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9.9. Summary

The project plan is your roadmap to success and in this chapter we stepped through creating the needed details that will help guide your project once work begins. The Work Breakdown Structure is one of the most key elements of any project plan because it delineates, in a very detailed manner, the work that must be done to accomplish the project's objectives. Some might argue that if you were only going to implement one project management process it would be the creation of the WBS and task details. The WBS defines the scope of the project. If work is not in the WBS, it's not in the project. The various task details including task owner, entry/exit criteria, and completion criteria round out the WBS and give you and your project team a very clear picture of the work to be accomplished. Remember that quality is managed, in part, through completion criteria (which may include quality metrics), so keep your quality plan front and center as you create your WBS.

The network diagram is a great way to help your project take shape and form. By using a network diagram, you can begin to chart out your critical path and identify potential scheduling problems. Most project management software programs will generate a network diagram automatically once you've entered your tasks based on your WBS. The network diagram is a useful way of sequencing your tasks as a precursor to creating your project schedule. Create your project schedule from your ideal or best-case sequence, not the other way around. Using both duration and float, you can create a more detailed network diagram that helps you see where you have opportunities to modify your sequence (or later, your schedule) to manage constraints.


  

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