Go to app
GuidesEmployee experienceManagement plan 101: How to create a comprehensive plan

Management plan 101: How to create a comprehensive plan

Last updated

31 January 2024

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Shawnna Johnson

Working in a large organization with over 100+ employees? Discover how Dovetail can scale your ability to keep the customer at the center of every decision. Contact sales.

A company's success begins with a comprehensive management plan. This plan becomes the North Star for the team and maintains operations integrity when problems arise.

Employees must perform thousands of tasks for an organization to stay ahead of the competition. From large product development projects to personalized holiday emails, smooth operation requires seamless coordination.

A management plan is the framework a company needs to achieve its goals and acquire new market share. Let's explore the concept of a management plan and discuss essential strategies.  

What is a management plan?

A management plan is a document that describes how to execute, monitor, and control a project, program, business, or organization. The size and complexity of the plan depend on the scope.

The management plan's goal is to guide the team, build consistency, and help meet deadlines. Since each project involves simultaneous processes, it's easy to get off track without a plan. 

A well-designed management plan can help business owners manage resources, meet goals, and plan future operations. It contains a strategy for meeting short- and long-term goals.

Management plans aren't set in stone. They are flexible enough to introduce changes according to the project's progress, economic downturns, market fluctuations, and other variables.

Benefits of a management plan

A business can benefit from a management plan regardless of its size. Even if you have a small team, a comprehensive plan can become integral to successful operations. 

No matter how many tasks you have to manage to achieve your goals, a transparent framework can maximize operational efficiency.

Resource management

Juggling numerous resources is one of the toughest tasks a company faces when executing a project. From financial to human, companies often waste these resources due to the lack of structure.

A management plan outlines the resources an organization needs for each project, allowing you to control available assets and avoid waste.

Imagine a software development firm lands a large one-time government project. A management plan can help the company see how many developers it can spare while considering ongoing work.

Goal alignment

A management plan doesn't just serve as a robust operation framework. It helps the company to set clear goals. In fact, without setting SMART goals, it can be nearly impossible to design an effective plan.

Goal clarity helps allocate resources and delegate tasks to team members. It also shows your employees how their work contributes to business success, increasing engagement and boosting productivity.

Risk mitigation

No matter how strong your business is, unexpected issues arise with internal operations and the external environment. From local security breaches to economic crises, each disruption can cause downtime and lost market share.

A management plan accounts for risks and gives your team guidelines to counter them. Your plan can minimize the impact of risk by proactively assessing and preparing for it. 

Decision-making

A management plan can make your decision-making process more strategic. A robust framework ensures decision-makers have an easier time considering risks, evaluating options, and selecting the most suitable course of action.

With a management plan, there is less uncertainty for the future and more opportunities for making data-driven decisions. This is especially valuable during crises.

Performance measurement

A robust management plan establishes key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to evaluate the project’s progress. This simplifies ongoing monitoring and allows for timely adjustments.

Higher-level management can use the performance management instruments outlined in the plan to prioritize activities when directing the team. It simplifies the process of making adjustments and staying on track to achieving the goal.

Communication

Communication problems seriously impact the efficiency of any project. According to Forbes, 86% of employees cite communication problems as the key reason for workplace failure.  

A management plan should define communication channels at the project planning stage. It must outline exactly how all team members communicate and the reporting hierarchy. This can ensure proper accountability for each employee.

With the right approach to communication planning, you can minimize misunderstandings, waste, and duplicate work.

How to create an effective management plan

While complex plans may require extensive blueprints, the effort you invest in creating an effective management plan can have an impressive ROI. Each step of a management plan simplifies business operations and risk mitigation.

Step 1: Outline vision and mission statements

Regardless of the project you’re working on, you must ensure it aligns with your vision and mission. This is especially important when creating a general management plan for your company's operations.

These statements guide your team when setting goals, prioritizing, and outlining key steps to achieve milestones. Ensure you’re clear on the purpose of your business, its underlying philosophy and values, and your target audience.

Step 2: Set goals

Whether you’re creating a long-term business management plan or a short-term project management plan, you need to identify goals. Even plans for short-term projects should still be part of long-term business objectives.

Ideally, you should be creating SMART goals from the start. If your current objectives are vague, consider breaking them down into smaller parts. 

Since goal clarity is the power behind an effective plan, try to provide as many details as possible. Make sure all goals align with the company's mission, values, and philosophy.

While setting goals, consider focusing on negative goals as well. Outline exactly what you don't want the project to focus on. These boundaries can keep your team on track.

Step 3:  Allocate resources

The next step is to outline the finances, time, people, and equipment you need to achieve the goals. How much time can you spare for this particular project? This step has a direct effect on the scope of your operations. It may also help you adjust the initial goals.

The money and workforce you can dedicate to the project must be realistic. Rely on historical company data to understand how much you can invest. If you couldn’t complete similar projects in the past, make relevant adjustments to resource distribution.  

At this step, you should also plan for unexpected factors. The project's budget should include a force majeure allocation. Meanwhile, you should have a backup plan for bringing in more team players if necessary.

Step 4: Define roles

At this stage, focus on delegating project elements to team members. Clarity and detail are essential to avoid confusion. 

You can create a team chart that demonstrates who is involved in the project and what activities they’re responsible for. Simplify collaboration by mentioning who each person reports to and adding contact options.

Each team member must know who to turn to for advice and information. Otherwise, you won't be able to handle any emergencies effectively.

Step 5: Create a timeline

If you have a time-bound goal, create a timeline to help your team stay on track for deadlines. A transparent schedule will also help with allocating resources.

Imagine you’re planning a rebranding. A key question is how long it will take. Without a defined timeline, this sizable project could continue indefinitely, hurting your business and affecting employee engagement.

Your goal is to make sure everyone knows when they have to deliver. Outlining this in a plan creates a North Star for the team.

Step 6: Conduct a situational analysis

To mitigate risks and support operations, you need to assess the internal and external factors that can impact your business and its projects. A SWOT analysis covers everything, including analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

During the threat analysis, you need to identify:

  • Problems with the potential to disrupt the project or business operations

  • Any point in a timeline where risks are likely

  • The chance of risks and disasters

  • Risk triggers

Next, you need to figure out a strategy for addressing the possible risks and avoiding triggers. 

Understanding what outcomes to expect if a disaster happens mitigates the negative elements, keeping the business on track.

Step 7: Share your management plan

Communicating your management plan to all the stakeholders brings everyone on board.

Share the plan with employees, managers, and investors in the most digestible way possible. For some, this plan becomes an essential tool for team management. For others, it's proof of your business' stability and potential.

Educate your team members about the elements of the management plan and teach them how to use it for their benefit. Explain how this guidance can help them achieve business goals.

Step 8: Create an executive summary

An executive summary is a concise overview of the key plan elements and highlights. It provides a high-level summary of your business's goals, strategies, and action plans.

This summary provides busy executives, stakeholders, or decision-makers with a quick understanding of the management plan without reading the entire document.

Your summary should include:

  • Brief business description

  • Mission and vision

  • Key objectives

  • Execution strategies

  • Major initiatives

  • Expected outcomes

In short, the executive summary should capture the essence of the management plan and invite the reader to explore details where necessary.

Step 9: Review and update your plan

Management plans require continuous monitoring, reviewing, and updating. As the market, economy, or internal situation changes, you may need to adjust the plan. 

Make sure the plan stays relevant to your business goals and external factors. Otherwise, even the most robust risk mitigation strategy won't be able to keep the business running smoothly.  

Project management plan template

An example of a project management plan is:

Project scope:

  • Project goals, objectives, and deliverables

  • Key stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities

  • Project timelines and milestones

Team organization:

  • A project team with the required skills and expertise

  • Roles and responsibilities of each team member

  • Communication channels and reporting structures

Risk management:

  • Potential risks and uncertainties that could impact the project

  • Risk mitigation plan to address and minimize the impact of these risks

Resource allocation

  • Identification of available resources (staffing, equipment, budget)

  • Resource allocation according to the project needs and schedule

Communication plan:

  • Team and stakeholder communication channels

  • Frequency and methods of project communication (meetings, reports, emails, etc.)

Change management:

  • Process for managing changes to the project scope, requirements, or timeline

  • Roles and responsibilities for change control

Project monitoring and control:

  • A system to track progress, including key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics

  • Corrective actions for deviations

Documentation and reporting:

  • A documentation plan to ensure all project-related documents are properly maintained

  • Reporting schedule and format for project updates

While this example works for most cases, you should tailor your management plan to the specific needs of your project and business.

Leveraging management plans for business improvement

Business and project management plans can streamline your business operations. They give you the blueprint for achieving goals and guide the team to stay on track.

A successful management plan requires in-depth research and a full evaluation of the company's capabilities. The more you analyze historical data, the easier it will be to create a realistic plan.

Should you be using a customer insights hub?

Do you want to discover previous employee research faster?

Do you share your employee research findings with others?

Do you do employee research?

Start for free today, add your research, and get to key insights faster

Get Dovetail free

Editor’s picks

17 good answers to 'What is your biggest weakness'?

Last updated: 27 September 2023

Understanding affinity bias

Last updated: 8 October 2023

How long is maternity leave in each state?

Last updated: 5 October 2023

A complete guide to career pathing

Last updated: 31 January 2024

How to create a more inclusive workplace

Last updated: 14 February 2024

1:1 meeting templates

Last updated: 13 May 2024

EVP templates

Last updated: 13 May 2024

Latest articles

Related topics

User experience (UX)Product developmentMarket researchPatient experienceCustomer researchSurveysResearch methodsEmployee experience

Decide what to build next

Decide what to build next

Get Dovetail free

Product

OverviewChannelsMagicIntegrationsEnterpriseInsightsAnalysisPricingLog in

Company

About us
Careers14
Legal
© Dovetail Research Pty. Ltd.
TermsPrivacy Policy

Log in or sign up

Get started for free


or


By clicking “Continue with Google / Email” you agree to our User Terms of Service and Privacy Policy