Task: Develop Detail Plan
Develop Detail Plan
Disciplines: Project Management


The purpose of Project Planning (Detail Level) is to define the exact parameters of a project and ensure that all the pre-requisites for Project Execution and Control are in place.


RolesPrimary Performer: Additional Performers:

        Main Description

        Project Planning (Detail Level) builds upon the work performed during Project Initiation (High Level). The project definition and scope are validated with appropriate Stakeholders, starting with the Project Sponsor and Customer Decision-Makers. The Triple Constraints – Project Scope, Budget, and Schedule – are refined and confirmed, and risk assessment activities advance to the mitigation stage. The Project Planning (High Level) deliverables are further developed, enhanced, and refined until they form a definitive plan for the rest of the project.

        Additional Project Team members are brought on board and familiarized with the project objectives and environment.

        Project sponsorship and commitment are re-confirmed at the end of Project Planning (Detail Level), with approval signifying authorization to proceed and commit funds for Project Execution and Control.

        Project Planning (Detail Level) is an opportunity to identify and resolve any remaining issues and answer outstanding questions that may undermine the goals of the project or threaten its success. It is an opportunity to plan and prepare, as opposed to react and catch up.


        Confirm Customer Requirements

        A clearly defined Project Scope is critical to the success of a project. Without a clear definition, increased project work, rework time, and lower team productivity are almost certain to result. During Project Initiation (High Level), a scope statement was written to document a basic description of the project and its deliverables. Refining the Project Scope breaks deliverables into smaller pieces of work, allowing the scope and the existing project budget, schedule, and quality measurements to be more accurately defined. Where the initial Project Scope statement highlighted the deliverables to be produced in support of the desired project outcome, the revised Project Scope must go one step further. Using the information learned during Project Initiation (High Level), and based upon input gained by communicating regularly with the Customer and other appropriate Stakeholders, the Project Team must refine the scope statement to clearly define each deliverable, including exact definition of what will be produced and what will not be produced. The specific tasks of eliciting and analyzing the business requirements can be done by the Business Analyst, but the Project Manager should be involved in the requirement elicitation process.

        Decompose the Work Breakdown Structure

        The Project High-Level Plan developed during Project Initiation (High Level) included a list of key deliverables and milestones. To develop the detail project plan, this must be decomposed to produce a list of deliverables that organizes and defines the total work to be accomplished in the project. Work not in the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is outside the scope of the project.

        For each of the major deliverables in the project, the work is subdivided into smaller, more manageable components until the deliverables are defined in sufficient detail to support development of project activities (planning, executing, controlling, and closing). Constituent components of each deliverable should be described in terms of tangible, verifiable results to facilitate performance measurement. Tangible, verifiable results can include services as well as products.

        Once the activity list is complete, the activities to produce each component can be sequenced. Activity sequencing involves identifying and documenting logical relationships between project activities. Activities must be sequenced accurately to support later development of an achievable schedule. Some activities may also have external dependancies that involve a relationship between project activities and non-project activities. For example, an activity may be dependent on delivery of materials from an external source.

        PPM Tool Instructions: Create your work plan in the PPM Tool, identifying your high level task timeframes, roles and milestones.

        Plan for Resources

        Resource planning involves determining what physical resources (people, equipment, materials) and what quantities of each should be used and when they would be needed to perform project activities.


        To effectively perform the activities required to produce project deliverables, Project Team members must have appropriate levels of skill and knowledge. It is the job of the Project Manager to evaluate the skills of team members and determine whether or not they meet the current and future needs of the project. It is important to remember that there are many kinds of skills, some technical and others soft skills, such as management, presentation, and negotiation skills. If it is determined that the team needs training, the Project Manager must include training in the Project Schedule and Project Budget. Some skills can be learned on the job, some can be learned through informal mentoring, some can be learned using computer-based courses, and others may require formal classroom training.


        PPM Tool Instructions: Create your staffing profile, identifying the roles and time periods you will need each role base on your work plan.

        Create Budget from Estimated Costs

        Based on the information now known about the project as a result of Project Planning (Detail) activities, the Project Manager recalculates the budget required to complete project activities and tasks. As with the previous work, all costs must be considered, including the cost of human resources, equipment, travel, materials and supplies. In addition, the following project components must be taken into account:


        Project Schedule - The schedule created during Project Initiation (High Level) has been revised during Project Planning (Detail) to include more detail and greater accuracy regarding project activities, tasks, and durations. This information will be used as direct input to the refined cost budget.


        Materials Acquisition - The Project Manager must verify whether product requirements have changed since Project Initiation (High Level). If changes have occurred, the product acquisition strategies need to be changed accordingly. The Project Manager must update the Project Schedule to include all tasks needed to acquire equipment, materials, and other non-human resources.


        PPM Tool Instructions: Create your Financial Summary, putting in your External Labor and Non-Labor expense items by month for the project. The Internal Labor Estimates will be carried over from your Staffing Profile you created above.

        Define Management Approaches

        It is important to identify the approaches that will be used to manage the project. Some of the approaches will be standard for all projects, but other projects will be unique and require a different process for management.

        Produce Detail Plan Work Products

        The Detail Plan is a collection of information used to describe the environment that will govern the project and set the detail level parameters of the project. The detail plan will consist of the following work products:

        1. Refined Business Case/CBA uploaded into the PPM Tool on the References Tab.
        2. Updated Risk Questionaire within the PPM Tool.
        3. Updated Staffing Profile within the PPM Tool.
        4. Updated Work Plan within the PPM Tool.
        5. Updated Financial Summary within the PPM Tool.
        Submit Detail Plan for Approval

        The Project Manager will select the Complete button in the PPM Tool to indicate they have completed the Detail Level Planning and are ready for the Program Manager to review the plan.

        Finance Review

        Once the Detail Level Plan is complete, the Program Manager will determine if it needs to go to the Finance Office for their review and approval. If it does, they will need to extract the detail milestone plan and send it to the Finance Manager for their review and approval. Once they have completed their review, the program manager will select the Complete button.

        Approve Detail Level Plan

        The Program Manager will review the Detail Level information within the PPM Tool. If the plan is not requiring an increase in the program budget based off the high level plan estimates, the program manager will Select the Approve button. If it does need to go to the Governance Board to gain additional funding, the Program Manager will add the project to the Governance Board agenda if there is a Board meeting occurring within the needed timeframe. If the date of the next Governance Board would impact the progress of the project, the Program Manager will send the same extracted information sent to the finance manager to the governance board members, asking for an approval or rejecting via email. If the approval is received, the Program Manager will select the Approve button and indicate in the notes box, how many Governance Board members approved the request and date.

        Key Considerations

        Development of the detail plan occurs in parallel with other project-specific tasks.