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Project Planning

1- Project Team

Successful team members have the following characteristics:

  • shares and supports the vision and the goals of the team
  • takes responsibility for both the task needs and the relationship needs of the team
  • possesses the skill to manage his/her own parts of the project and to support others’ contribution
  • demonstrates superior skill in interpersonal communication.

So to have a “good” team you need:


Each member must know:

  • What the goal is
  • What his or her role in the completion of the goal is
  • How internal or external constraints affect the process
  • Possible obstacles to the success of the project


  • Project–task-related skill
    Skills related to the task needing to be accomplished
    Just because a group gets along well, it does not mean they will be productive
  • Group harmonizing skill (interpersonal relationship skill)
    The ability to help maintain the relationship aspect of the team


  • The goal of the team is in the best interest of the project
  • The project is indeed doable with the skills and materials available


  • Personal Connections
  • Trusting and valuing team members’ ideas.

Supportive Organizational Climate

  • Guidance - Faculty supervisor, company contact
    and the SE office
  • Convenience -Meeting rooms
  • Celebrating achievements – SE celebration!

If one element is too light or is removed, the whole team dynamic gets out of balance and doesn't function properly.

2 - Defining the goals, objectives, tasks and activities in the project.

Work Breakdown Structure

  • Goals
  • Tasks
  • Activities
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • WBS – A schedule that shows each step of the project

Hierarchy of work

  • A job must be broken down into objectives, then into tasks and finally into activities.
  • Using a hierarchy simplifies the process and ensures that you do not miss any activity.


  • Big “chunks” of the project – e.g. research, first draft, presentation

Broad area of focus

  • Set by the team and with the approval of the faculty supervisor and the company contact.

Other important points:

  • Objectives are defined along the dimensions of time, specs, and cost
  • Distribute responsibility for each objective among the team members
  • Ask each objective owner to formulate the tasks.


  • Represent one or several major deliverables towards an objective
  • Sub-objectives or work packages each made up of multiple activities
    e.g. table of content, bibliography, abstract


  • Activities are the basic building blocks of a project
  • The name of each activity is exactly the same as the desired result
  • At this point just list the activities (not necessary to list the precedence information)
  • Comprehensive
  • Small enough details to see the work involved!

Rule of Thumb:

  • Duration Rule
  • Define activities that will take several hours to a couple of days to complete.
  • Allows visibility of progress – if it is delayed you will know in a day or if it becomes overdue.
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • WBS – A schedule that shows each step of the project

Project Management
Project Planning
Project Scheduling
Project Controlling

Wikipedia: Project Planning


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