It is difficult to keep on top of an entire project, especially if you do not have a clear and structured plan in place. Fail to plan and plan to fail as they say. Plans bring structure to any project, as well as a series of clear goals that when completed ensure success for you and your team.

Plans also help to ensure that everybody is on the same page. With many moving parts,  collaboration is often a vital and under-utilised part of project planning. Giving everyone involved a clear outlook on the plan and instant updates as each stage is completed is so important. You will also find that people jump on the tasks that they are excited to complete, meaning a quicker pickup and completion time for each task. If you would like to learn how to create the perfect project plan, read on to find out more.

1 – Identify the goals and stakeholders in the project

When starting a new project plan, the first step is to define clearly what success looks like for everyone involved in the project. An easy way to do this is to meet with all of the projects key stakeholders and have them clearly define what they are looking for, the time frame and what would make the project a success to them. Try to reach a compromise that is suitable and easy to achieve. Better to under promise and over achieve than do the opposite.

2 – Create SMART deliverables and objectives

Take your project from a general vision, into more specific and measurable objectives that can be clearly achieved. Creating SMART goals is a great way to do this. SMART Stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. Essentially, creating a goal that says you want to “increase traffic to the company’s main website by 10% within the next 3 months” Is a much better goal than “we want to increase website traffic.” This is because it fits into the SMART formula enabling it to be clearly understood and easily achievable.

3 – Breakdown these SMART goals into more specific tasks

When you have your selection of SMART goals the next step is to then create a list of more specific tasks which can then be completed over the project’s run time. This gives a clear structure to the whole project, meaning that each day has a different set of tasks being completed in order. Going back to the increasing of website traffic example, some specific tasks could include:

  • Create 2 relevant blogs, aimed at our target audiences pain points
  • Update on page content, optimising for keyword opportunities on 2 pages per week
  • Work on gaining citations and backlinks back to our company’s website, gain 5/10 new backlinks a week.

These tasks are the real bottom line for your smart goals, essentially dictating the tasks that need to be completed in order to achieve the goal.

4 – Assign and put a time frame to these tasks

For the next step in how to plan projects effectively, you will want to assign these tasks to individual team members. This holds everyone responsible for their part in the process. This then creates a positive work environment where everyone is working together towards the one common goal. Give each team a relevant list of tasks and enable them to pick and choose what tasks they will be completing. Having a clear to use software that enables collaboration between teams will make this process much easier. Teams will be able to share completed work which enables the next team to move onto their part as soon as possible. 

5 – Inform and get feedback from any parties involved, to ensure they see their tasks are achievable

You now want to get feedback from individual teams to make sure that the tasks they have been set are achievable for them. If they are unsure then it is time to have a proper conversation and try to come to some kind of compromise. Perhaps you are being too demanding, or maybe they need an extra bit of motivation? Either way listen, understand and then give your own reasoning. This leads to a solution coming along much faster in the end.

6 – Keep your whole team updated on the process into completion

Finally, it is important to keep your team updated on the plan and any changes being made. After all, how can they keep on top of a project plan that they are unaware of? This can be tricky with old fashioned software, where breaks in communication are easily found and difficult to move past. Having a suite of tools integrated into one {link2} where your whole team can collaborate will enable you to do this effectively. As the individual tasks of the project are being completed, perhaps you want a little progress meter? This will encourage team work and motivate team members to work harder to get things done quicker.

So there you have it, a guide on how to plan projects effectively. Here at Sefas we are able to offer a suite of tools called the HC Suite. This suite of tools is everything you and your team will need for developing and executing CRM plans. With Conductor you can arrange and manage full omni-channel campaigns, which allow your audience to pick and choose the relevant channels they want to receive your communications on. Hubmail is a hybrid mailing system that will reduce the amount of time that your teams take producing and sending off any letters and documents. If you would like to find out more about the HC Suite and how Sefas can support your business’s CRM strategy, please get in contact today.


Dave Chilman, Services and Support Manager, Sefas UK