Chapter 9

Planning at Different Times and Levels

In This Chapter

Dividing your project into manageable pieces – the stages

Developing Stage Plans

Deciding on work assignments and making more-detailed plans

A great temptation in project planning is to dive into the fine detail and start ‘counting rivets’ before you’re even sure what the project is really about. That’s certainly true of planning, and a danger for most people involved in projects is that they go too deep too quickly in planning. The approach in this book, though, is to work at different levels of planning detail at different times.

Here are a few reasons why it makes sense to get the ‘helicopter view’ before going into detail:

You may be heading in the wrong direction and be doing all sorts of detailed planning on the wrong stuff. In Chapter 2 you may already have seen the quotation from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Simon & Schuster), which is ‘Begin with the end in mind’. It makes sense to check out the high-level stuff before you get into the detail.

Things change, particularly in business projects. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to do the detailed planning a long way ahead, because you can be sure that things will have changed by the time you get there and a lot of your work will be wasted.

Until you’ve seen the bigger picture clearly, you’re not going to get the detail right, because you don’t properly understand what you’re dealing with. For a start, you won’t usually be absolutely ...

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