Good Practice: A detailed Project Freight Plan should be developed and agreed by Project Management.
It provides the following benefits:
- Translates the high-level project objectives into a comprehensive ‘roadmap’ of tangible deliverables.
- Provides a complete list of resource requirements.
- Provides a realistic valuation of project schedules.
- Allows estimated project logistics costs to be further authenticated.
- Allows for concerns to be identified early in the planning, such as, tasks taking longer than anticipated, slippage in target dates and team members not being dynamic.
Include all team members, not just senior project management. Develop a plan over several weeks, by accessing team members and drawing on their knowledge and experiences.
- No project freight or logistics plan.
- Having an erroneous project plan. Do not be influenced by a “sexy looking” project plan that has been designed to give the Steering group a comfortable feeling, but which is not based on realism. An incorrect project logistics plan is inferior to not having a plan at all.
- As with all procedures, a good dose of good judgment and practicality is required. Do not go overboard, for example, a 7-day project does not need a thorough project logistics plan.
- Do not lose the ability to see what the project is trying to accomplish. Traditional project freight management techniques can boost over-planning and an extreme focus on micro-level tasks at the cost of the overall goals.
- Skeptical indication from past projects and insisting the present project be done faster with less people.
- Committing to, or baselining project logistics plans too early.
Trying to manage a large and intricate project without a project logistics plan is like trying to cross a strange continent without a map, you are running blind. The key element to get right is the balance between planning and action. Take the example of driving from Amsterdam to Zurich: too much planning and others will be halfway there before you have had a chance to depart; too little, and you will turn up at the Swiss border without passports.
A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.
– General George S. Patton, JR.