A project implementation plan is essentially a blueprint for project success. It is a plan setup to ensure the successful implementation of a project. Project implementation plans are created to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget, and then implemented correctly. The concept seems simple enough and depending on the project and resources involved, it can be a fairly simple process but the scope, goals and participants involved in the project can make the creation of an implementation plan quite complex.
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Project implementation plans can span the entire lifespan of a project – for a building project, the implementation plan begins when building commences and ends once the building is completed, or the implementation plan can be setup for the implementation phase only – where projects are developed beforehand and then implemented like a new production line in a manufacturing concern. The scope and complexity of the plan really depends on the project involved.
There are however certain aspects that will help you to determine the extent and scope of the implementation plan and there are basic steps that will be included in any type of project implementation plan. These steps and aspects include:
1. Preparing the infrastructure.
2. Coordinating with project stakeholders.
3. Preparing staff for implementation.
4. Monitoring the implementation of the project.
Prepare the Infrastructure
The first step in creating a project implementation plan is to prepare the infrastructure required for the implementation. On a building project, infrastructure may include ensuring that all of the equipment necessary for site works have been arranged or that the necessary permits have been obtained. For an IT project, infrastructure may include ensuring that all computer systems have been upgraded or that the current systems have the capacity to handle the new programs or routines. Projects managers need to consider all of the project requirements and ensure that current infrastructure allows for those requirements or that the current infrastructure is upgraded or replaced to allow for the new systems that will be introduced by the project.
Where infrastructure must be upgraded and replaced, the project manager needs to liaise with the project team and staff members involved, to create a timeline and project plan for the required infrastructure creation or upgrade.
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Coordinating Stakeholders and Staff
Once a plan is in place that ensures the infrastructure will be ready for project implementation, the project manager can begin to create a plan for the implantation of the project. Project implementation often requires the coordination of the staff members or stakeholders who are affected by the project. The implementation of a new project should cause as little disruption as possible, and communicating with stakeholders and staff members who will be affected by the implementation of the new project is essential. Staff requirements need to be understood and alternatives need to be set in place to ensure the smooth implementation of the project.
Staff need to be briefed on the goals of the new project to ensure the project has the support of the staff involved. Employee input at this stage is vital and can mean the difference between the success or failure of a project.
Implementation strategies should be clearly communicated to staff to ensure they understand their roles with regards to implementation. Alternative plans may need to be devised that can be used during the implementation phase to ensure productivity and efficiency remain a priority during the implementation phase.
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Preparing Staff for Implementation
Once everyone is clear about the implementation strategy and goals, it’s time to prepare the staff for the implementation of the project itself. This step may be unnecessary in some projects depending on the level of education and skills of the staff involved in the project. Where a new system is being implemented and staff will be responsible for the project once implemented, this step may be crucial in ensuring the success of the project.
This step involves assessing the skills and knowledge required by the project and comparing that with the current knowledge and skills of the staff involved. In some cases, staff may need training to support and use the new project or system. Where staff training is necessary, the project manager needs to balance the needs of the organization with the training needed by the staff to ensure that training does not unnecessarily disrupt the essential organizational processes.
Once again, this step entails careful planning to allow for staff training whilst taking the needs of the staff into account. So communication and input from the staff affected by the project is vital in the success of the implementation of the project. This step also requires strong leadership abilities to ensure staff understand and support the project from the time it is implemented. Contingency plans can also be a part of this step to ensure that any unforeseen deficiencies in training or skill level are handled quickly and effectively to ensure the successful implementation of the project.
This step requires a sound knowledge of how to identify and involve the stakeholders and staff involved in the project and how to lead them to success. For some great ideas on how to achieve this, sign up for the Project Management Skills: Improve Project Skills In 1 Day course. This course outlines the key concepts of project management including what a project manager is. It includes information on how to initiate a project including how to identify stakeholders, how to assess needs and wants, how to set SMART project goals and how to create and complete a project planning worksheet. The course also teaches students how to create a task list, how to estimate time, costs and resources and how to use project planning tools like Gantt Charts and Network Diagrams to ensure the successful implementation of a project.
Monitoring the Implementation of the Project
Once you have an implementation strategy and plan in place, the final step to creating an implementation plan is to create a plan for monitoring the actual implementation process to ensure all of the timeline goals and implementation goals are met during the process.
This step involves creating a timeline for the implementation process itself and then creating milestones to ensure the implementation process remains on target. Milestones can include milestones reflecting timeline requirements, milestones reflecting project costs or milestones with regards to resources used to date. Creating a plan for monitoring the implementation phase is an excellent way to recognize problems before they occur or monitoring unforeseen delays and making adjustments to accommodate those delays.
Proper Project Management Often Leads to Success
Organizations have realized that experienced project managers can often mean the difference between the success or failure of a project. That is why experienced, certified project managers are in high demand in almost every industry these days. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a project manager in the future, then you should consider working towards your PMP certification. This prestigious certification can literally fast track your career in any industry.
If you are interested in learning more about the PMP certification, then sign up for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® course today. This course details the process you need to follow to become a certified Project Management Professional. It will teach you about the submission process and how to submit your application form to the PMI. It details the application review process and what this process entails. The course then moves onto the payment and audit process. The course also prepares students for the PMP exam to ensure you can benefit from this certification.