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How do I plan a project?
How do I plan a project?

What is planning a project? Who can plan a project? Why planning a project? Where to plan a project? When to plan a project?

Meltem Akarsu avatar
Written by Meltem Akarsu
Updated over a week ago

In this article you will learn:

1. What planning a project is

  • The planning of a project supports the achievement of a goal

  • In the first step the goal is defined and provided with a target date

  • Then, tasks, milestones and summary tasks (hereafter referred to as tasks) are created to achieve the goal

  • Dependencies and sequences between the tasks are added

  • Then the tasks are assigned with durations and dates that are needed to achieve the project goal

  • Finally, you can check the timing of the project plan. If everything is correct, the execution of the project can be started

2. Where and how to plan a project

  • After you created a project open the list or netplan view

  • Set the project due date if not done earlier

  • Now you can list and structure as many tasks as needed to reach your project goal

Tip: Read this article to find out how to create tasks in the different project views.

  • Use the netplan view to plan your tasks

  • To arrange the tasks simply drag and drop them (1) or use the three-dot menu and select move task/milestone (2)

  • To create dependencies click on the three-dot menu of a task and select Link task/milestone and click on the task you want to link to

  • OR click and drag on the connector icon of the task and drop it on the target task

Tip: Read this article to get to know more about dependencies in the netplan.

3. What information you need to plan a project

Task duration and buffer time

  • Click on the task to open the task card

  • Select fixed or flexible dates (1)

  • Define the duration of the task by working days (2)

  • For flexible tasks, you can add buffer days (3). Planning your project with buffers offers real effort estimation, accurate assessment of risks in your project plan and a transparent overview of the status of your project

  • When you close the task card you see all your tasks and the buffer in the netplan (1)

  • The buffer days of each task are automatically added up and are displayed in front of a fixed task (2) or the project due date

  • Now you can view your project in the timeline. Check the dates and dependencies of the tasks

  • Voila! You have created your project plan

How the task dates are calculated

  • The start and end dates of your tasks are calculated automatically in relation to the projects due date and the tasks duration

  • If you want to use automatic calculation for your project plan link the last task/milestone of your project plan to the due date marker (dark blue bar)

  • The automatic calculation uses backward planning, so the dates of your tasks are calculated backward of the project's due date

  • As soon as you set the status of a task to In progress or change a task to Fixed dates, the dates of the following tasks will be automatically adjusted to this change. With this, the task dates are going to forward calculated instead of backward

  • If you don't link your tasks to the project due date you need to set the start and end date for each task, so that dates are calculated

Tip: Downstream tasks (chains) of your project can also be scheduled after the project due date. These tasks do not cause any delay to the project and do not affect the project health (On Track, At Risk, Delayed).

How to plan tasks after the project due date

  • Tasks such as post-delivery service, hyper care, external assembly, etc. can be planned much later than the project due date

  • You can drag and drop these tasks to the right side of the project due date bar (dark blue) to create a visual separation

  • To schedule them from the project due date simply link the tasks directly to the due date bare (dark blue)

Tip: Any netplan functions such as drag and drop, move, and link can be taken before and after the project due date

Enrich your tasks

4. What happens next

For further information check our video:

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