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Managing Scope
How To Create An Enterprise Project Plan In 7 Easy Steps

According to studies by the Project Management Institute (PMI), failing to integrate project management into an organization's practices may increase project failure rate by a factor of two to three overall. 

This is a staggering statistic that highlights the complexity of managing large projects. As the importance of these types of projects continues to grow, it has become increasingly crucial to have a comprehensive enterprise project plan in place that accounts for all the required resources, timelines, goals and risks. 

In this blog post, I will explore what an enterprise project is, the importance of enterprise project plans, and how to plan an enterprise project effectively. I will also provide examples of enterprise project plans, highlighting best practices that can be adopted in this field. 

Additionally, I will discuss enterprise project management software and how it can assist in the planning and execution of these types of projects.

I’ll cover:

What Is An Enterprise Project?

According to lawinsider.com, an enterprise project is defined as follows: 

“Enterprise project means an endeavor undertaken by an enterprise over a fixed period of time using information technology, which would have a significant effect on a core business function or which affects multiple government programs, agencies, or institutions. Enterprise project includes all aspects of planning, design, implementation, project management, and training relating to the endeavor.”

Simply put, an enterprise project can be defined as a large-scale project that affects an entire organization. Enterprise projects are typically multiphase, cross-functional, and high-impact initiatives that involve significant investment in people, technology, and resources. 

One of the primary benefits of enterprise projects is that they allow large organizations to optimize their resources and achieve their strategic goals more efficiently. Enterprise projects enable organizations to identify opportunities for improvement, streamline business processes, and promote collaboration among employees. 

It's essential to note that enterprise projects are not just about implementing new technology or systems, but also about transforming the organization's culture and behavior. Thus, enterprise projects often require significant change management efforts to achieve the desired outcomes.

Managing enterprise projects requires a different approach than managing regular projects. As a project manager, you need to ensure that you have a solid understanding of the organization's goals, stakeholders, and project scope. You also need to work closely with your project sponsors and executive sponsors to align the project objectives with the overall business strategy. 

Because enterprise projects involve many stakeholders, it's crucial to establish clear lines of communication and collaboration channels. You should also develop a comprehensive project plan that outlines the project scope, timelines, budget, and resources required.

It's also essential to leverage project management software and other tools to manage enterprise projects effectively. Project management software can help you with scheduling, resource allocation, task assignments, and progress tracking. 

You can also use project management tools such as Gantt charts, stakeholder maps, and risk registers to identify project risks, track progress, and report on project status. Additionally, you can use agile methodologies to manage enterprise projects, enabling you to adapt to changes quickly and improve project outcomes continuously.

What Is Enterprise Project Management?

As a project manager, you're responsible for efficiently managing a team while maximizing profits. In today's complex business environment, it's easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the big picture. That's where enterprise project management (EPM) comes in. 

Enterprise project management is a structured way of handling projects that align with the strategic goals of an organization. Unlike regular project management, which focuses on individual projects, EPM focuses on the entirety of project management.

When you use EPM techniques, you're optimizing both the project and the resources used. It helps you manage and prioritize projects across departments, streamline project management processes, and find timely solutions for potential issues.

By using EPM, you can choose the right projects to help you achieve your organizational goals, ensure that the project is aligned with the direction of the organization, implement a uniform project management process, achieve high levels of efficiencies, and enhance the reputation of the organization.

EPM has a range of benefits, from reducing risk exposure to increasing project visibility. Organizations that use EPM are more likely to complete projects on time and within a budget, and they're more likely to reach their business objectives. With EPM, companies can streamline their project management processes and collaborate more effectively on strategic initiatives.

It's important to remember that EPM is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Different organizations will require different EPM approaches, depending on their unique goals, timelines, and resource constraints. It's crucial to put in the time and effort to understand how EPM techniques can be applied to your organization before implementing them.

Enterprise Project Plan Examples

Enterprise projects can range from enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to building a new factory to implementing a new business strategy. Unlike standalone projects, enterprise projects require involvement and participation from various stakeholders across departments, project teams, and levels. 

ERP Implementation

When it comes to enterprise projects, an ERP implementation project is the crème de la crème. Why? Think about it—an ERP system manages all the key business processes of an organization, including sales, inventory, purchasing, and financials. 

This means that the project is complex, touches all areas of the business, and requires an immense amount of planning, coordination, and execution. But, when done right, an ERP implementation can revolutionize the way a company operates and streamline processes in a way that drives growth and success. 

To plan this type of project, start by identifying the scope of the project and define specific goals for this particular ERP implementation. Then focus on including timelines, budgets, resources, stakeholders, and any other considerations necessary for success while planning the project. 

Besides that, take additional steps like assessing the organization’s readiness, securing sufficient resources and support, and creating a communication plan ahead of the project execution start.

To sum up, an ERP implementation project will test your team's abilities and truly have an impact on your organization. Therefore, it is a prime example of an enterprise project. 

Building a New Factory

Building a new factory stands out as another prime example when it comes to enterprise project management. Project managing the building of a new factory requires a comprehensive and thorough project plan that considers all aspects of the project. 

Components involved in planning such a project include identifying project goals and objectives, determining resources needed for the project, creating a project schedule, and defining roles and responsibilities of team members.

Additionally, it's crucial to account for potential risks and budget constraints throughout the planning process. By creating a project plan that addresses each of these components and ensures clear communication and collaboration among team members, the project is more likely to succeed.

But the real test of a successful project lies in the ability to adapt to unexpected challenges that inevitably arise. Whether it's a shortage of materials or a technical glitch, the team must be able to think on their feet and find innovative solutions to keep the project on track. Building a new factory is a true test of skill, making it the perfect example of enterprise project management at its finest.

Enterprise Project Plan - Factory Project timeline
A work breakdown structure for a project to build a new factory (source).

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Implementation of a New Business Strategy

When a business decides to implement a new strategy, it becomes a new project on a grand scale. It requires planning, preparation, and execution at the enterprise level. However, what makes a new business strategy so unique is the level of creativity and planning that is involved in its development. 

The first step in implementing a new business strategy for a company is to conduct a thorough analysis of the current situation. This includes identifying the business goals and objectives, defining the scope of the project, and assessing the available resources. 

Once this is done, you can develop a comprehensive project plan that outlines the timeline, milestones, and deliverables. It should also include a communication plan, risk analysis, and quality control measures.

After a successful implementation, the results for an organization can be truly remarkable, which makes it a great example of an enterprise project that requires a clever approach to bring about success.

enterprise project plan for a corporate strategy project
Here’s a visual of what your project plan for implementing a new business strategy might look like.

It is clear that when it comes to enterprise projects, there are no shortcuts and the stakes are high. Even the most seemingly simple of projects requires input from associates in multiple departments and an understanding of the complexities and nuances of project management. 

To truly succeed, every element must be perfected before launch. It takes a village, as they say. By taking time to plan accordingly and engaging the right stakeholders, any project can be completed successfully with a minimum of drama—no matter how big or small!

How To Plan An Enterprise Project

Project management at an enterprise level requires a different approach than project management for smaller organizations. Enterprise-level projects involve multiple stakeholders, various teams with different skill sets, and a range of technologies. 

Therefore, it is essential to have a clear and concise plan that outlines every aspect of the project. Here, I will outline the critical components to consider when planning an enterprise-level project.

1. Define Project Scope

The first step in planning an enterprise project is to define the scope of the project. In other words, what is the project trying to achieve, and what are the deliverables? This step might include creating a project charter, outlining specific goals, and defining stakeholder expectations. 

A project charter will provide you with the necessary guidelines for setting milestones and allocating resources.

2. Select a Methodology

Enterprise projects can require different methodologies and processes than smaller projects. Once you have defined the scope of the project, determine which methodology is best suited for your project. 

Popular project management methodologies include agile, waterfall, and hybrid. Agile is best suited for projects with changing requirements, while the traditional project management (waterfall) approach is best for sequential, linear projects.

3. Set Milestones

Milestones are significant goals within the project timeline that act as touchpoints for measuring progress.

Establishing milestones will help your team to stay on track and ensure that the project is moving along as planned. It is best to set milestones at the end of each project phase or after the completion of a key activity to ensure that you track the team's progress closely.

4. Allocate Resources

Allocating resources is a critical aspect of project planning. Identify the resources needed to complete the project and ensure that they are available when needed.

Resources can include personnel, software, hardware, and other tools. Make sure that you have sufficient resources to meet your timelines and milestones.

5. Define Communication Plan

In an enterprise-level project, communication is key. Poor communication can lead to significant misunderstandings and delays. 

Therefore, it is crucial to establish a clear communication plan that outlines how stakeholders will communicate with each other, how often they will communicate, and which communication tools will be used. It is essential to keep stakeholders informed about the project's status, progress, and any changes.

6. Identify Risks

Identifying potential risks and their potential impact is vital in enterprise-level project planning. Risks can include resource constraints, scheduling conflicts, budget issues, technology failures, and more. Identify potential risks and create a risk management plan to mitigate them.

7. Define Metrics

Finally, define metrics to measure project success. Metrics should be linked directly to the project goals and milestones set at the beginning of the project. Metrics can include milestones achieved, defects found, stakeholder satisfaction, and more.

Why Are Enterprise Project Plans Important?

As a project manager, you must have heard the term enterprise project plan countless times. But do you know why it's essential to have one in place? 

1. Clarity and Direction

Indeed, a project without a plan is like navigating in the dark. An enterprise project plan provides a clear understanding of project goals, timelines, and deliverables. It helps your team stay on track and ensures everyone is working towards a shared vision. 

With a project plan, you can identify potential obstacles and take corrective measures before they become major issues. This clarity and direction provide a crucial foundation for the success of any project.

2. Resource Allocation

One of the major benefits of an enterprise project plan is that it assists in resource allocation. A good project plan provides a detailed inventory of the resources needed for the project, from personnel to equipment, and materials. 

This information allows project managers to allocate resources optimally to minimize redundancies and maximize efficiency. With the right resource allocation, enterprises can save time and resources, helping to keep the project within the budget.

3. Cost Management

Creating an enterprise project plan provides project managers with a bird's eye view of the entire project. This visibility enables project managers to anticipate expenses and allocate the budget accordingly. 

With a project plan, organizations can provide accurate cost estimates to stakeholders, identify areas of potential cost savings, and manage project expenses more effectively.

4. Change Management

The business environment is constantly changing. Project managers need to be prepared and adaptable to deal with unexpected changes in the project. 

Creating a comprehensive enterprise project plan can assist project managers in monitoring the project's progress and quickly identify areas where modifications are needed. A flexible project plan allows project managers to adapt to new situations and keep the project on track.

5. Risk Management

Risk management is a crucial aspect of project management, and an enterprise project plan is an excellent tool in this regard. 

A project plan helps identify potential risks that could derail the project so appropriate measures can be taken to mitigate these risks. Anticipating these potential risks, project managers can execute contingency plans, ensuring smooth project execution and completion.

In conclusion, an enterprise project plan is a vital tool that helps in successful project delivery. The plan provides a roadmap for the project, clarifying tasks, timelines, and deliverables. Resource allocation, cost management, change management, and risk management are some significant benefits that make an enterprise project plan an invaluable tool for project managers. 

Enterprise Project Management Software

As a project manager in an enterprise setting, you have probably been through the all too familiar experience of managing multiple interdependent complex projects, all while ensuring that deadlines are met, budgets are adhered to, and stakeholders are kept informed.

In fact, you might be familiar with the feeling of being lost amidst a sea of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, emails, and documents, all adding to the complexity of your workday. But luckily, enterprise project management software comes to the rescue. Let’s look at how it can help you to become more efficient:

1. One-Stop Shop for Project Management

Enterprise project management solutions can unite all the different tasks and subtasks of a project in a single platform, making it easier for you to track progress, compile status updates, and handle dependencies and approvals. This forms the foundation for a project management plan that can be shared and accessed by all team members, in real-time.

2. Integration with Other Work Tools

Most enterprise project management software is designed to integrate with various work management tools such as calendars, email, and other in-house project management software. This can help you automate workflows and eliminate redundant data entry.

3. Efficient Resource Management and Allocation

Enterprise project management software is built to help project managers easily identify which resources are available and best suited for a particular task or project. By having a clear overview of the available resources, you can better allocate them to the right project, preventing burnout, and making the most of your resources.

4. Improved Communication and Collaboration

EPM software promotes better communication and team collaboration among team members, especially for those who work remotely or are spread across different regions. Team members can access necessary files, documents, and updates at any time, ensuring transparency, and everyone stays on the same page. 

All standard enterprise project management tools integrate with a range of apps, so you have all the right tools for task management and time-tracking at your fingertips.

5. Advanced Analytics and Reporting

Enterprise project management software can generate customizable and interactive dashboards, advanced analytics, and reporting that help project managers monitor project progress, budget, and other significant metrics. 

This valuable feedback allows you to adjust your project management plan, identify areas for improvement, and conduct informed decision-making in real-time, ensuring successful project delivery.

Enterprise project management software has revolutionized project management in an enterprise setting. The features offered by these software solutions streamline project management, reduce complexity, and promote clear communication and collaboration among team members. 

Find out more information about enterprise project management software, including pricing, integrations, and key features.

Ready To Create Your Enterprise Project Plan?

In conclusion, enterprise projects can be complicated and challenging to manage. If a comprehensive project plan isn’t in place to account for all the required resources, timelines, goals and risks, the chances of project failure increase substantially. 

That is why it’s absolutely crucial to understand what an enterprise project is, its importance, how to plan effectively, and which best practices should be taken into account. 

Read more about managing enterprise projects here, and for more tips on successful project planning and management, don’t forget to subscribe to The Digital Project Manager newsletter and stay tuned for more insightful posts!

By Mandy Schmitz

Mandy Schmitz is a freelance consultant and project management expert with 10+ years of experience working internationally for big brands in fintech, consumer goods, and more.

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