IT Project Planning Best Practices You Need: How to Create Project Plan

January 10, 2024

Dan Sharp

President & CEO

We all know the drill: projects can veer off course with surprising ease. Missed deadlines? Overblown budgets? They happen, but they don’t have to. That’s why having IT project planning best practices is necessary. 

What's in store for you here? You’ll find this blog packed with straightforward, effective strategies that make a real difference.

We’re breaking down top IT project planning best practices in a way that makes sense. This is about giving you the tools and confidence to build a project plan that works – no tech jargon, just clear, useful advice. 

Ready to turn your IT project from a question mark into a well-oiled machine? Let’s get started with the top 9 IT project planning best practices you need in 2024. 

1. Define clear project objectives for your project manager

Start with the end in mind. What do you want to achieve with your IT project? Be specific.

Whether it's improving system efficiency or implementing new software, clear goals are your guiding star for good project communication. This clarity helps in making decisions and measuring success down the line.

2. IT project planning best practices include comprehensive risk management

Every IT project comes with its set of risks – be it technical glitches, budget overruns, or timeline delays. Identify these project information risks early on. Ask yourself, "What could possibly go wrong?" and plan accordingly. This proactive approach can save you lots of headaches later.

3. Stakeholder engagement and communication

Your project isn't in a vacuum. It involves people: the team working on it, the clients, and maybe even end-users. Regular, transparent communication with these stakeholders is crucial. Keep them in the loop about progress, challenges, and changes. Their feedback can be invaluable.

4. Establish projects with Agile methodology

The Agile approach is a game-changer in IT project management. It’s about being flexible and responsive to changes. Instead of a rigid plan, Agile encourages iterative development, which is one of the top IT project planning best practices. 

This means you develop in small, manageable segments, review, and adapt as needed. It's like building a house room by room, ensuring each part is just right before moving on.

5. Project managers need a robust project documentation

Document everything - from project plans to meeting minutes. This resource management documentation is your project's diary.

It's not just for record-keeping but a crucial tool for tracking progress and making informed decisions. It also ensures that anyone new joining the project can catch up quickly.

6. Have effective resource allocation for project deliverables

Resources – be it people, technology, or time – are the lifeblood of your project. Allocate them wisely throughout the project.

Overburdening your project team members can lead to burnout while underutilizing them can cause delays. Balance is key. Also, keep an eye on the technology resources; ensure they’re up-to-date and fit for purpose.

7. Successful project management has quality control and testing

Among the IT project planning best practices is understanding that quality should never be an afterthought. Build quality checks and testing into every stage of the project. It’s like checking the foundation before building the walls of your house. Regular testing helps catch issues early, saving time and resources in the long run.

8. Change management helps in holding a project

In the IT world, change is the only constant. Be prepared to pivot. This could mean adapting to new technologies, altering the project scope, or changing team dynamics. Effective change management involves anticipating these changes and having a plan to address them smoothly.

9. Every project needs post-project review and learning

Once your project wraps up, take the time to reflect. What worked well? What didn’t? This post-project review is a goldmine for learning and improving future projects. It’s about continuously evolving and getting better at what you do.

Reasons why you need an IT strategy

Why is an IT strategy important to create a project plan?

An IT strategy plays a crucial role in creating a project plan, acting as a guiding light to steer your project toward success. It's your roadmap to making sure your project doesn’t just start strong but also crosses the finish line with flying colors. 

Also, let’s not forget about the tech world – it’s always changing. With a solid strategy and IT project planning best practices, you can be sure your project stays up-to-date and adapts to any new twists and turns. Plus, it’s a lifesaver for managing risks. 

IT project planning best practices: How to create a project plan?

Project management best practices to follow: How to create a successful project plan?

Creating a successful project plan involves a series of strategic steps that transform your initial idea into an actionable roadmap. Here's how you can do it:

Step 1: Clarify your project's goals

Start by understanding the exact goals of your project. What are you aiming to achieve? This could range from launching a new product to upgrading an existing IT system. Ensure these objectives are aligned with your company's overall strategy.

Step 2: Define the project scope

One of the top IT project planning best practices to remember is to outline what your project will cover and, importantly, what it won’t. This step is crucial to prevent scope creep, which can derail even the best-laid plans. Documenting your project's scope provides a guideline on what to focus on and what to avoid.

Step 3: Break down the work

Now, break down the project into smaller tasks as part of your project management practices. This can be done using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), which is essentially a decomposition of all tasks and subtasks. Ensure each task is clear and manageable.

Step 4: Assign roles and build your team

Identify the skills needed for each task and assign roles accordingly. Everyone must understand their responsibilities. Building a team with the right mix of skills is critical for the success of your project.

Step 5: Create a realistic timeline

Develop a timeline, as one of your IT project planning best practices, to outline when different stages and tasks should be completed. Consider dependencies between tasks and factor in some buffer time for unexpected delays. A realistic timeline keeps the project on track and ensures everyone knows their deadlines.

Step 6: Plan your budget

Budget planning is a key step. Outline all potential costs, including resources, labor, and materials. Regularly review your expenditure against this budget to ensure you’re on track and make adjustments as necessary.

Step 7: Develop a communication plan

A communication plan is vital. It should detail how you will communicate with your team, stakeholders, and any other parties involved. Regular updates and meetings help in maintaining transparency and alignment.

Step 8: Monitor and adapt your plan

A project plan is not static. Regularly monitor the progress and be ready to make adjustments as needed. This includes managing risks and responding to any changes or challenges that arise.

Step 9: Conduct a project review

After the project's completion, review its success and any lessons learned. This evaluation helps in improving processes for future projects. It's an opportunity to understand what worked well and what could be improved.

What are the 10 best project management software in 2024?

Top 10 project management software you need in 2024

As we step into 2024, let's dive into the top 10 project management software that can make your life easier. 

Asana: The collaborative powerhouse

Asana is like your virtual project manager, keeping tasks and teams organized, making it among the top IT project planning best practices. Its user-friendly interface lets you easily assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress. It’s perfect for teams that need a clear, visual way to stay on top of their projects.

Trello: The visual organizer

Trello’s card-based system is a favorite for its simplicity and flexibility. It’s like having a digital bulletin board where you can visually map out your project with lists and cards. It’s great for teams that thrive on a visual workflow.

Jira: The Agile expert for project success

Jira is the go-to tool for teams practicing Agile methodologies. Its robust features support Scrum and Kanban frameworks, making it a top choice for software development projects. It's like having an Agile coach built into your software. The customizable workspace stands out for its high customizability. It’s like a Lego set for project management – you can build and shape your workflow exactly how you need it. This makes it ideal for teams with unique project management needs.

Basecamp: The all-in-one solution for project stakeholders

Basecamp combines all aspects of project management into a single, straightforward platform. It’s like having a central hub for your projects, with features like to-do lists, file storage, and team communication all in one place.

Smartsheet: The spreadsheet supercharged

Smartsheet takes the familiar spreadsheet format and turns it into a powerful project management tool. It’s perfect for those who love the simplicity of spreadsheets but need more functionality for managing complex projects.

Wrike: The detail-oriented manager

Wrike is all about precision and detail. It offers a deep level of customization and control, making it ideal for teams that need to manage complex projects with multiple layers and dependencies.

ClickUp: The versatile virtuoso

ClickUp is a versatile tool that caters to a wide range of project management needs. It’s like a Swiss Army knife – whether you need to track simple tasks or manage large-scale projects, ClickUp has you covered.

Zoho Projects: The small business buddy

Zoho Projects is tailored for small to medium-sized businesses. It offers a balance of simplicity and functionality, making it a great fit for teams that need effective project management without the complexity. The collaborative connector excels in helping teams collaborate more efficiently. It integrates seamlessly with other tools and services, making it an excellent choice for teams that use a variety of software and need them all to work together smoothly.

Infoware: Get the best IT project planning best practices in here!

Introducing Infoware: Improve your IT project life cycle with Canada's best

One of the most important IT project planning best practices is choosing a reliable partner to achieve your project goals. 

Meet Infoware, a seasoned leader in IT solutions, deeply rooted in Canada since 1982. We blend over 40 years of expertise with a commitment to driving your IT projects towards success.

Our distinguished track record in IT infrastructure, management, and optimization, especially for professional services and law firms in the Greater Toronto Area, sets us apart.

With services like proactive IT management and cloud solutions powered by Microsoft Azure, we guarantee 99.9% uptime and swift, effective support. Our approach is tailored to understand your specific needs, ensuring that every IT project you embark on with us is a milestone achieved.

Let's achieve IT excellence together! 

Embrace the change that Infoware brings to your IT projects. With us, you’re not just choosing a service provider; you’re choosing a partner in success for your next project. Contact us now at 416-360-2646 or send an inquiry to or

Frequently asked questions

What project roles are essential in project management?

In project management, defining clear project roles is crucial. Each role contributes uniquely to the management process, ensuring the project progresses smoothly.

For instance, a project manager oversees the entire project, while team members might have specific, specialized responsibilities. Understanding and defining these roles early in the project management process is key to effective project execution.

How do you develop an effective project timeline?

Developing an effective project timeline involves understanding the scope and requirements of your project. It starts with a detailed project plan where each phase of the project is outlined.

The project team uses this timeline to track progress and ensure project milestones are met on time. A well-planned timeline is critical for maintaining project health and ensuring successful project execution.

What constitutes a strong management plan for a project?

A strong management plan for a project includes a comprehensive approach that covers every aspect of the project, from initiation to closure. It should detail the project schedule, resources needed, and risk management strategies.

A good management plan is essential for managing a project effectively, ensuring that all team members involved in the project are aligned with the project goals.

How can you measure and enhance project performance?

Measuring and enhancing project performance requires regular monitoring of project milestones and overall project health.

Project managers must use project management best practices to identify areas for improvement. This can involve adjusting the project schedule or management process to improve project performance. It's about being proactive and responsive throughout the entire project.

What are the key management best practices you need for a project?

Key management best practices you need for a successful project include clear communication, rigorous risk assessment, and continuous monitoring of project progress.

It’s important to have a detailed project plan that outlines every phase of the project. Also, project managers must be adaptable and ready to modify the management plan as the project may require.

How do you define and achieve project milestones?

Project milestones are specific goals set during the project planning phase. They serve as checkpoints that mark significant stages in the project. Achieving these milestones involves careful coordination and tracking of project work.

A project manager's role is to ensure that the team meets these milestones as per the project timeline, contributing to the overall success of the project.