Key tips
Resist the pressure to skimp on planning so you can start the work
immediately. What time you spend up-front on planning will be
repaid several times over in time saved later.
Understand the difference between the effort an activity takes and
the duration of it.
Contingency is not poor management, but a realistic and essential
component of a plan to account for the risk inherent in any task.
Focus on getting your plan complete more than worrying about
estimates. A poor estimate will mean you may overrun on time, but
a missed task may mean you cannot complete the work. (Read
Chapter 5 for some important tasks that are easy to forget at plan-
ning time.)
Get the right team, as no matter how good a plan you have, without
the right project team the work will not get done.
Planning software helps you present and manage your plan, it does
not ensure your plan is any better.
Copies of the planning, staff view and cost forms in MS-Word and
MS Excel format can be downloaded from the web site at
As this subject is core to project management, almost any book
on the subject will cover this. Some references, if you want more
examples, are:
The Definitive Guide to Project Management (Financial Times
Prentice Hall) by Sebastian Nokes et al., 2003, Chapter 5.
Practical Project Management: Tips, Tactics and Tools (Wiley) by
Harvey A. Levine, 2002, Chapters 2–6.
PROM_C03.QXD 6/3/06 2:43 pm Page 80
The Project Workout (Financial Times Prentice Hall) by Robert
Buttrick, 2nd edn, 1999, Chapters 6, 7, and 21.
The Project Manager: Mastering the Art of Delivery (Financial Times
Prentice Hall) by Richard Newton, 2005, Chapter 5.
Start getting ready to brainstorm a task list:
Where are you going to do it?
When are you going to do it?
Who are you going to work with? Do they offer the best combi-
nation of common sense and experience of this type of work?
Have you got the time booked in their diaries?
Having completed the brainstorm, continue with the following parts
of this step – and continually ask yourself, do you believe the plan
you are developing?
PROM_C03.QXD 6/3/06 2:43 pm Page 81

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