'In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.' - Dwight D. Eisenhower
In some cases plans are worse the useless, they become a detriment to the project - they become a risk to completing the project on time, on budget and with the expected quality.
Planning is a method of:
- uncovering tasks required to complete a project
- identifying risks
- identifying level and types of required resources
- uncovers potential conflicts with other projects
- communicating to users, team members and sponsors
- the potential timing of deliverables
Take a close look at the 10,000 tasks MS Project plan you've just printed out and think about the time (cost) associated with maintaining it - could you gain more benefit from a less detailed plan? Did the project team lose sight of the project planning benefits? (risk reduction through identification of required work, risks, etc.)? Make sure that the project plan is not an anchor instead of a guide.