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A project plan analyst gets involved before the rest of a project team and stays with the project through completion. This analyst supports a project manager in assessing stakeholder requirements and defining project expectations with the goal of gaining a sound return on the investments associated with project costs. The role of the project plan analyst includes identifying risks, performing cost analyses, and scheduling time and resource requirements.
Defining Project Requirements
A project plan analyst gathers and analyzes information provided by stakeholders and other resources to help the project manager define project requirements. Types of information this analyst processes include specifications and expectations, resource allocations, financial data in support of establishing and tracking project costs and budgets and management requirements for project reporting.
Building Work Breakdown Structures
The project plan analyst builds or assists the project manager in building a work breakdown structure. The analyst aligns required tasks and milestones to a project timeline. This structure sets the foundation for project management and provides project team members with a clear path to follow all the way to project completion. Aligning the work breakdown structure to a project timeline provides the project manager with a quick view of project expectations and status.
Providing Project Reports
The project plan analyst creates reports for business leaders and other project stakeholders. The intent of reports is to provide snapshots or summaries of the project’s progress and to highlight any potential risks. When reports indicate project slippage, such as going over budget or missing deadlines, the analyst helps the project team in establishing action plans to get back on track.
Clear, concise and frequent communication keeps project teams focused and on track. The project plan analyst plays a key role in the communication process by establishing and adhering to a defined communication plan. The analyst provides reports and other communication materials in standardized formats and at specific, defined intervals so team members and stakeholders always know what to expect and when to expect it. The analyst also issues special communications as needed when risks are identified or delays are imminent.
- University of Wisconsin -- Madison: Stage 3 -- Plan the Project
- NASA: Course Description -- Project Planning Analysis and Control (APPEL-PPAC)
- PM Hut: The Importance of Effective Communication in Project Management
- Michigan: Michigan Civil Service Commission Job Specification -- Information Technology Project Analyst
A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.
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