Starting the Plan

Before starting the project plan, we should go through the basic definitions that are usually used during plan implementation. These definitions are as follows:

• Task – a small work that will perform by one member

• Activity – consists of a set of tasks and is performed by different individuals

• Concurrent activities – activities that are performed in parallel

• Series activities – activities that are executed one after the other, as the second activity cannot start until the first activity is finished

Usually there is a conflict between the task and activity, and it can be clear if you have to prepare a technical report. An activity consists of tasks, such as collecting required information, perform­ing a data analysis, preparing photos and figures, preparing the first revision of a report, and printing a report.

There are many ways to start planning, and you have to choose among them. A good way to begin is by identifying the key stages of the project. The main key stages of the project can be identified by holding a meeting with the experienced people on the project team from different disciplines, stakeholders, and sponsors. In this meeting, use a brainstorm technique among the attendees.

Every group should make suggestions on paper. Then the papers should be collected, and all the ideas and contributions, regardless of being logical or illogical, should be shared among everyone in the meeting. It is important to follow the following rules during the meeting:

• Be concerned about quantity and not quality, even if it turned out that some of the tasks and activities have been replicated.

• Stop any suspicion of an individual to avoid any idea of the critical observations bothering the participants.

The next step is very important, as it will now have a wide range of tasks. The next step of the action team is to filter such activities, and this is done by removing some of the tasks that are repeated or dupli­cated. Compile the tasks, including the interdependence of both the straight or parallel. The small number of tasks and activities reduced often ranges from 30 to 60, according to the size of the activity of the project. Then compile the activities at key stages of the project.

By using this method, you will reach high precision in the plan­ning. This is considered the beginning step in the planning of the project as a whole.

Now you have the main stages of the project, and all the key stages were agreed on by the members of the project. Now you should order them in a logical order, but you should avoid the following:

• Avoid defining time or dates.

• Avoid the allocation of employment to those stages

All of the above will cause problems, as many attendees will push you to define dates. Please take care to not fall into this hole.

To avoid mistakes in the planning Project Logic Control, the key stages must be defined on the main wall of the office. Figures (4.1a) and (4.1b) show examples of the main stages of the project.

The advantages of the above method are that everyone has an opinion on the project, making everyone keen to the success of the project, and a person’s idea or opinion reflects on the project. Therefore, a person will do his or her best to offer opinions that will match with the project goal.

It is noted from Figures (4.1a) and (4.1b) that the design phase has been divided into two stages, the first stage being (a) and the second being (b), in order to allow the sending of purchase orders from the start before the end of the first phase of the design.

Approved for construction

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Figure 4.1b Project key stages.

Now you have the information that can be used in the computer software in order to prepare the time schedule for the agreed plan.

The basic rules that must be adhered to and strictly followed in the preparation of a project schedule are as follows:

• The movement of activities should go from the left to the right.

• There is no measure of time.

• There is a place to start in the beginning of the greatest square in the north. Make sure there is an empty place in the page for each major stage in the project.

• Each phase is described by the act of writing in the form of present tense. (Do not try to set the stage for any period of time.)

• The pages are developed in accordance with the logi­cal arrangement.

• There must be communication between the stages of a relationship.

• Identify responsibilities.

• Provide connectivity between the stages.

• Avoid the intersection of the stock as much as possible.

• Identify each key stage by professional codes.