Now that you have established the basic parameters of your project, you can begin to elaborate even further on the planning of your project. Project Management uses a series of several documents to help describe each meticulous detail of the project and its organization. These documents are called management plans. You should have a management plan for each area of your project, such as: cost, schedule or communication. The cost management plan will help you track and manage the study budget, just as the communication management plan will help you keep in touch with your key stakeholders. Together, the management plans help you to consistently approve activities as they are completed and manage any changes or roadblocks that may arise.

Management plans are living documents that are consistently updated to reflect the current project status and a realistic forecast of project completion. I cannot say this enough:

Management plans are living documents that should be consistently updated.

While this may sound daunting, consider the alternative. If you simply head into the project without any plan, you are constantly scrambling to understand what still needs to be done. This often forces your to juggle too many loose ends. If you take the time to carefully write a management plan in the very beginning, you will save yourself and your team months of frustration and wasted energy.

How do you keep your study documents on-track and consistently updated?