Establish and maintain plans that define project activities.


Establishes organizational expectations for estimating the planning parameters, making internal and external commitments, and developing the plan for managing the project.


One of the keys to effectively managing a project is project planning. The Project Planning process involves the following activities:

    • Developing the project plan
    • Interacting with relevant stakeholders appropriately
    • Getting commitment to the plan
    • Maintaining the plan

Planning includes estimating the attributes of work products and tasks, determining the resources needed, negotiating commitments, producing a schedule, and identifying and analyzing project risks. Iterating through these activities may be necessary to establish the project plan. The project plan provides the basis for performing and controlling project activities that address commitments with the project’s customer.

The project plan is usually revised as the project progresses to address changes in requirements and commitments, inaccurate estimates, corrective actions, and process changes. Specific practices describing both planning and replanning are contained in this process area.

The term “project plan” is used throughout this process area to refer to the overall plan for controlling the project. The project plan can be a standalone document or be distributed across multiple documents. In either case, a coherent picture of who does what should be included. Likewise, monitoring and control can be centralized or distributed, as long as at the project level a coherent picture of project status can be maintained.

For product lines, multiple sets of work activities would benefit from the practices of Project Planning. These work activities include the creation and maintenance of the core assets, developing products to be built using the core assets, and orchestrating the overall product line effort to support and coordinate the operations of the inter-related work groups and their activities.

In Agile environments, performing incremental development involves planning, monitoring, controlling, and re-planning more frequently than in more traditional development environments. While a high-level plan for the overall project or work effort is typically established, teams will estimate, plan, and carry out the actual work an increment or iteration at a time. Teams typically do not forecast beyond what is known about the project or iteration, except for anticipating risks, major events, and large-scale influences and constraints. Estimates reflect iteration and team-specific factors that influence the time, effort, resources, and risks to accomplish the iteration. Teams plan, monitor, and adjust plans during each iteration as often as it takes (e.g., daily). Commitments to plans are demonstrated when tasks are assigned and accepted during iteration planning, user stories are elaborated or estimated, and iterations are populated with tasks from a maintained backlog of work.

Entrance Criteria:

  • Spreadsheet Programs
  • Estimating Models
  • Project Planning and Scheduling Packages

Exit Criteria:

  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Project Plan
  • Data Management Plan
  • Stakeholder Involvement Plan

Process and Procedures:

Tailoring Guidelines:

Organizations may choose to purchase a project planning process and procedures rather than develop them.  Using the Causal Analysis and Resolution process, they can tailor the process to fit their organization.

Special expertise, equipment, and facilities in project planning may be
required.  Special expertise in project planning can include the following:

    • Experienced estimators
    • Schedulers
    • Technical experts in applicable areas (e.g., product domain, technology)

Process Verification Record(s):

  • Project Data Library Structure
    • Stored By: [PMO Director]
  • Project Attribute Estimates
    • Stored By: [PMO Director]
  • Risk Impacts and Probability of Occurrence
    • Stored By: [PMO Director]


  • Number of revisions to the plan
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  • Cost, schedule, and effort variance per plan revision
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  • Schedule for development and maintenance of program plans
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