Program and Project Planning and Control
New approach to Project planning and control activities
Program and Project Planning and Control – An Easy-to-Understand Explanation:
In this article, we aim to provide a straightforward explanation for those interested in understanding the concepts of program and project planning and control . As you can see, this term is divided into two main components: project planning and project control.
Project Planning and control :
We are all familiar with this term. We know that successful completion of any task, project, or exam requires detailed planning. For instance, the success of sports teams in the Olympics or the World Cup, passing a university entrance exam, launching and selling a new product, or completing a project on time, within the allocated budget, and with the specified quality all necessitate thorough and systematic planning.
Planning is a fundamental prerequisite for success, and it must follow established principles. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide outlines 24 planning processes, making up nearly half of the 49 project management processes. These planning processes play a pivotal role in the field of project management.
Definition of Planning:
Planning is the process of setting goals and providing methods or defining pathways to achieve specific predetermined objectives. Planning consists of a series of organized, systematic, and interconnected actions conducted to reach particular goals set by an entity, organization, or government over a defined period.
Reasons and Objectives of Planning:
There are several reasons for which managers should engage in planning:
1. To enhance efficiency, productivity, effectiveness, and overall performance within an organization.
2. To maximize the utilization of future opportunities and available resources.
3. To identify and mitigate environmental threats.
4. To establish clear paths of action.
5. To reduce the impact of changes.
6. To minimize waste and unnecessary elements.
By implementing effective planning, organizations can establish a clear path to success, make the most of available resources, and be better prepared to face unforeseen challenges. This underscores the critical role that planning plays in the success of any project or endeavor.
Critiques of Planning:
Professor Deming, known as the father of quality in today’s world, does not hold a high opinion of formal planning. His main concern is that formal planning can limit innovation, creativity, and initiative. In other words, Deming worries that adhering strictly to a plan at any cost might compromise the fundamental principles of quality work and products, and hinder employee creativity while making the process inflexible. Another concern is the possibility of planning being divorced from realities and facts. To address these concerns, it is necessary for planning to be carried out by experienced individuals who consider all conditions and maintain flexibility.
Types of Planning Based on Duration:
Planning can be divided into three categories based on its duration:
1. Long-term planning
2. Medium-term planning
3. Short-term planning
Long-term planning typically encompasses plans that span over 5 years, while short-term planning usually covers periods of fewer than 5 years. The difference between short-term and long-term plans reflects the duration of future commitments and the degree of organizational adaptability.
Types of Planning Based on Scope:
Operational Planning: These plans detail how to achieve general objectives and focus on the specifics of implementation.
Strategic Planning: These plans are designed for the entire organization, defining overall objectives and assessing the organization’s position in its environment.
Each type of planning serves a distinct purpose within an organization, with operational planning concentrating on implementation details and strategic planning addressing the bigger picture and the organization’s position in its environment.
Types of Project Planning and control Based on Depth:
1. Strategic Planning: This type of planning defines high-level policies and creates a focus.
2. Intermediate Planning: As the name suggests, intermediate planning serves as a bridge between strategic and detailed planning.
3. Detailed Planning: In this type of planning, objectives are clearly defined, leaving no room for ambiguity or confusion.
What Is Project Planning and Control?
After defining the project’s specifications, it’s essential to determine how the goals and requirements will be achieved, and this task falls under project planning.
For a comprehensive and robust project planning and control , the following stages must be carried out:
1. Description and Work Instructions: Preparing a job description and a work breakdown structure.
2. Scheduling: Creating a network diagram, estimating time, and developing a schedule.
3. Resource Allocation
Parameters of Project Planning and control :
The information required for project planning can be categorized into two groups:
1. Project Parameters: These are the project-wide details that need to be determined without considering specific activities. They include project start and end dates, project work calendar, available resources, and resource work calendars.
2. Activity Parameters: After obtaining the list of activities, specific details are determined for each one, including the activity’s duration, cost, dependencies with other activities, required resources, and time constraints.
Project Planning Phases:
Project planning consists of six phases:
1. Definition of Objectives: This phase involves identifying and defining the objectives and requirements of the project.
2. Scope Definition: In this phase, the project’s scope is clearly defined, including its limitations and deliverables.
3. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): The WBS phase involves breaking down the project into smaller, manageable tasks and subtasks.
4. Schedule Development: This phase includes creating a project schedule, setting milestones, and determining task dependencies.
5. Resource Allocation: Allocating resources, both human and material, to the project activities.
6. Budgeting: Developing a project budget that outlines the expected costs and expenses.
While trust is essential, better control is necessary. During the execution phase, it’s crucial to monitor and control the project regularly to ensure it aligns with the planned schedule. Project control focuses on three main areas: time, cost, and scope.
Time Control: Effective time control relies on project scheduling. Deviations from the baseline schedule are tracked, and the reasons for these deviations are recorded and investigated. Critical path analysis and delay recovery plans may be used to address schedule changes.
Cost Control: Project managers are often sensitive to cost performance. The project’s budget is established initially, and cash flow diagrams are created, indicating cash inflows and outflows. During specific control periods, the project’s financial status is reviewed and managed using Earned Value Management (EVM) metrics.
Scope Control: This aspect ensures that only the expected and agreed-upon work is performed as outlined in the project scope. Any changes or additions outside the project’s scope are documented and addressed through proper procedures.
Project planning and control are vital for the successful execution of a project, ensuring it remains on track, within budget, and meets its objectives.
What Is Project Planning and Control Instructions?
Introduction: In this discussion, we delve into the purpose and methods of project planning and control. The objective of project planning and control is to establish strategies for planning, progress monitoring, and report generation, enabling the analysis of project execution in various engineering, procurement, and construction phases. Through effective planning, the potential for delivering project activities with the expected quality within the agreed-upon timeframe is created.
Assigning a weighted value to tasks and resource allocation over time allows for assessing project progress based on physical progress and available resources. Controlling the project’s progress involves analyzing the current state, comparing it with the plan, and making decisions to optimize resource utilization for on-time project completion.
What Is Project Planning and Control?
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):
A systematic approach to break down and detail each component of a project is essential for scheduling, progress control, and reporting. Project breakdown levels are determined based on manageable control levels. In other words, activities should be selected at different levels to allow for a high level of control with minimal errors. The activities at various levels should exhibit the property of aggregatability, for example, A = A1 + A2 + A3, and the total weights assigned to activities at each level should add up to a hundred.
Relative Weights of Activities:
Each activity has a relative weight concerning the entire project. The total relative weights at each level sum up to 100. If the contract with the contractor specifies weight percentages for activities at different levels, these must be followed. Otherwise, the contractor calculates weights based on labor, resources consumed, and relevant coefficients, proposing them for review by the client’s consultant. After review and potential adjustments, the consultant submits the final approval to the client.
The purpose of planning, in response to the question “What is project planning and control?,” is to make decisions about what needs to be done. In this stage, project information is collected, and, following careful analysis and management meetings, scheduling will be initiated.
By utilizing structured planning, project managers create a roadmap for success, ensuring that project activities meet the expected quality standards and adhere to the agreed-upon timeline.
Scheduling involves allocating the necessary resources to perform activities within a specific time frame. After defining the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and considering contractual milestones and contract-integrated schedules, the initial schedule is prepared by the contractor. After approval, a detailed scheduling plan is created, extending to the final level. Once the detailed scheduling plan is approved and before any actual progress is made, a baseline schedule is extracted for future performance comparison.
If significant changes occur during project execution that invalidate the original plan, a revision of the initial plan will be necessary. Additionally, in case of project delays, a monthly compensatory schedule is established, considering the available work fronts.
Measuring Work Progress:
Based on the scheduling plan, the contractor develops cumulative progress curves (S-Curves) for various project levels and work steps, using the relative weights of approved activities and agreed-upon volumes of work. Actual progress is calculated at different levels based on the relative weights of activities and completed work volumes.
The outcomes of actions taken in various stages of project planning and control, especially in the monitoring and updating phase, are presented in various reports at specified intervals, including daily, weekly, and monthly reports. These reports provide feedback to the system, leading to updates and progress tracking on activities. This cycle continues until the end of the project.
The details in these reports may vary depending on the project’s objectives and different management levels but may include some or all of the following, not limited to:
· A summary of services rendered during the reporting period, including key engineering, procurement, and construction services.
· Tables categorizing different project activities.
· Real progress curves vs. planned progress (S-Curve).
· Delayed activities, their causes, and proposed solutions.
· Descriptions of existing issues and bottlenecks with strategic recommendations.
· Critical and near-critical activities.
· Planned activities for a defined future period.
· Updated scheduling.
· Machinery statistics.
· Direct and indirect human resources statistics.
· The latest status of project materials from order to delivery.
· Engineering documentation status.
· Weather conditions, temperature, and humidity.
· Images of project execution stages.
This comprehensive reporting approach ensures that all aspects of the project’s progress are effectively tracked, monitored, and communicated. These reports are crucial for decision-making, issue resolution, and project management.
Topic: Program and Project Planning and Control