Friday 4 February 2022

Project planning through work breakdown and logic

Completing a project is more than just planning. The entire project team should develop a plan, not just the project manager. Thanks to this, the experience of the team will be taken into account, everyone will be fully involved and have part of the plan. A good project plan provides:

  • An action plan that includes checkpoints that everyone in the team can use
  • Real assumptions about the timing of the project
  • Detailed description of resource requirements
  • Approval of estimated costs
  • Estimated time lag
  • Early warning of problems
  • It is worth using previous experience (historical data) from similar projects.
  • How long did it take?
  • How much did it all cost?
  • What problem areas were encountered?
  • Which areas have been successful?

Running a project without a plan is silly. Working without a clear knowledge of your path will lead you to problems and to possible collapse. A project without a plan is like trying to find a way in an unfamiliar city without a map. It can be said that if you can't plan your job, then you're doomed to collapse.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

In order to define all the individual tasks in the project, you should create a work breakdown structure. Such a structure is the basis for a detailed project plan. Gather the whole team and discuss the tasks of all levels of the project in a scattered, chaotic order. Write them down on pieces of paper and stick them on the board. Once each of the team remembers all the possible tasks - group the labels with tasks into groups, according to the main action panes. Add, modify, remove and move them until you have a clear, complete and logical structure that respects the decomposition of works. The purpose of the structure is to decompose the project into stages and sub-stages.

Logic Network or Time Chart

The Logic Network shows the order of actions throughout the project - it shows which actions logically precede or follow others. Create a sticker for the start point (left) and finish point (right) and place them on the board. Place the structure labels in a logical order of actions from left to right. Connect stickers with arrows going to and from them, and some may have more than one arrow. All connecting lines in the grid must enter the action block on the left (start) and exit on the right (completion). The lines should not approach the block from above, but come out from the bottom. The lines also cannot be unrelated. All actions must be connected to other actions, the start or final sticker. Add a time value to each of the activities in order to calculate the time needed for the entire project - in this step you have created a logical scheme that will help you in understanding the relationship between the activities in your project, the time values and the order of the actions. This technique will be able to reveal important information that was not completely visible to you.


You should add checkpoints to your logical structure. A checkpoint can be placed where several parallel actions converge in one place. Manage your project by defining specific outcomes at each checkpoint. The result at the control point is something tangible, namely the technical standards for the design, prototype, report, software module, etc.

Using Project Management Software

Information from your decomposition structure and logic can be included in a software package, such as Microsoft Project, in order to provide a detailed plan. Enter all pre-software tasks, resources, and estimated timelines into the software package. By doing this, you will get a program that will automatically create charts and graphs. But don't expect the program to perform functions such as planning or project management – it's just a tool.

List of actions

Here's a list that will help you not only create a well-thought-out, detailed project plan, but also dedicated productive teams.

  • Identify all the requirements that need to be met using the Work Breakdown Structure
  • Determine the best approach to project execution by drawing up a Logic Network
  • Set the responsibilities of each member and develop estimated deadlines for each of its tasks
  • Use the logical diagram to calculate the time required to complete the project, the critical execution path, and the schedule of checkpoints
  • Count and graphically record the number of people needed to complete the project and the percentage of time each team member spends each stage of the project.
  • Adjust and refine the project plan to get an even load, and change the number of people needed as the project progresses
  • Creatively optimize trade-offs to deliver the best results in the shortest possible time
  • Use a collaborative planning process to strengthen the participation and dedication of each team member

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