Workplan development is the process of building the management tool required for proper planning, organizing, managing, and controlling resources allocated to achieve a specific goal. Workplans are generally applied to temporary projects or programs with a pre-defined start and end with tangible goals and objectives. Most workplan building tools are some variation of Gantt chart. Stand-alone applications include Microsoft Project, Matchware Mindview, and Project Kickstart. Alternatively there are many comparable web-based alternatives such as TomsPlanner.com and Gantter.com
The primary objective of workplan development is to create a template that will guide both internal and external stakeholders through the steps required to meet the desired goal(s). The primary factors detailed in a workplan are scope, activity description, time required, resource assignment, and critical path identification.
There are 5 main stages in most workplan development efforts:
- Project Initiation / Planning
- Process / Change design
- Implementation and Execution
- Monitoring and Reporting
Project Initiation and Planning
The project initiation and planning stage consist of the following aspects:
• Analysis of business requirements and resource allocation
• Cost-benefit analysis of project (included in that is goal-setting and cost estimation)
• Stakeholder Management
• Project charter detailing milestones
• Structured workplan development and sign-off
Performance Management Dashboard types vary based on their business objective as well as availability of information within the organization. However, most allow users to view information at a high level, and then drill down into that information for root cause analysis.
The change design stage includes all development, preparation, and process design activities which must be completed prior to implementation. At this stage of the project the ideal end-state is detailed to the point that it can be implemented. Examples of activities include reporting tool development, organization redesign, process streamlining, etc.
Implementation and Execution:
This is often the most under-appreciated and under-resourced stage of the work planning process. This stage consists of the processes required to complete the actual change in the organization. Included are those activities required to sustain and manage the change or process on a continual basis. The program deliverables are produced as an output of this stage.
Monitoring and Reporting:
Monitoring and reporting activities consist of those actions associated with the measurement and tracking of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that indicate the success or failure of the implementation stage.
This stage should identify issues and potential corrective actions to correct any variances to the plan. The measurement and tracking tools are implemented concurrently with the implementation stage and are on-going throughout the duration of the project and often up to a year after the formal project conclusion to ensure sustainability.
This stage consists of the activities associated with ensuring the process or change “sticks” and are a permanent part of the organization on a day-to-day basis. Often a project team will assign a “sustainability lead” to ensure the change has resources responsible for its success after the formal conclusion of the project.
• Wallace Clark and Henry Gantt (1922) The Gantt chart, a working tool of management. New York, Ronald Press.
• Project Management Institute (2003). A Guide To The Project Management Body Of Knowledge (3rd ed. ed.). Project Management Institute. ISBN 1-930699-45-X.