"No plan survives contact with the enemy."  Von Molke 

The project plan if the output of the planning phase. It lays out how the project will be executed.

The main body of the project plan is presented below. Documents specific to the Business Synergies approach to project management are marked with BS.  


Document or Form



Business CaseBS

Business case analysis that examines the business dynamics of the proposed project and demonstrates its contribution to the overall organizational strategy and business results. Critical project selection criteria include strategic fit, competitive advantage, and potential return on investment.


Overall direction, expectations and constraints that the team use when they plan the project. It contains the name and purpose of the project, the project manager's name, and a statement of support from the sponsor. Approved by the sponsor or the upper manager.


Responsibility Matrix

The agreement developed and agreed to by the team that describes how the team members fit in the system as a whole, the roles of the team members and the guidelines that they will follow as they work together as a team.



Scope Statement

Scope statement defines the project place in a larger scenario, describes the major activities of the project, and puts some boundaries on the project do define what the project will and won't do. It contains the definition and detailed description of what will be produced by the project and delivered to the customer. A written explanation of the final deliverables.

Customer Acceptance Criteria

The criteria the customer will use to determine if they are satisfied with the final deliverables.

Stakeholder Form

A description of how each stakeholder will affect the project, the team status for each stakeholder, and the name of the team liaison, if one is required.


Subproject Tree

The organizational chart for the project that shows all subprojects, interim outputs for each subproject, and the person accountable


Risk Form

The identified risks, countermeasures, and the person accountable for each countermeasure.



Milestone Schedule

The high-level schedule used to communicate the dates that major accomplishments in the project will be completed to the customer, sponsor, and stakeholders

Outcomes Schedule

The schedule that shows the delivery date for each of the project's outcomes and the interdependencies between them.

Spending Estimate

The projected cost of the project, including internal and external costs.

Change Management

Change-Management Process

A structured process by which changes to the project plan will be handled.


Setting Up a Responsibility Matrix

4 Steps

  • List the stakeholder groups. Stakeholder groups are listed on the horizontal axis of the responsibility matrix. Groups such as project team and user council should be named rather than individual team members: these individual team assignments are documented in the project plan. It is appropriate however to put individual names on the responsibility matrix whenever a single person will be making decisions or has complete responsibility for a significant part of the project.

Murphy's Law in Project Management

Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the plans are complete.

5 Factors that Make a Project a Success

By: Eric Verzuh, the author of

The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

To be successful, a project must have:

  1. A plan that demonstrates what is possible, shows an overall path and clear responsibilities, contains the details for estimating the people, money, time, equipment, and materials necessary to get the job done, and will be used to measure progress during the project and act as an early warning system.




  1. Getting Started in Project Management, P.Martin and K.Tate

  2. Project Manager's MBA, Cohen E. Graham

  3. ICB IPMA Competence Baseline, International Project Management Association (IPMA)

  4. The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management,  Erich Verzuh