A work plan
For any organisation, a work plan comes in handy when dealing with clients and setting timelines. I have found work plans especially helpful because they get to provide guidance to the behind-the-scene team that is hands-on on the project, and for the client, they will be able to understand the process or steps being taken to achieve the final goal. Individuals can also create work plans for themselves to help in setting goals and see how to accomplish those goals. Work plans should articulate clearly all the steps to be undertaken to achieve a key goal.
A work plan can be created on paper or on word documents or Microsoft excel. However, some applications like Trello or Asana alongside Project Studio can also be helpful if you prefer more visual aesthetic when it comes to creating a work plan.
Many managers prefer Gantt charts which can be created using Microsoft Excel. These charts help to create well-out together sheet of the project tasks alongside showing the timelines clearly. A feature I love with Gantt charts is that when you change a particular date in the chart, the timeline side will equally shift and it is very accurate. PowerPoint can also be used to create work plans. Depending on your preference, you can choose the method that suits you best and depending on the client as well.
For most clients, for the sake of making everything understandable at first glance, a Word document with the timeline can offer a simpler method to showcase the plan.
To create the work plan, you need to:
- Identify the purpose of the project
- Find a name you can use for the project
- Write down your goals for the project
- Consider days off/ weekends/ holidays.
- See who is best tasked for a particular task. This is if you are working as a team
In creating the project timeline write the statement for the project scope. This will help in identifying the deliverables you plan on producing by the time the project ends. For example, say you want to renovate your house. A scope statement could look something like this: I will renovate my house that in the end will have: a white marble kitchen counter, the hallway will have family pictures, Jacuzzi on the rooftop, a meditation/prayer room, chocolate and cream theme in the bedroom and so on. After this, create a work breakdown structure. For example say you need, 4 litres of chocolate brown paint, cream bed sheets, candles for the meditation/prayer room, and new frames for the family pictures and so on. In the initial stages of the work plan, you can also determine what the project dependencies are by looking at which task cannot be started until one has been completed.
Make sure you set the start and end date and adjust your labels in between being specific with what exactly is needed as you display the tasks. Track your performance as you go along to ensure you are making good progress and sticking to the plans.