Last class we practiced project management from the exercise of building tall structure from marshmallows and spaghetti noodles. It was a great practice involving management of Time, Cost & performance. We also discussed the planning activity of each group and how that went through the exercise. This activity shows exactly why planning is the most important activity in any project.
I will analyze here a construction project in my workplace. This type of projects begin with a long planning exercise, it includes setting the layout drawings and listing the resources required. Second activity is scheduling the whole tasks of building with start and end dates. After that the project will begin on site and the controlling activity will take place. Project manager will monitor the process, take actions and revise plans if necessary.
In this type of projects managers spend 30-40% of the time on planning phase because if the planning were perfect the scheduling and controlling will be much easier. Some project managers request a well-known consultant to prepare the planning draft to ensure the quality of their plan.
Time of every phase:
Planning: 6 months (complete drawings, project chart)
Scheduling: 1 month
Controlling: 9 months (construction period)
In conclusion, I totally agree that “the harder you plan the better you will perform”.
From the example given and the exercise in class, in which phase should project managers spend their time most (Planning, Scheduling or controlling)?