Business Planning and Project Management (Byte Size)
In this course, we look at how to turn the strategic plan into reality. We consider two activities. First, creating the business plan. This is an essential communication document identifying the key issues, costs and benefits of what the organisation is trying to do. Second, project management. This is the management of one-off tasks and requires special techniques.
This will give you some ideas about specific aspects of the implementation of strategy that you will address in detail in further modules on strategy and change. It will also introduce you to some useful techniques. In drawing up a business plan, we develop ideas that have practical application in achieving the strategic direction of the organisation and, in doing this, we highlight key features of the strategy itself.
In the section on project management, we look at an overall technique that can be used in implementing major change, but we also consider a number of other significant techniques that are used in operations management and can be used in other business functions to great effect. We take a very practical approach to some of the concepts that we have discussed from a more theoretical perspective elsewhere in this module.
After participating in this course, you should be able to:
- explain what business plans are and their use in different situations
- identify the main features of a business plan
- draw up a simple plan
- explain the roles of the people involved in project management and the information they require
- produce a one-page project specification
- produce a project work breakdown structure, milestone plan, activity chart and Gantt chart
- explain the meaning of baseline, scheduled and actual costs, and earned value
- understand how to construct and read project "S" curves
- identify the main source of risks in projects and which risks require action.