Key Points for Writing a Project Plan

Key point for writing a project plan:

1. Expectations

This is the key point for all business engagements, and the root cause of many frustrations. Expectations should be communicated before the word GO of any project. The project can be related to customer service or code development, it doesn't matter. What matters is that all the stakeholders know what they are about to receive and to deliver. 

2. Perception

Perception - "the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses"
One's perception is correlated to his natural skills, interests, incentives and the experiences that morphed and shaped them throughout the years. A project plan needs to manifest the perception of execution and achievement.

A small red flag - there are many project managers and stakeholders that perceive the project as too big or too small, each extremity leads to a failure in the planning and to a loss of capital for the investor.
Break down a big project to smaller projects and take them one at a time. Raise a red flag if a project
is perceived too small and simple.             

3. Strategy

The strategy of writing a project plan can differ from project manager to project manager. I prefer the up to bottom style. I start with the Why we are here, provide an overview of the project, and then start to dig in.

4. Goals

Goals are tangible - "Did you achieve the goal? Yes/No". 
At the beginning set easy to achieve goals and deadlines to gain performance confidence. As we go deeper and deeper into the project plan, create a plan B with stretched goals.

5. Rules

"One of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere"
Basically, what you should and should not do. Make sure that the rules are clear, and what might happen if they are broken. Be clear about the risk - loss of time and budget, but provide several degrees of freedom. Rules are good, free thinking and creative solutions are better.

6. Attitude 

Attitude of a winner - there is no project too small; there is no project too big.