workable plan – Overview to details
    3. Creates the understanding for the team to follow
  2. The fundamentals of good planning
    1. Start before signing the contract – start the review to catch any errors
    2. Include your operations, estimating, accounting, and others in the planning process
    3. Schedule review meetings with each sector (can be quick one on one meetings)
    4. Do a final review with the team and management (or peer review)
  3. The level of detail for your plan will vary on your projects
    1. All plans should include:
      1. The review process
      2. Construction budget – not the estimate
      3. Construction schedule
    2. Additional items can be added as needed:
      1. Purchasing plan
      2. Responsibility matrix
      3. Deliverables matrix
      4. Resource plans
      5. Equipment plans
      6. etc.

E464: Project Execution Tracking At The Business Level

The success of our projects determines the course of our business so stay on top of your projects.


  1. Project planning is valuable – add tracking and it’s priceless
    1. Just making a plan is valuable
    2. We put the effort in so take advantage of it and track it
    3. Know the pulse of all your projects
  2. Put some systems in place
    1. Create a start-up review process
    2. Have regularly scheduled reporting on all projects
      1. Track and report on key metrics
      2. Create a spreadsheet that summarizes all projects
    3. Managers need to review regularly
  3. Create routines to make it a habit
    1. Set aside time every week to review your projects
    2. Review overall summary of projects and choose one or two to drill down on
    3. Provide feedback to your project teams

E463: Execute On Your Project Plans

Don’t let your project plans dust, execute on them.


  1. Project plans are living documents
    1. They should not be written and set aside
    2. They are not cast in stone
      1. Things change, so should your plans
    3. Project plans need to be updated regularly
  2. Get themost out of your plans with regular reviews
    1. Writing the plan in the first place is valuable – reviewing and updating increase the value 10X
    2. Project teams should review on a regular basis
    3. Schedule meetings just for the purpose of reviewing the project plans
  3. Take the review process to the next step and make appropriate updates
    1. Track and monitor your progress. Are you executing? Are you meeting your goals?
    2. Review your plan based on the current aspects of the project. What has changed?
    3. Make necessary adjustments
      1. It Plan, Do, Check, Act
    4. Communicate changes to the project stakeholders

E462: Good Project Planning Starts In Estimating

A solid project planning process starts with the estimating team.


  1. Start developing project plans during the estimating process
    1. Estimating plans the entire project while developing the pricing
    2. They already determine key aspects like manpower, resources, productivity – start writing it down
    3. If they don’t develop a plan they can miss something
  2. Get operations involved as well
    1. When estimating a project get input from the operations side
    2. They should review the estimating project plan
    3. Any input helps build a better estimate
  3. Create the project plan in stages
    1. I realize that this requires some effort but it creates better estimates – bid less and bid better
    2. To conserve efforts, develop the plan in 2 stages
      1. First stage is a high-level overview creating during estimating
      2. Second stage is after you win the job – a more detailed plan
    3. The estimating team should start the formal project plan and turn over to operations
      1. Have a debriefing meeting to discuss the plan

E226: Ask Coach – Project Planning

When it comes to project planning the most important thing is to develop a plan before starting.

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