Stripping Project Management to Its Core: Planning What You Need to Get Things Done!

When you think about project planning, there are both simple and complex areas included in it. Once you get your scope planned correctly, the easy next step is to clarify what you need to get it delivered. Let’s see how it works, if you ignore for a bit the standard order of steps and think about it in your own logical flow.

What do I deliver by myself?

Depending on the context of the project you, as the project manager, might be doing other types of activities than project management. Clarify first what you can & want to do by yourself, from the whole list of deliverables. Depending on the available resources, you might want to get involved in more activities and deliverables, on top of just project managing things.

Who do I need to get things done?

The next big question is about identifying the people & roles you need on the project. Take the deliverables from your scope plan, think and write down the people or roles you need to have on the project. Once that list is complete, you can clarify how and from where you can get those resources to join your project.

What do I need to buy to get things done?

Almost any project requires you to purchase physical objects or special services that enable you to get things delivered on your project. Having a clear list of these needs, allows you to take other important decisions: what do I already own? what must I buy? what can be rented?

This is easy, isn’t it?

You might ask yourself - why haven’t we taken things from scope planning to developing the schedule? That’s because I find it to be a more logical continuation to scope planning. Knowing first what you can deliver by yourself, the people & roles you need to get things done, plus the equipment & services you need to purchase are great inputs to a well made schedule. I’m curious if you agree with my proposed order of things and if you do planning in a different order.

Related content:

Stripping Project Management to Its Core: Evaluating Project Risk with a Few Questions
Stripping Project Management to Its Core: Planning Happiness
Stripping Project Management to Its Core: (Re)Defining Project Initiation


It may seem easy enough to identify what it takes to deliver the project, but often that is the most complicated part. I realize that this is for beginners PMs, but even a beginner needs to know the risk of underestimating the effort involved in delivering a project.

- Steve

Hi Steve,

In this article I wasn't talking about estimating effort. I was simply covering planning your project's scope based on which you will later on make the effort, cost, risk calculations. I will cover the estimating effort in a separate article on which I am working on right now.

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- nice2 - sales1