MAP ®  meeting primer
Planning Meeting Set-up

Operational Definitions

     1. a drawing or diagram drawn on a plane: as
          a: top or horizontal view of an object
          b: a large-scale map of a small area
     2.  a: method of carrying out a desigh: DEVICE
          b: method of doing something: PROCEEDURE
          c: detailed program of action
          d: GOAL, aim
     3. an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective.

syn PLAN, DESIGN, PLOT, SCHEME, PROJECT mean a method devised for making or doing something or achieving an end.
PLAN always implies mental formulation and usually graphic representation:
DESIGN often suggests a particular pattern and some degree of achieved order or harmony;
PLOT implies a laying out in clearly distinguished sections with attention to their relations and proportions;
SCHEME stresses calculation of the end in view and may apply to a plan motivated by craftiness and self-seeking;
PROJECT often stresses imaginative scope and vision

II. (V) PLAN (planned, planning)
     1: to arrange the parts of: DESIGN
     2: to devise or project the realization or achievement of
     3: to have in mind :INTEND

What Plan/Planning isn't... Budget, scheduling, projections, etc.
If there isn't a diagram or chart of some kind, little or no planning has taken place.

An ideal which is held as a direction - non achievable - what is given back - the reason for being.
A specific achievable "end point" on the way to and in the direction of the purpose, and an endeavor toward which all goals are focused.
An end toward which effort is directed - stated in specific accountable and verifiable terms.

© Advanced Management & Planning 2015


Planning Meeting: Information Gathering Procedures

Review and/or create operational definitions of all key words.
State and have in writing:
     • Purpose
     • Mission
     • Goal / Intended Results for meeting
Obtain agreement / "buy in" from all meeting participants for these items.

Note: The meeting facilitator does not participate in the meeting in any other way than facilitation of meeting proceedures - AMP calls this the dynamic of the outsider)

&emdash;> Visualize & Use NOUNS
(What objects would you use to tell this goal achievement story on a "show & tell" table?)

2. ACTIVITIES: For each NOUN listed...
&emdash;> Visualize the work that was done (past tense) & Use VERBS

3. TIMELINE INFORMATION: For each VERB listed...
How long did this work take to complete - in hours, days, or weeks?
[duration - not deadline]

4. $COST: For each VERB listed...
How much did it cost to complete this work ?

5. RESPONSIBILITY: For each VERB listed...
Who was responsible for the completion of this work? Who did the actual work?

6. RELATIONSHIP: For each VERB listed...
What had to happen before this work can get started? What happened after it was done?
These can be listed as End Items OR Activities

This information, properly gathered, can be used in the
MAP® - MasterTRAX® Action Planning - network based graphic documents.

© Advanced Management & Planning 2015

© Advanced Management & Planning 2013

How to Build a Project Plan

Successful projects do not just happen, they are planned.

The Pacific Planning Institute will ensure that you have a project which is workable, makes best use of limited resources and is economically feasible. Think of it as a dress rehearsal where all teething problems, like casting and organization, are sorted out before the opening night.

Step 1: Break Down the Project

The project is essentially a set of operations to be completed in a logical order. These operations take time to and may use resources. You may start by listing all the operations in your project. Alternatively, you can use the Work Breakdown Chart to prepare an outline for the project. This might consist of the different objectives of the project, which could be products, services, cost accounts - in short, work packages.

Step 2: Build the Model

Choose a networking technique - The choices are "Precedence" or "Arrow" using the more sophisticated of the project management programs available - then add the operations one at a time into the model.

At this stage, enter just basic information for each operation - a description and the estimated time it will take (its duration). Calendars define each duration in terms of working and non-working time.

Initially, do not worry about allocating resources or even attempt to anticipate any resource problems - you can deal with these later.

Gradually build up the model which shows the operations involved and the order in which they are performed. If you are working on a large project then divide the network into more manageable portions or subprojects.

Step 3: Timing the Project

After we've entered the durations and the sequence of logic, we'll carry out a Time Analysis to find out when each operation could start and finish. Our planning network then calculates the shortest time in which the project can be completed.

In doing so, we identifiy the Critical Path(s) or chain(s) of operations which take the longest time to accomplish. The calculated completion date depends on the critical operations starting and finishing on time - if they are delayed, the whole project is delayed.

We also show the operations which could be delayed without affecting the project as a whole - these operations have spare time or "float."

The completion date is of course, a theoretical one. In practice, if you do have more time then you can extend the project deadline. The reverse situation usually applies - you will be trying to make the project finish sooner rather than later. Accelerate the project by concentrating on the critical operations - can you reduce their durations, overlap them or move them onto calendars with more working time?

Once you have achieved a satisfactory but realistic completion date...

Step 4: Allocate Resources and Costs

Enter the resources available to the project then allocate them to the individual operations.

When analysing resources, our planning netowrk makes full use of float to resolve conflicting resource demands. It does this by delaying non-critical operations within their float period so that the resources are released to more urgent operations. The problems arise when the project as planned runs out of float

Carry out a Resource Analysis - Deadline Critical to see if you need more resources for the project to finish on time and/or a Resource Analysis - Resource Critical to find out how long the project will take using the resources you have.

If you have entered cost information for each resource, then carry out Resource Analyses (with Analyse Costs switched on via the Analysis Control Panel on the Analysis menu) to compare the cost of overloading resources against the cost of extending the project deadline.

You can also use network planning's costing facilities to forecast cash flows, create budgets and prepare job costings.

Once approved, you are ready to launch your plan into the real world. At this point, the role of the network switches from planning the project to controlling it. Use it to monitor and co-ordinate the live project.

Step 5: Communicating

Take full advantage of the array of reports available to keep the project team fully informed. This reduces stress on the part of all working on the project or the jobsite and communicates to all that "management has it together."

To ensure that the right information reaches the right people, use the report features available to design and tailor your own individual reports. Pacific Planning Institute's on-the-job experience can help design these reports if you don't know exactly what you want and need.

Obviously, information needs to flow in two directions so when the project team reports back to you...

Step 6: Tracking Progress

Use feedback from the team members to update the model periodically. This ensures that you maintain an accurate picture of what is happening in the real project.

Some operations will start and finish as planned, some may even complete early while others are delayed. These inevitable changes and delays must be entered into the model which can then be re-analysed.

Compare the revised schedule with the original forecast to pinpoint slippage. Review all possible lines of action and amend the model accordingly. Compare actual costs against budgets and earned values to keep control of project spending. Issue new schedules to start the whole process over again.

Copyright © 2015 Pacific Planning Institute / Randolph Craft. All rights reserved.