Teachers are accustomed to planning and know that careful planning is often crucial to the success of a lesson. Although planning is no guarantee that everything will go as expected, it increases the likelihood of handling the unexpected gracefully. This is true for project planning as well. Projects by their very nature are not likely to be unidirectional. Work breakdown structures help make sure that team members are aware of tasks for which they are responsible as well as which member to address for information about each aspect of the project. Even the most carefully structured team will have differences in work style, deadlines that are not met, stakeholders with varying expectations and a variety of other issues that threaten to derail a project. The trick is to anticipate these changes with careful planning and enough flexibility to alter plans when necessary in order to ultimately achieve success.
A clearly designed scope statement, like essential understandings and objectives of a lesson, help a project manager and its team members to remain focused on the main goal of a project. This scope statement should be at the forefront of the project manager’s mind as plans (and alterations to plans) are made keeping a project from going off the rails.
Including communication in this project plan is crucial. Stakeholders and team members must be kept apprise of various milestones to ensure that time is used efficiently and a project remains on budget. Robust communication enables stakeholders and/or clients to share their thoughts about a project’s progress and to tackle problems while they are more easily addressed, saving time and money.