Everything You Need to Know About People-First Project Planning

The ultimate guide to creating project plans that prioritize people—your most valuable resource for project success.

Graphic illustrating resource article

As a project manager trying to plan a project, it's unnerving to think about all the ways it might go wrong: scope creep, unclear goals, communication gaps, and unrealistic expectations. The list goes on, and it takes a solid plan to avoid project failure.

But stop and think for a second. What's the one element of your project that can actually help you to succeed?

That's right. It's your people.

Your project team and stakeholders are your most valuable resources on the project because they execute and approve the work that will take it to the finish line.

When people are at the center of your planning process, they become informed, engaged, and invested in the project's success. This transforms your team from being viewed as mere resources to becoming a cohesive and accountable unit that understands its impact on the project at every turn.

This guide provides a roadmap for creating clear and concise project plans that prioritize the people involved and align them toward project success. By following it, project managers can build stronger teams, improve project outcomes, and achieve their goals with confidence.

What is a project plan?

A project plan is a fundamental document that outlines and illustrates how a project will operate from start to finish. It is considered the backbone of any project as it is the primary guide for project management. Your project plan can take different forms, such as a list, Gantt chart, calendar, or some other format using the vast array of project planning tools available in the market.

Regardless of the project type, be it a website design, a baby shower, a skyscraper construction project, or even a trip to the moon, a project plan communicates the project's overall phases, deliverables, tasks, milestones, assignments, and necessary steps and critical dates required to complete the project within scope and on time.

An effective project plan evaluates the scope and deadline while considering essential factors such as processes and workflows, team resourcing, stakeholder availability, risk management, and communications. By having a well-designed project plan, project managers can provide clear direction to the team, prevent scope creep, manage risks, and ultimately deliver successful project outcomes.

A project plan should provide answers to critical questions that guide the project from start to finish

Here are some essential questions to consider:

  • What is the project process? How will tasks be completed, and what are the project stages?
  • What are the project deliverables? What must be created, developed, or produced to complete the project?
  • What tasks are required to deliver the project? What steps need to be taken, and in what order?
  • Who is responsible or accountable for the work? Who will lead the project, manage the tasks, and ensure everything stays on track?
  • When do stakeholders need to be involved in providing feedback or making decisions? How will their input be incorporated into the project plan?

By answering these essential questions and others, a project plan can set clear expectations for how the team will create, deliver, and agree on deliverables, ultimately leading to the successful delivery of a final product.

What it won't do is manage the project for you! It's important to remember that all project plans are living, breathing documents. They must be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure you're tracking progress, adapting to changes (because all projects change), and being realistic about your project status.

Why you always need a project plan

There's no doubt that at some point, a high-powered stakeholder will come to your team with a very important project that needs to kick off immediately with little information and be delivered as quickly as possible.

Sounds like fun, right? Okay, maybe not fun. But a challenge. In these cases, someone will likely suggest you forgo the plan and dive straight into the work. You know, to save some time.

That's when you should raise a red flag!

Plans are critical to any project size, scope, or type because they can help you to avoid:

🚩 Misunderstanding of the process

🚩 Lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities

🚩 Missed deadlines and budget overages

🚩 Misaligned expectations

🚩 Indecision over deliverables, strategy, and even resource allocation

🚩 Demotivated and stressed teams

🚩 Overbooked and unavailable team members

🚩 Unhappy clients or stakeholders

🚩 Scope creep and additional project requests

🚩 Poor communication around the review and feedback of deliverables

🚩 Inability to schedule timely reviews, which leads to lost project time

While this may seem like a daunting list of potential issues, it highlights the importance of having a plan to help prevent these problems. When working with teams or stakeholders who may want to forgo the planning process, it can be helpful to review this list to emphasize the need for a plan.

At the same time, it's essential to approach project planning with an optimistic mindset. After all, a positive project manager is the best kind of project manager!


Pro tip: Plan and allocate resources effectively with Float

With its user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop functionality,  you can easily create and update schedules, assign tasks to team members, and track progress in real-time.

The Gantt chart-style view visually represents your project's timeline, tasks, and dependencies. This makes it easy to identify potential scheduling conflicts and adjust timelines accordingly.

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The benefits of effective project planning

Project plans offer a range of benefits for teams of all sizes and types. When creating a project plan, it's essential to communicate with these team members and stakeholders to demonstrate the value of the planning process.

Well-thought-out project plans:

☑️ Map your scope and effort to a realistic timeline

☑️ Provide a roadmap for the project

☑️ Outline roles, responsibilities, and resourcing requirements

☑️ Help to identify and track project risks

☑️ Keep your project on time and within budget

☑️ Help to identify impacts due to project change

☑️ Keep stakeholders informed of project progress

☑️ Keep teams on task, within scope, and on budget

☑️ Help to keep team members efficient and productive

☑️ Allow for accurate reporting of progress

☑️ Keep projects profitable

Now that’s a list!

To some, a project plan is a dry document that lists dates and tasks. However, it's much more than that for those invested in the project. The project plan serves as the guiding document that directs how the team will meet project milestones, make decisions, and eventually complete the project within the boundaries of the scope.

Great teams recognize the importance of a well-crafted project plan and its role in ensuring project success.

Ten elements of a great project plan

Your project plan is a vital communication tool, informing your team and stakeholders about what's happening now, what's coming up next, and what's expected. By making the project plan a part of your team's daily operation and keeping it a topic of discussion throughout the project, you can keep everyone aligned and informed.

To ensure maximum engagement and investment in the project, it's best to involve your team and stakeholders in creating the project plan. This level of involvement helps to establish a shared understanding of project goals, milestones, and expectations, reducing the need for constant updates and questions. That gets taxing, doesn't it?

A well-crafted project plan should include the following elements:

  1. The process used or stages taken to deliver the project
  2. Deliverables for each stage and requirements
  3. Tasks needed to create each deliverable
  4. Milestones critical to ensure alignment and progress
  5. Team and stakeholder assignments and responsibilities on task and milestone level
  6. Task estimates for clarity around scope, leading to better resourcing plans
  7. Calendar time scheduled to complete tasks
  8. Task, milestone, and phase dependencies to communicate the order of work
  9. Progress updates made during the project
  10. Changes implemented while the project is in progress

All of this information is wrapped up in a single document. By taking the time to create, build, and communicate the plan with your team and stakeholders, the answers to these questions are simple and can help avoid confusion and misunderstandings throughout the project. In fact, the questions don't even come up!

As a project manager, you are responsible for managing the plan, facilitating the project, and ensuring that everyone involved is engaged with the plan and its details. When the team is committed at the plan level, it becomes easier to manage the project, track progress, and stay on top of any changes or challenges.


Pro tip: Ensure alignment with status reports and calls

A project plan alone may not effectively communicate all the details of a project. Consider using weekly project status reports and calls to ensure alignment throughout the project. A status report should include what work was completed the previous week, what is currently in progress, upcoming tasks and milestones, a to-do list and action items, an update on project completion and budget percentage, and any issues or risks that need addressing.


How to create a people-first project plan

Beginning a project with a people-first approach is the key to success. While work breakdown structure, process, deliverables, and estimates are important, they are not the starting point.

Your team is!

Every team member brings their unique skillset, experiences, and perspectives to the table. Acknowledging this fact at the beginning of every project is vital to ensure you leverage their strengths and optimize resources for the best possible outcomes.

By taking the time to understand the strengths and limitations of your team, you can create a project plan that leverages their talents and allows them to collaborate seamlessly towards a common goal. This approach helps build stronger teams and leads to better project outcomes, increased buy-in, and, ultimately, a more successful project.


Pro tip: Save time with project templates in Float

The ability to reuse project plan templates in Float is a real game changer. With just a few clicks, you can create a new project plan from a template, saving time and ensuring consistency across your projects. Plus, the data from your plans can be easily turned into a report, providing valuable insights into your team's workload and project progress.


Starting a project with a social gathering seems like a time-waster to some, but it can benefit the team in the long run. Having an informal conversation about the project and work plan can ease the pressure and create a sense of camaraderie among the team.

But who has time for that stuff when a project needs to be delivered?

Although socializing before getting to work may seem like fluff to some, it's essential to make time for it. By getting to know each other and discussing the project more relaxed, you can set team expectations, identify common working methods, and build rapport.

So, with your project scope and initial project charter at hand, here's how you can plan your project effectively:

Step 1: Onboard the team

As a project manager, you must ensure everyone on your team is aligned with the project's goals and scope. Onboarding is an opportunity to start a dialogue about the project and how everyone can contribute to its success. One way to achieve this is through an internal kickoff meeting.

During this meeting, you can discuss the project's details, including the scope and timeline, and allow team members to ask questions and provide input. This meeting can also serve as an opportunity for team-building, enabling team members to get to know each other better and build rapport.

By starting the project with a kickoff meeting, you can ensure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same objectives.

And don't worry—we're not talking about doing trust falls and other exercises that make folks cringe in the workplace. We're talking about getting to know the project and discussing roles and ideas for how everyone can work together.


Pro tip: Find the right people for the task in minutes

Float lets you store important information about your team, including their skills and strengths in the form of searchable tags. This can be a valuable resource when staffing future projects and facilitating better collaboration on the current project.


To get the conversation started, ask some initial questions to get everyone stoked about the work:

  • What makes our team unique, and why are we poised to succeed?
  • What about the project gets you excited?
  • Is there a specific deliverable or task you want to work on?
  • How can we collaborate more effectively on the project?
  • How will we communicate and stay aligned as a team?
  • What can we do together to exceed stakeholder expectations?

By initiating this type of conversation, you'll inspire ideas that will fuel the planning process and build a strong sense of teamwork. Your team members may even become excited to plan the project with you. This creates a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Step 2: Identify stakeholders

On some projects, you'll work directly with one stakeholder. That's the dream! Mainly because it's easier to manage one personality and one set of expectations. On other projects, you might have to deal with scores of stakeholders across various departments, disciplines, and even companies. It can get complex.

It's not uncommon for stakeholders to be unaware of who their fellow stakeholders are, so starting a conversation with your point of contact on the stakeholder team is essential. This will help you understand their team's governance structure and identify stakeholders in larger organizations across different teams, areas, and departments.

Your stakeholders may have yet to consider their team of colleagues and how they'll work together to make timely decisions on the project. It's possible they still need to think about the complete stakeholder list.

To ensure clarity and communication, you should run a stakeholder mapping exercise and ask your stakeholders to assign names and titles to each category. This exercise will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there is no ambiguity regarding roles and responsibilities.

Step 3: Get to know your stakeholders

Stakeholders can be your project's greatest strength or weakest link, regardless of their position or reporting structure. As a project manager, it's your responsibility to engage stakeholders and get them on board and ready to play an active role in the project's success.

Early on in projects, you'll do a lot of expectation-setting with stakeholders to make them aware of the project scope, who's working on the project, how your team generally prefers to work and communicate, and what to expect as a stakeholder or client. Remember, these folks might have funded the project, but that doesn't mean they know how to get it done.

Take your time to explain things carefully to them so they understand the significance of their role and how you'll need to engage them throughout the project. When you come back to them with a project plan, you want them to understand the big picture before diving into the details. You also want them to trust you and know that you'll manage the details, facilitate progress, and engage them when needed.

Step 4: Interview stakeholders

Getting the information you need to craft the strategy and plan for your project is vital while illuminating some areas where your stakeholders might be misaligned. This is excellent information for you to have as you go into planning the project, and it can be done by scheduling stakeholder interviews to understand individual:

  • Goals of the project
  • Needs and expectations
  • Opinions about the project
  • Level of understanding of your project type and methods
  • History and experience on similar projects
  • Organizational politics
  • Communication styles

Be sure to come up with some pointed questions. Another way to think about it is to try and uncover your stakeholders' perspectives on why you're doing this thing, how they're thinking about getting it done with you, and who needs to be involved and informed.

Below are a few questions you should consider adding to your stakeholder interview script (in addition to some project-specific questions):

  • What is your role on the project?
  • Who is the final sign-off? Who owns the project?
  • Have you discussed how you will collaborate and communicate as a team?
  • What is your process for gathering and delivering feedback to us?
  • What is the project deadline? Is there a specific event or reason for that deadline?
  • Are there any blackout dates where you or your team will not be available during the project?
  • Will you want our team to present our work or progress to the larger organization at any point? When are those meetings?
  • Have you worked on a project like this one in the past? If yes, are there any learnings we should apply to this project?
  • Are there any risks with this project that we should be aware of?
  • How do you prefer to be communicated with about project details?
  • How much education should we do about our process and deliverables?

These conversations will uncover a ton of information for you to share with your team and apply to your project plan. Many teams will use the findings from these conversations to help inform a project brief or strategy or even to provide stakeholders with a set of recommendations for things that need to be done in addition to the project itself.

If you can get your stakeholders and teams aligned on the solution and how you'll arrive at it together, you'll show that you aren't just checking off boxes in an arbitrary plan; you're creating a strategic roadmap to create the best possible project together.

Step 5: Create a draft plan

After you have an idea about the project details based on your interactions with stakeholders, it's time to create a draft plan.

Use your scope or statement of work documents, which should outline specific deliverables or timing. Then, look back through your stakeholder interview notes and findings. Are there any dates or timing constraints you need to account for?

Don't worry too much about the format at this point, as you can present a sketch or discuss the concepts with the team in the next step. The goal is to get all your ideas on paper to be reviewed with the team and refined as needed.

A sketch of a project plan
A sketch of a project plan—putting pen to paper (even digitally) can help you shape your plans

Make sure you have the big picture thinking covered in your sketch. You will need the following:  

  • A general idea of the process
    What are you delivering, and how does your team generally work to execute this type of project? Do you use formal project management methods like waterfall or scrum? Are there variables based on the project or team that will make you reconsider the process?
  • An accounting of deliverables
    List out all of the deliverables that need to be created. Think through the order they need to be delivered, which may depend on other milestones or deliverables. This will help you to pace the work in your plan.
  • A solid understanding of the project team and their respective roles
    Identify who is doing what and how they’ll collaborate on the work. Consider how to employ their expertise to create, present, and sell the work to get it approved on time and within the scope. Use insights gained from onboarding conversations.
  • A solid understanding of task budget and team resourcing
    Have a good idea of what work needs to happen and when. Look at task estimates and resourcing plans to avoid over-promising timelines or overcommitting the team.
  • A clear view of other project work
    Understand team resourcing plans to keep workloads balanced. Avoid assigning too much work to the team on a given day or week.
  • A plan and scope for deliverable reviews, feedback, and approvals
    Consider the steps needed to present, collect feedback, and revise each deliverable. Ensure stakeholders are involved in the process and their feedback is incorporated into the plan.
  • All key dates and deadlines
    Check calendars on both sides of the fence (team and stakeholders). Account for holidays, closings, vacations, meetings, and any other possible date that could cause outages. Ensure that hard deadlines are included in the plan. Communicate all key dates and deadlines to the team and stakeholders.

Step 6: Arrange the planning meeting

Now that you have your draft plan, it's time to schedule a planning meeting with the team to present your draft for feedback and input. It's essential to encourage information from the team, as they will be more engaged in the plan if they have a say in its creation.

This meeting should last about an hour and be well-organized. You want to get feedback on the following:

  • Project phases: Discuss the different steps of the project and what needs to be accomplished in each stage.
  • Project deliverables: Review the list of deliverables and ensure everyone is clear on what is expected for each deliverable.
  • Deadlines/timing: Discuss timelines and deadlines for the project and ensure that they are realistic and achievable.
  • Assignments: Assign roles and responsibilities to team members and ensure everyone understands their role in the project.

Present the initial information, and then open the floor to questions and suggestions. Encourage the team to provide input and feedback on the plan. The goal is to balance driving efficiency with the process while keeping things realistic. Ensure everyone leaves the meeting with a clear understanding of what needs to be done and the timeline for completion.

That said, it's always good to have some questions to help get more clarity on the approach:

  • Are there better ways we can approach this project?
  • Will the deliverables meet our needs and help stakeholders make informed decisions?
  • Do we know who's responsible for what?
  • When and who will review our work before client presentations?
  • When will we collaborate and hand off work to ensure quality and consistency?
  • Is anyone taking time off that we need to account for?
  • Can we meet the deadline with this plan?

If you're looking for a little more direction on organizing this planning meeting, check out this sample planning meeting agenda.

➡️ Make a copy in Google Docs

➡️ Download to your computer from File > Download

Step 7: Create your finalized plan

Now that you've got a clear understanding of your project scope and have engaged your team in the planning process, it's time to create your final project plan. This plan should serve as a roadmap that guides your team through the phases and deliverables of your project, keeping everyone aligned and on track toward the ultimate goal.

To create a comprehensive project plan, you'll need to organize all the relevant information about your project in a way that's easy to understand and navigate.

Float offers several features to help you organize and visualize all the relevant project information. You can easily create a list view of phases and deliverables, which allows you to break down your project into manageable tasks. The Gantt chart-style calendar view shows your project timeline across days, weeks, months, or years. These options make it easy to assign tasks, track progress, and ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page.

Here are some steps to follow to create your project plan:

  1. Start with an outline or table of contents that breaks your project into phases. Think about what needs to be accomplished and how to reach your end goal. For example, if you're working on a website design project, your phases include discovery, UX design, graphic design, front-end development, and back-end development.
  2. Once you have your phases identified, start adding deliverables and related tasks in the order they will happen. It's essential to account for every task related to completing a deliverable to be realistic about timing. For example, if your deliverable is a site map, some of the steps to create, present, and revise it may include creating site map v1, holding an internal review meeting, delivering site map v1 for stakeholder feedback, revising site map v1, delivering site map v2, and obtaining final approval.
  3. Assign tasks to team members. Once you've listed all the work, it's time to assign people to each task. This will help you connect your resourcing plan to your project plan and ensure you're not working against any significant conflicts or obstacles.
  4. Set start and end dates for each task. Once you commit task estimates to calendar time by plotting dates on your plan, you'll begin to see your project come to life. You may notice that some of your original ideas break down because you hadn't considered resourcing plans or the fact that you were planning for too much time on a task, putting the plan over the deadline. It's all good, though; there's time to change what needs to be changed. Just be sure to account for the total amount of time a task should take, in addition to your team's resourcing, when scheduling.
  5. Add dependencies to indicate the order of work. If you can't start one task or phase before another is complete (common in the waterfall methodology), you should include it in your plan. Note: Linking tasks together in Float allows you to create a dependency between them and avoid double work or confusion about timing.

By following these steps, you'll have a comprehensive project plan that guides your team to be aligned and on track throughout the project's phases and deliverables. Nice work!

Step 8: Do the final plan reviews

Alright, folks, you're almost there. But before you hit the ground running, ensuring everyone is on the same page is essential. And when it comes to a people-first approach, that means taking the time to review and align your plan.

Team review

First up, your team. You've already worked to get to know each other and brainstorm ideas, but take advantage of this last step. Sharing your plan with the team and getting their feedback can prevent major oversights and ensure everyone is on board with the latest changes. Consider scheduling a meeting to review the plan together and avoid unnecessary back-and-forth.

Once you've collected feedback, made adjustments, and are happy with your plan, you can share it with your clients and put things in motion.

Client review and confirmation

Remember, clients may not be as familiar with your process or deliverables as you are, so educating them and making them your partner in this journey is essential. Send them the plan ahead of time for review and set the stage for your meeting. Then, go through each section with them, answering any questions.

This may feel like a pain, but ensuring everyone is aligned on the process, deliverables, meetings, milestones, and timing is crucial.
Expect questions and engagement from your stakeholders during this review. This is your opportunity to set clear expectations and gauge their understanding and willingness to participate in the project. The more engagement you get now, the smoother the journey will be.

So take the time to review and align, and get ready to kick off your project confidently!

Step 9: Ship the plan

You've put a ton of work into drafting your plan, so taking the additional step to ensure everyone is on board with it should be important to you. Of course, you never want this process to take so much time that it delays any project work. If you're stretched for time, you can create the plan while work is underway—but don't let it go unconfirmed for too long. You want to be sure that you have an agreement because the details in your plan will dictate so much, including your immediate next steps.

As soon as you have agreement from the whole project team, you can confirm the plan.

It can be very valuable to track change throughout a project, so you can speak to stakeholders or executives about why a project has missed its deadline or gone over budget. It happens all the time, but that doesn't mean it's always okay! So do what you can to be armed with the information on what made a project go sideways, and remember that the details are always in your plan.



Better project planning with Float

Schedule tasks, monitor timelines, track time and real-time capacity in Float to plan projects with confidence.

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Your project plan is a living, breathing document

It's important to remember that your project plan is not a one-and-done document. Even after you've confirmed the plan, you must continue to manage it regularly.

It's also crucial to recognize that plans can change frequently. Life happens, unexpected issues arise, and people leave and join the project. These changes can impact your schedule and require you to adjust your deadlines, processes, or resources. It's vital to remain flexible and adaptable to change when managing a project plan.

When changes occur, communicate them transparently with your team and stakeholders. Document any changes and share them through your regular project communication channels, such as status reports. Be sure to call out any significant impacts on timing, scope, or resources. Keeping your plan up-to-date and accessible to everyone can help avoid confusion and keep everyone on the same page.

Managing a project plan that is transparent and up-to-date can help you earn trust and credibility with your team and stakeholders. Being proactive in addressing issues and communicating changes can help you maintain control and keep the project on track!


Pro tip: Track changes in your project with Float

The activity feed in Float allows you to easily track changes in your project by showing who made a change, what they changed, and when. Plus Pack offers additional features like filters and a 180-day review to make tracking changes more efficient and help identify trends and potential issues.


Creating a plan in your project planning tool

We've talked about the project planning process, but how exactly would it look inside a project planning software? Let's see how to approach this.

No matter the tool you're using to create plans, consistency of use is critical for project management. When making plans, you should follow these guidelines to ensure your organization creates plans the same way. This will increase plan adoption and decrease the confusion or the number of questions you may encounter on projects.

1. Create a new project

While you may elect to copy an existing plan or use a template in the tool, starting with a new project file is recommended. This will ensure that you are thinking through each step of the project and scope, which can be unique.

Float users can create a new project by choosing the Add project option.

Add a new project in Float

Project setup:

  • Project name
    Use naming conventions or name the project according to the project name in the scope.
  • Due date
    If there is a project deadline in our scope of work, add it here.
  • Invite project members
    Everyone on the team should be invited; use company guidance on how plans will be shared with stakeholders.
Project information in Float

2. Set your plan

It's recommended that you start by adding all tasks and subtasks before scheduling. This will help you to keep your attention on the process, deliverables, and steps needed to complete the project. You'll set up your project in a way that is easy to understand: phase, task, subtasks, and milestones are in the order this should be built out in a nested fashion, so it's easy to understand the overall process, deliverables, and tasks needed to complete deliverables, as well as milestones for approvals/critical points in projects.

  • Adding deliverables and tasks

Add each step/task taken to complete a milestone, including creation, internal reviews, presentations, feedback from stakeholders, and all iterations.

Project tasks in Float
  • Adding/noting milestones

Milestones mark a significant point in your project and should be used for crucial meetings or decision points, approvals, or completed phases.

Project milestone in Float
  • Scheduling dates

You can schedule calendar time as soon as you've built out the tasks and milestones that make the plan. When doing this, remember to consider the following:

  • Task estimates
  • Other projects/work happening (and resourcing)
  • Client feedback times
  • Holidays (these should be in the Hive account)
  • Paid time off
  • Any additional client considerations: board meetings, presentations, campaign launches, etc

You can manage time off by creating time off policies in Float for your project. You can create different types, set the terms, and specify the number of days.

Time off policies in Float
  • Add dependencies
    Adding a dependency on a plan can help you to keep track of work and the order in which it should happen and keep the team and clients informed on proper workflows.

To show dependencies in Float, choose the Schedule option, right-click and select the Link option or use the keyboard shortcut "L." Click the task you want to link, and a new link line will appear.

Linked tasks in Float
  • Add assignments and hours
    The next step is critical to ensure that our staffing plan is accurate. Your project team has already been assigned, and you should have discussed responsibilities, so you should be able to add the proper people to each task in the plan.

3. Review your plan before sharing it

This is the final step. It's always a good idea to check your plan before sharing it with the team and clients. Remember, this project document should tell everyone what is happening at any point on the project and who is responsible for it. So, be sure to confirm the details:
1. Check all deliverables and tasks against your scope
2. Check times/dates and task durations to be sure you're allowing for enough time
3. Double-check dependencies
4. Look at team resourcing to confirm full current availability
5. Double-check client timing on feedback and approvals
6. Block out time for holidays or additional client/team outages

4. Review the plan with the team

Our work is fast-paced, and sometimes it's tough to get everyone's attention. While the preference is to call a quick, 30-minute meeting to review the final plan with the team, it's not always possible. If you cannot meet with the team to confirm the plan, share it and ask them to review all of their tasks and timing and confirm with you before sharing it with clients.

5. Share and review the plan with clients

Your final step in getting alignment on your plan is to review it with the clients. Share the plan using a share link in your tool or export a PDF to send.

Before sending a copy of the plan to clients, schedule a time to review it with them. Remember, plans aren't easy to understand for everyone, and the details they include are essential.

In general, you want to be sure the clients are aligned on the schedule and process and make them aware of when they are critical to the process. Be sure to cover the following:

  1. The overall project process and roles.
  2. The steps taken to build consensus and gain alignment, along with the time required for the same.
  3. The level of interaction needed from clients and the time required as per the plan, including stakeholders, decision-makers, and the number of days necessary for discussions and consolidated feedback.
  4. The timeline, deadline, and identification of any other initiatives, projects, or events that could impact the project.
  5. Whether any key company events or outages have been missed.
  6. Identification of any additional risks that clients should be aware of and an explanation that project risks will be tracked and discussed regularly in the weekly status report.
  7. Whether clients are comfortable with the plan and informing them that it will be managed regularly to keep all teams informed and aligned on progress.

6. Baseline your plan

Many of our projects will change and evolve, and we'll adjust our plan accordingly. But what's most important is that we actively manage and track that change over time. The first way to track change is to set a baseline for your plan. Every time your plan changes, you should establish another baseline. This way, you can look back over time and see how the plan has shifted and changed.

Round up your team and get planning

Congratulations! You now have all the essential steps and tips for creating a solid project plan to keep your team aligned and your stakeholders happy.

Float is an excellent resource for managing your project plan like a pro. With its intuitive interface, you can easily manage tasks, set dependencies, and track progress in real-time. By incorporating Float into your project management toolkit, you'll have all the firepower you need to take your project planning and execution to the next level.

So rally your team, start planning, and get everyone involved to ensure your next project succeeds!

P.S. If you're looking for some extra guidance, remember to download our free planning checklist and adapt it to your unique projects and team.

➡️ Make a copy in Google Docs

➡️ Download to your computer from File > Download



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