Components of a Good Project Plan

Planning is so important, but often the first thing abandoned, and that’s sad. I’m really good at maintaining my weekly planning sessions but I’m not always great at doing a project plan.

By ‘not always great’ I mean that until recently, I haven’t really had any specific method to build out proper project plans. A scope is a reasonable substitute, but a project plan should really be something your scoping document is built off of, or in tandem with.

A project plan should be built in partnership with your client. When they buy into the project plan you then start a scope and build a proposal/scope off of it.

Components of a project plan

Let’s walk through the main headings of a project plan to get an idea of what it is. At the end I’ll show you the project plan for my email product.

1. Purpose

What is the purpose of the project? Is it to get more sales, save time? Is it to bring a new resource online to customers — one that didn’t exist before?

If you don’t have a purpose for the project then why on earth are you doing it in the first place? That’s why this is first, because without a purpose a project is more likely to fail.

2. Principles

These are the standards on which you’re going to run the project. Yes, many of you are going to put excellence on here, but ‘excellence’ can be an vague term. Write down what excellence looks like in the context of the project.

3. Actions

This is where most of us start, with what actually needs to get done to ship a project. It’s easy and more tangible than the above items so it’s a more comfortable place to start.

Without defining our purpose and principles, though, this task list has no solid foundation.

When I do this, it’s a high-level view of the project. So you might say ‘Set up WooCommerce store’ as a task, knowing that there are about 55 sub-tasks that will need to get accomplished to complete the store.

4. Information

This is for any information pertinent to the project, like who’s the Project Champion (if you’ve never heard of that before then go listen to Art of Value 33), or the contact information for the person you use for book design.

If you’re doing a live event, put in the name of the venue here.

Effective Client Email Plan

Now let’s look at the project plan for my Effective Client Email Product with a planned release at the end of March 2015.

Purpose

To give freelancers awesome emails which will help them get the right answers from prospects in the vetting process and ultimately identify their ideal clients.

Freelancers should save time using these templates because they don’t have to dig deep and create a new email for every new prospect.

Principles

Excellence – the email templates and the guide will help freelancers have excellent responses to prospects.

Value – there will be high value for freelancers in the emails because they’re going to get better clients and train them out of the gate to be awesome.

Help – I want to give freelancers the tools they need and a plan to follow so they will have awesome client interactions.

Actions

Guide

  • Write the guide
  • Get it proofed
  • Get a cover designed

Emails

  • Compile the emails from my text expander list
  • Review them and make necessary revisions

Contactually

  • Write my Contactually guide
  • Get involved in the affiliate program?

Email Course (this is the lead funnel and initial course)

  • Write the email course based on guide material
  • Set up the course in MailChimp
  • Add an extra email to my current email sequence to let subscribers know about the course
  • Add the email course as a custom lead option for existing posts on email/client stuff

Sales

  • Set up product with variations
  • Write sales page
  • Get sales page proofed
  • Set up funnel for sales page

Info

  • Editor – Diane
  • Cover – same as the manifesto

Now you

Please feel free to steal use this project plan and I’d love to know how it works with your clients and projects.

It’s proven to be an awesome strategy for me to keep projects centered.

photo credit: legozilla cc

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