Project Planning

The Association for Project Management (UK) released it is ‘Introduction to Project Planning’ last year. This is a high level overview of all of the planning processes needed for a successful project outcome including scope, risk, cost, schedule, quality, procurement, resources and earned value (the subject of another APM standard).

The authors of this guide feel the discipline of planning is undervalued, its value is not recognised and the overall process is misunderstood by many in the project management community. I tend to agree!

The guide is a useful adjunct to both the APM BoK and the PMI PMBOK® Guide and is focused on the whole of the planning process. The first key message is planning has the most to contribute early in the project:

Planning Leverage during the Project Lifecycle

Planning Leverage during the Project Lifecycle

The second is the sequence the key questions good planning should answer, are asked in. If you don’t know ‘why’ the project is being undertaken it is nearly impossible to deliver valuable benefits at the end.


One element missing from the guide (but implicit in the way the guide is structured) is the very different skills needed by the planner during the concept phase of a project compared to the detailed planning and the maintenance phases. This is discussed in The Roles and Attributes of a Scheduler’.

Overall the Guide is a useful addition to most libraries and fills a gap between the main BoKs and the specific scheduling and earned value guides.


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