Sunday 28 November 2021

How to write a project plan? - The ultimate guide

A plan is essential for the project to proceed. in this article, we will introduce how and points to prepare a project plan so that even those who are creating a plan for the first time can understand it. you can also download samples of the project plan for free, so please check it together.

What is a project plan?


As the name suggests, a project plan that summarizes the information necessary for the project's progress. 


It's a comprehensive article that summarizes the whole picture of the project, rather than filling in specific, detailed information. it is common to use power point slides as the format.

scenes using project plans

the plan is used continuously not only in the planning stage but also after the project begins to progress. specifically, it can be used in the following situations.

  • project approve... use as an application form to request approval before the start of the project
  • share information at the start of the project... use it to have a common understanding with the members involved
  • check project progress... check each time that the implementation status is not different from the original plan
  • share information when adding members... help follow up with members who joined along the way
  • project evaluation... evaluate the implementation results compared to the plan and compile them into a report
  • it helps you share information not only with members of the project team, but also with stakeholders and stakeholders such as members of other departments that may have business impact.

purpose of creating a project plan

one of the purposes of project planning is to reduce unnecessary post-execution movements by clarifying the path to achieving the goals of the project. planning helps you identify the direction you need to take and what you need to do, and help you move your project forward efficiently.

of course, it is difficult to proceed as expected, and it is a gap between the plan by all means. in the course of the project, it is important to "grasp the differences from the original plan and correct them each time". once you know the difference from the plan, it will be easier to correct the trajectory.

in addition, as can be seen from the scene of using the project plan, "appropriately communicating information to stakeholders" is also one of the important purposes. details will be described later, but any discrepancies in the recognition of project stakeholders may lead to ongoing mistakes and troubles. by communicating the basic policy of the project to all stakeholders through the plan, you can gather recognition.

project plan sample template

this time, we created a template with the theme of improving the delivery business of our products. the sample you created can be downloaded from the following. the entry example has been simplified, so please feel free to use the frame as a template.

this is an image that summarizes the items to be described in the project plan.
the contents of the project plan are large and are divided into requirement definitions and action plans. the requirements definition in the first half of the plan shows "why do you do the project", and the second half of the action plan summarizes "what to do specifically". the later you go, the more specific you will be.

in addition, the above eight items are described in all items that may be required, and depending on the application of the project plan, only the execution plan part is described. it may be simplified depending on how the planning phase is done and the scale of the project. each item is described below.

at first, the beginning, write an overview of the plan and a table of contents. to give you a complete picture of the plan, briefly describe what is in this document in a single sentence or so.

raising the issue

specify the background to the establishment of the project. the project requires the cooperation of everyone involved. share your cause so that everyone involved understands the significance of the effort.

in particular, when a project is launched top-down, or when the corporate planning office or external consultants take the lead, it tends to be a one-sided measure because the intention is not communicated to the person in charge of the field. communicate the significance of your company or business.

theme settings

here, "purpose", "achievement goal", "scope", and "prerequisites" are described, and the overall feeling of the project is summarized. it corresponds to page 4 or 5 in the sample "about project theme".


describe what to do with the project. it is simple and basic, but if you do not set the purpose correctly, you will lose muscles more and more as you make an execution plan. please try to describe it correctly because it is an important part of the project.
also, if you get lost, let's put it in a nutshell so that you can go back and check later.

goals achieved

Quantitatively set goals to be achieved throughout the project. for example, "reduce personnel by 50% to cut costs" and "reduce the monthly error rate to 1%" it is common to set goals from the qcd perspective. "qcd" is a word that combines the initials of the three words that are the axis of production management, and is used as a viewpoint and indicator of production management.

  1. Q: Quality
  2. C: Cost
  3. D: Delivery

By quantitatively setting the numerical values from the QCD perspective, it is possible to specifically indicate the state of companies and businesses after working on the project. Please refer to the article that explains QCD.


describe the scope of the project. it may refer to the scope of an organization, such as a team,department, or company, or it may specify a portion of a business process. since there are many related parties and related departments of projects, the scope of the project tends to expand as progress progresses. if you don't define the scope in advance, your goals and schedules will also be affected, so be sure to define them correctly.

prerequisites and constraints

because projects are temporary organizations, the departments and positions of the members they meet are often disjointed. to prevent differences in knowledge and perception of rules, identify the information that is the premise. in addition, if there are restrictions arising from industry and projects, it will be described together.

current situation analysis

in the field of the current situation analysis, the results of the investigation of the current situation and the problem are filled in. in the sample, page 6 is "current status report on delivery business".
as mentioned above, the positions and positions of personnel participating in the project are disjointed. some members are in charge of on-site work and understand the problem correctly, while others know the work for the first time. to ensure that everyone is aware of the issue based on facts, we conduct research in the form of pre-research and describe the results. in order to grasp the correct issues to be solved, it is important to collect information as quantitatively as possible and directly pick up the voices of members who are facing problems.

presentation of proposals

the basic policy of the project planning and the outline of the initiatives are described. specifically, the following items correspond to 7 or 8 pages in the sample.

project concept

main deliverables (business lists, work procedures, flow diagrams, systems, etc.)
Current status and post-work comparison (As is/To be)
to align the output images, reiterate what you can get from running the project. rather than a specific procedure, briefly summarize the state after completion and clarify "what will change depending on the project".

evaluation of proposals

evaluate the effect of the proposed proposal presented.
of course, there is a cost to running the project. determining whether it's worth the cost and time to work on it is a key point of view, both for project approval and to engage members. in the sample, only page 10 "project budget" is filled out, but let's check the items necessary for approval and add the following viewpoints.

  • budget
  • time, man-hours
  • cost-effectiveness
  • in particular, when requesting an external consultant or involving non-regular members such as outsourcing, management of man-hours is essential because the utilization rate varies.

execution plan

from here on, it corresponds to the "execution plan", and it will be more specific, close to the execution part. summarize the work plan, schedule, promotion structure and role sharing when executing the project, and points to note in the promotion. in the sample, it is a slide after page 10.

specific work plan

materialize the proposed plan and describe the measures and actions to be implemented. it is not necessary to identify even detailed tasks, but if you do not set aside the work contents and man-hours to some extent, there may be a difference in the schedule and necessary personnel. let's plan to the extent that you can grasp the image of how to move.

action plan_task overview and sample images of responsibilities
it's a good idea to break the whole thing down into several phases, then subdivide it. in the sample, it is described in three granularity of category, item, and task.


schedule the entire project. if your project spans a long period of time, you may want to include a short-term schedule that is limited to semiannual or the last three months, along with the overall schedule from the start to the end of the project.

In addition, "wbs" and "gantt chart" are tools used for project schedule management. the process control table used for project tasks and schedule management provides a bird's-eye view of the start and end dates of each task and when it occurs, so you can instantly grasp the overall feeling of work occurring in the project.

organizational structure and role sharing

there are many related parties and related departments in the project, and each skill and affiliation are different. if you don't decide on an organizational structure and role, the scope of responsibility will be blurred, leading to a floating or miscommunication of tasks. identify the organization chart and roles of the entire project team, and clarify their relationships. be careful, especially when involved with large projects or external members, as the interests become more complex.

risks and workarounds

failure to anticipate risks in advance can lead to unexpected problems. identify any risks that may arise after the project is promoted, describe workarounds and methods to reduce risks before they occur, and how to respond in the event of an occurrence. as is also in the sample, in order to properly assess the risk, it is common to include the impact and probability of occurrence when the risk occurs.

other reference information

if there are reference materials, etc., please attach them as appropriate. for example, if there is a case of a company that has done the same, attach it to make it easier to see the effect of the project.

points when creating a plan

carefully describe awareness so that there is no discrepancy

as mentioned above, the position and prior knowledge of the members participating in the project are machinery. if you don't have awareness before the project starts, you'll be able to make mistakes and increase communication costs. try to carefully describe the prerequisite information so that anyone can read it and act in the same way.

Describe as quantitatively as possible


The easiest way to ensure that everyone involved is aware is to write on a fact-based basis so that individual interpretations do not occur. use the most quantitative data possible so that everyone can have a common image. in addition, the results, such as the effects obtained by the project, may not be able to be detailed estimates, but in that case, let's describe it as a "trial calculation". by actually working on it, checking the differences, and correcting them in the right direction, the success rate of the project will also increase.

describe in a manner that is in line with the purpose of the plan

as i mentioned at the beginning, project plans are used in a variety of situations. it may be created in a form close to the proposal for approval, or it may be mainly used for runtime management, so please customize the items and taste according to the application. especially when using it for proposals and approvals, cost and risk points of view are important, so try to make detailed estimates.

keep up the documentation tips

since the project plan is a document for obtaining agreement with a third party, it is necessary to be aware not only of the correctness of the contents, but also to convey the necessary information in an easy-to-understand manner. instead of just arranging sentences like reports, you can use tables and graphs, or structure and diagram the information to help you understand your document. 


It's difficult to create a perfect document all of a sudden, but try to create it with a way of communicating that's easy for readers to understand.

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