The steps involved in the process of project planning
The steps in planning a project starts with knowing the parameters. It is important to give you a framework based on reality and will allow a good starting point. If those involved know the requirements and resources, it is up to their creativity and problem-solving skills to thrive. Knowing the resources will is also helpful. In an evidence-based practice project, there would need to be evidence from credible sources. This would include peer-reviewed articles, experiments, and a meta-analysis of the findings, whether the resources are tangible such as time in a lab, previous studies, funding, or other resources such as the stakeholders. Stakeholders include nurses but may also include doctors or other hospital staff. It is important to know the audience to help plan communication. Communication is huge when it comes to delegating or involving others in the process of change. Teamwork during the intervention is also required. For evidence-based practice, nurses should work together in this effort. The final step in a project is to evaluate the outcomes. Were they successful? Was it a sustained change? It is one of the more important parts of a project to see if the goal is reached. It is similar to the last step in the nursing process where the need for change is assessed.
Response to Post #1
My classmate highlights important elements of project management, but the post does not appear to focus specifically on project planning. Some of the steps that are mentioned, especially the evaluation of sustained change and the goals reached, seem to refer to project management in general rather than its planning (Sipes, 2015, pp. 20-21). In certain cases, the evaluation can precede a new project, which is not uncommon, for example, for nursing (Sipes, 2015). Still, the theory of project management does not appear to suggest that post-intervention activities refer to the planning stage, which is why I am not sure that I support this interpretation of the process.
There multiple steps when it comes to project planning. When first implementing a project it is important to discuss the key components and explain the project at hand. It is a roadmap of the project but there may be minors deters or changes along the way. Next, you need to set up baselines for the initial project. It is used “Baselines are sometimes called performance measures because the performance of the entire project is measured against them. They are the project’s three approved starting points and include the scope, schedule, and cost baselines. That is, they are used to determine whether or not the project is on track, during the execution of the project” (Larson, n.d.). Then you need to assign roles and responsibilities. There is a project manager who owns the entire project, then designated business experts who define their requirements for the end products.
They develop the scope baseline of the project. Then there is a project manager who creates, executes, and controls the project plan, and then there is a project team, who builds the end product. After this is all said and done you have the end-users who consume the product. After these roles are assigned you should hold a kick-off meeting. The kickoff meeting is an effective way to bring stakeholders together to discuss the project. It is an effective way to initiate the planning process. Step four is developing a scope statement. It’s the foundation for the rest of the project. It describes the project and is used to get common agreement among the stakeholders about the scope. After this step, you want to develop the cost, deadline, and basis for the scope. This process is not a one-time effort. Throughout the project, you will most likely be adding to repeating some or all of these steps. When this step is complete you need a management team to help carry out the rest of the plan. Project quality consists of ensuring that the end product not only meets the customer specifications but is one that the sponsor and key business experts want to use. The final step of this plan is to ensure you communicate throughout this entire experience. This helps lead to a well-implemented plan.
Response to Post #2
My classmate offers a very substantive response, which contains a justification of a number of crucial components in project planning. I agree with this interpretation of the process, and I find it particularly useful that my classmate highlights the fact that project planning is a dynamic process (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], 2014). Indeed, it may be necessary to adjust and readjust certain already-determined features, especially the relevant plans and schedules. AHRQ (2014) points out that it is particularly important to review these documents and solicit feedback on them from various stakeholders, insisting that their input can help to make necessary adjustments during the planning stage.
A successful project is completed through a well carried out plan. The process of project planning involves several steps that include: explain the project plan to key stakeholders and discuss its key components, define roles and responsibilities, hold a kickoff meeting, develop a Scope Statement, develop scope baseline, develop schedule and cost baselines, create baseline management plans, develop the staffing plan, analyze project quality and risks, and communicate (Larson, 2017). These steps encompass all the necessary components required to start a project, including stakeholders, cost, time, staffing and team, measurement, and evaluation. Each step is important to the successful implementation and continuation of a project because it provides accuracy, validation, and continuation of the project (Rettig & Simons, 1993). The significance of each step is that they all involve communication, measurement, and evaluation components which improves the accuracy of the project and therefore to the overall success of the project.
Response to Post #3
My classmate offers a very succinct overview of the key steps of project planning, and I agree with this interpretation of both the stages and the method of their evaluation. In particular, I agree that communication is a crucial component of every step of project planning, and its presence and quality can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the stages to a certain extent. This idea can be proved by the fact that the presence of meaningful communication between and within a variety of stakeholder groups is likely to improve the outcomes of the process of project planning and other project stages (Harris, Roussel, & Thomas, 2015).
The importance of identifying key stakeholders and cost in project planning
Projects are most often a participatory process in which different levels of participation play a role in achieving a successful project outcome (Lohrey, 2013). However, participation expectations depend on the degree of a project stakeholder’s direct or indirect involvement. Because of this, it’s vital to a project’s successful completion to accurately identify project stakeholders, set participation expectations, and communicate accordingly. Because a project stakeholder is an “individual, department or organization that may be affected by the results of a project or have an effect on how the project is carried out” (Lohrey, 2013, para. 2), stakeholders should be identified at the beginning of the project planning process as they set the tone, need, and aim for the study itself.
Besides, the factor that often has the biggest influence on project success or failure is whether or not the project team can – or cannot – optimize project outputs with effective cost management (“Importance of Cost Management,” 2016). With that being said it is very important that the cost or budget be established before the initiation of the study. Determining the cost means to “effectively assess all costs associated with a project, including original budget cost, current approved cost, forecasted vs. actual cost and committed cost” (“Importance of Cost Management,” 2016, para. 3).
Response to Post #1
I agree with my classmate’s interpretation of the significance of the identification of stakeholders and costs. It is noteworthy that the two topics intersect in the stakeholders’ perspectives on appropriate costs and budgeting (Kerzner, 2013). As a result, the determination of the stakeholders should indeed be among the first things to be performed, which will provide the opportunity for taking into account their interests and accepting criteria during planning and budgeting.
One of the first steps in project management planning is the identification of stakeholders. To get this achieved, they need to understand what a stakeholder is and why it is important. It is defined as “a person or group of people who can affect or be affected by a given project” (Lohrey, 2013). They can work on projects with a group of people, organizations, or even some segments of the population. A stakeholder may be actively involved in a project’s work, affected by the project’s outcome, or in a position to affect the project’s success. Stakeholders can be an internal part of a project’s organization or external, such as customers, creditors, unions, or members of a community. Depending on the importance and how good the stakeholders are they can either enhance the project or completely ruin it. Stakeholders should be identified at the beginning of the project planning process as they set the tone, need, and aim for the study itself. These individuals need to be identified before the implementation of the project to identify roles. Cost in project planning is vital to ensure the correct amount of funds is available.
Response to Post #2
My classmate offers a very extensive overview of the role of the stakeholders in a project, and I find that I support this view, but the discussion of the costs in this post appears to be lacking. In fact, it can be suggested that the correct amount of funding is typically impossible to predict as well as the level of its consumption throughout the project. Rather, budgeting efforts are aimed at predicting and modelling the majority of expenses; also, it is recommended to ensure that a certain amount of additional funds (reserve) is available, which can act as a safety net (Martinelli, & Milošević, 2016, p. 276). In other words, instead of providing the correct amount, it may be a good practice to provide an excess of funds to ensure that no unpredictable issues can unbalance the process and leave it without resources.
It is important to know the stakeholders because they are a resource or a big part of the project. It is important to know who they are so that they can be involved. It will guide choices of communication style. The stakeholders who are providing funding will also need the budget. This process, unless funded by the hospital, would be similar to trying to get study grants. An EBP may take quite a lot of time and energy. IF there is a new skill or new equipment, the costs may be great for training or buying, whatever, new technology across a large area. It is also good to budget because, I mean that the plan is well organized, and to see if the plan is realistic and achievable. The budget may be for research time, disseminating information, implementing, and evaluating afterward. Stakeholders can also be those participating, such as nurses. A nurse would be a huge stakeholder in any changes to nursing responsibilities or the scope and, therefore, should be included during the whole process of change. I think that stakeholders are not identified until after a PICOT is formed. Once the research topic has been selected and the initial research has been done, those, who are project leaders will have a better idea of what they need in terms of resources.
Response to Post #3
I predominantly agree with my classmate’s discussion of the significance of stakeholders and cost management, and it appears particularly interesting that the topic of healthcare stakeholders is discussed in this post. It cannot be doubted that nurses are indeed crucial stakeholders in healthcare projects. However, nowadays, other stakeholders are also given increasing prominence in healthcare settings; in particular, patients and their families are paid explicit attention (Xie et al., 2015). According to Xie et al. (2015), these stakeholders have been overlooked for a long period of time, which makes taking them into account particularly relevant for modern healthcare.
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Rettig, M., & Simons, G. (1993). A project planning and development process for small teams. Communications Of The ACM, 3644-55.
Lohrey, J. (2013). The Importance of Identifying Stakeholders in a Project. Web.
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Sipes, C. (2015). Project management for the Advanced Practice Nurse. New York, NY: Springer.
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Kerzner, H. (2013). Project management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Martinelli, R., & Milošević, D. (2016). Project management toolbox. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Xie, A., Carayon, P., Cartmill, R., Li, Y., Cox, E., Plotkin, J., & Kelly, M. (2015). Multi-stakeholder collaboration in the redesign of family-centered rounds process. Applied Ergonomics, 46, 115-123. Web.