Delivery plans come in various shapes and sizes. The first delivery plan to be prepared will be the project or programme definition plan. Subsequently, delivery plans can be prepared to cover a part of the life cycle (e.g. a stage or tranche plan), a delivery component (e.g. a benefits realisation plan or communication plan) or a specialist plan (e.g. an exception plan or contingency plan).
It is useful for all types of delivery plan to follow a consistent format although this should be adapted as necessary and not followed slavishly.
Typical sections include:
Covering a brief description of what the plan encompasses, e.g. project, tranche, stakeholder communications, benefits realisation, programme definition.
Any external factors upon which this plan is dependent. This could include factors as diverse as approvals, links to other projects or programmes, legislation, market research and so on.
Any assumptions upon which the plan is based.
- Lessons incorporated
Details of relevant lessons from previous similar work that has been reviewed and accommodated within this plan.
The scope of the plan expands on the description to define the objectives it covers. It can be useful to explicitly state what is not included as well as what is.
Scheduling techniques appropriate to the context and detail of the plan will generate various types of report that can be included in this section.
The schedule can encompass activities that generate outputs, implement change, realise benefits and manage the work.
The main concern of this section is the budget. The estimated costs of all the resources involved in the schedule will be included alongside management budgets for factors such as change control, risk responses and management reserves.
Details of how the plan will be monitored and controlled, including tolerances for all relevant components of delivery.
- Complementary documentation
A plan does not exist in isolation and will inevitably have close links to other documents. Rather than duplicate information, this section of the plan should direct the reader to other documents and the information they contain that is relevant to this plan, for example the risk register or specification.