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The world craves minimalism.
So much so, that whichever aspect of our lives you look at – whether it is the lifestyles we lead, homes we live in, or the products we consume – minimalism is present in every facet.
Even the smartphones in our pocket prove that minimalist design has more than caught on.Why Minimalism?
Often confused with simplicity, the concept of minimalism entails reducing all elements to only include those that are essential.
This means that while minimalism is simple, simplicity, or using simple forms, does not necessarily translate to minimalism.
In the world of design, minimalism is used to directly convey the message without the unnecessary noise and obstruction of focus due to other distracting elements.
Seeing the benefits of using minimalism to swiftly and effectively convey the message, the minimalist approach has taken root in many branches of design.
From painting and sculptures to digital product design and web design, minimalism has managed to root itself and understandably so.
Designed with minimalism in mind, digital products and web designs are no less impressive.
Apple’s brand is one of the best examples of having a minimalist approach in mind when designing products.
The design itself is clean and sleek, and it puts an accent on every aspect of customer experience – from the first moment you hold an iPhone packaging in your hand, peeling off the foil of your screen, to finally using the smartphone.
Minimalist designs are visually appealing and user-friendly, so it’s really not surprising that so many businesses prefer to have a minimalist web design, as it helps them boost their company’s bottom line.Taking Minimalist Approach to Web Design
Your company’s website is the best business card you have.
It tells your customers all they need to know about your business – from where to find you to what the business is all about.
Websites that are not functional, take a long time to load, have too many distracting elements or are not user-friendly will make your potential customers bounce in a heartbeat.
In essence, a business’ website tells customers all they need to know about the company, but if your visitors don’t stick around long enough to know who you are or what you do, they won’t actually get to know you or understand what you have to offer.
In minimalist design, gestalt takes precedence over all else.
This means that the elements that are connected must remain close to one another, whereas elements that lack connection should be further apart.
Every element on your website that is crucial in guiding the user should be bigger, bolded, or feature strong colors.
From these simple principles, you draw all other rules of minimalist approach in web design, whether typography, negative space, visual elements or overcrowding are in question.
Instead of overcrowding your website with elements that are not necessary, feature only the most essential ones.
This way, the most important information will quickly grab users’ attention, allowing them to easily solve their problems.
Choosing a minimalist approach for your company’s web design means making conscious decisions about the layout of the website.
This means that you ought to question every design decision, putting the user first.
Will the chosen typography be too off-putting for users?
Is the typography easily readable?
Does the chosen element distract the user from their path?
Are there too many images on the page?
Is the color scheme appropriate?
Are too many colors used?Minimalist Web Design & SEO
SEO-friendly websites receive more traffic.
This means that when designing a website, you need to keep both the users and search engines in mind.
Questions of how to create the best user experience should keep you up at night.
Google said that when designing a website, you should aim to serve your users’ needs… but users aren’t limited to consumers – you have to consider search engines, too.
We all know that competition is fierce, and we need to do our best to keep users on their track when they visit the website.
We all want our websites to load quickly, and minimalist design entails lesser features, which means that there will be lesser features to load.
However, even if you have a single image on your webpage, it is still important to optimize it.
Great and memorable user experience is the basis of a minimalist approach.
It does not only aim to be visually appealing, but to keep the most important for the user in order to gain valuable information without unnecessary chaos surrounding it.
So, rather than losing your customers over a badly designed website, try a minimalist approach and create an experience on your site that is simple, but not one that they will be quick to forget.Minimalist Web Design in Action
When it comes to creating a plan for a minimalist web design, here are three focus areas you should consider leveraging.1. Visual Elements
Every detail must be significant.
It should be functional and serve the purpose.
So when designing take each element into account, stop and ask yourself: Does this detail serve a function or is it just visual?
If it is only visual, then you must step back and decide if it belongs on your webpage or it clutters it.
All graphic elements need to be usable.
Think of the purpose the added element serves.
Does it have the role of shape divider?
Does it lead the eye, meaning it will help the user navigate easily?
Or, does it highlight the information that should be immediately noticeable to the user?
If it doesn’t serve a purpose, avoid using it.
Yes, illustrative detail might appear to be appealing to the eye.
However, every element must be added with a purpose in mind.
This applies to all types of visual elements, images, illustrations, and shapes.
A great example of how to incorporate graphic elements with minimalism can be found on plus63’s site:
Images & Videos
Having a single image featured on a homepage may seem monotonous, but think of it as highlighting a point.
Here’s an example by Measponte, a website that sells shoes, that features one simple image of a shoe with overlaid copy:
Instead of an image, you can always use a video or animation for the first impression.
Your website can still look clean and have minimal copy, but also be interactive and inform the user what they need to know.
Although sometimes perceived to be on the “heavy” side, videos – like images – can be optimized to ensure they do no hurt your page loading time.
Take a look at the website from My Switzerland, they’ve done a great job:
The most prominent type of minimalist web design focuses on having a hero image and hero text in focus, all the other elements, whether visual or written are featured on other pages.
Images vs. Words
A key element to keep in mind is the amount of copy your webpage uses.
Words are the quickest and most reliable way to get your message across.
However, they can be our biggest enemy.
If a user lands on a homepage with a ton of the copy, they are unlikely to stop and read.
What’s more likely to happen is that consumers will bounce off your site and search for information elsewhere.
So, as a rule of thumb, don’t let words overtake the webpage; use as little as possible and only include essential information.
Allow navigation pages on your site to be dedicated to describing a product, service, or mission, featuring more copy than your homepage.
Choosing the right background image is important.
At times, the background image may be the only visual element on the page, over which you’ll have hero text displayed, similar to what KickPush did:
Just like other elements of minimalism, flat design and textures are featured in the background image.
By using flat design, you can employ a stripping concept, so that what’s left on the page seems deemphasized, allowing users to pay attention to the most important information on the webpage.2. Colors & Contrasts
In minimalist design, colors must be used wisely.
Colors should create visual interest while also capturing and directing the users’ attention in a way that does not require additional elements or graphics.
The usage of colors should be limited – which is why on successful websites, you’ll see monochromatic colors or the use of two to three key colors on a website.
The commonly used monochromatic color palette (which uses several shades of a single color) tends to soothe the eye and not overshadow the important details.
However, contrasts still have value in minimalist web design, and many web designers make the use of white color, as it tends to contrast well with other elements on the page.
Remember that color has many purposes.
It can serve as a background of the webpage, similar to the design that We Are You has embraced.
But, it can also accentuate the important features on your webpage, serving as the functional element.
If you wish to highlight your product, this might be done best with a color that contrasts the rest of the palette.
It is wise to keep the psychological aspects that colors can tap into in mind.
Consider the purpose of your website and the message you want to convey to your visitors.
What would be the best color to use in order to set up the mood that aligns with your business?
For example, consider Huntington’s color choice.
They’re a financial company, therefore they leverage various colors of green, which psychologically signifies money.
Blue and purple hues can be calming, while yellows, oranges, and reds can be warm or exciting – all things to consider when making a color choice on your site.3. White Space
Commonly referred to as negative space, this feature can be the most powerful trick up a web designer’s sleeve.
The white or negative space tends to open up the “room” and let it breathe, and it is quite contrary to the visual clutter that exists on many websites.
By increasing the negative space around the information you want the user to focus on, you can make particular content elements more noticeable.
White space has the power to naturally guide the eyes of the user toward key content.
If you opt for using the white space, make sure you steer away from having multiple focal points on one screen.
Keep in mind that users have vulnerable focus, and their attention can easily drift from one thing to another.
When faced with too many options, users may find it hard to figure out what to focus on.Summing Up
Minimalist web design creates a win-win situation for both businesses and customers.
Clean, non-obstructive design with clear focus points allows the users to quickly find the information they need, while also allowing businesses to keep customers happy by quickly providing answers to key customer questions of who their business is and what they do.
The “less is more” approach appears simple to achieve, but there are many elements that need to be considered in the creative process.
We’ve all faced tough moments when all information feels too precious to let go of and cut out.
From choosing what colors and visual elements to use to deciding on the quantity of text you should display on each page and each screen, it’s important to keep one key item in mind:
What’s the purpose of the piece of information?
If you can’t answer that, then it shouldn’t be included in a minimalist web design.
You're reading 3 Tips To Master A Minimalist Web Design
Web Design and Parallax ScrollWeb Design Background
Since the beginning of 20th century, paper media has got into a cut-throat competition due to digital media. The digital media includes what we see on internet and hence the allied magazines that come along.
The newsletters that you get as a part of weekly/monthly subscriptions are also included in the digital media. Primarily, digital media heavily depends on mobile and desktop devices. It makes a difference when you can see content on your mobile (handheld) as well as desktop devices. The way content is displayed on either of devices, a specific style of designing the content is at play.
This style of designing is referred as Web Designing. From a designing or coding standpoint, when a web page designer sets out to build a webpage, he/she takes the mobile devices in consideration as well.
According to Wikipedia, Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. One of such skills is designing an impactful experience for users. Web design caters for this experience and provides an organized way for arranging the page contents and provides different styling to them.
Web design includes − interface design, graphic design and using certain standards to write the code. This work can be performed by a single person or by a team of people.
There are many tools available in market to make this work easy, however, it is up to one’s creative skills to create the appearance of web page.Modern Day Web Design
With the technology evolution, there is an explosion of knowledge. Internet has become a thing and it has skyrocketed the quality of our lives. At any given point, more and more information is being processed by an average internet user. This information can be in the form of a website on a desktop computer or from a handheld device; tablet or a mobile phone.
Though so much information tries to attract the user’s attention, it is obvious that as a person designing a web experience, there are only 3 seconds allocated to pass the message across.
How does one deal with this? It is more than important to pass the message, because it is at the source for any web design. You want to build a website that communicates, at the same time it has to attract and make the user stick to the content. It is a difficult task indeed.
Aesthetic appeal is the key for a given content on web. This means a web designer must be aware of the principles and foundation of design, color, spacing, etc. More and more users get to see great quality web content every day. It is obvious that one will compare the current webpage or website with the one that was visited few hours or few minutes back. The ordering of the content, coupled with good graphics and colors has made many standalone banners/pages a popular thing on the internet.Example
Let us take the case of a simple graphic. There are many graphics on the internet, called memes. They are simple Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) images with some text embedded inside the graphics. These memes are making rounds of internet based on a recent event in some part of the world. If we look at this example, the only appeal they have is graphic and some relevant or irrelevant text.
Still, it has gained so much of popularity which makes one think about amazing possibilities on the Internet.
Thus, for a web design to be effective, both the creativity and method to communicate the message play important roles.
It is important point to note that a successful web page is combination of Web Design and Web Development. As per current market trend, along with web designer, a web developer is a must have in the team. A web designer will always look for inspiration and use his/her creativity to create graphics and relevant color schemes. Whereas a web developer will use his/her coding skills to bring the graphics and color schemes live on the website.
A web designer should have a knowledge of writing the code as well, to make the intended graphic or color scheme usable for a web developer. A simple code in a simple application like Notepad can help a web designer to take the driving seat in the web development.Using Parallax Scrolling
As per the definition specified in the previous section, parallax scrolling is a technique when the background content is moved at a different speed than the foreground content when scrolling.
A simple CSS technique to create parallax scrolling effect is shown on this website – The Urban Walks.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the mobile phone at the center of the screen will change the content after you scroll twice. Also, observe on the first scroll, the background with the mobile phone will change.
This transition is giving you a feeling that the phone is constant in its place and the background is getting changed as you scroll down. This effect is called parallax scrolling effect. You know that you are scrolling it down as there is an indicator of the screens towards the very right of the screen in the form of some dots.
The first use of parallax scrolling was in the old computer games. Where a fixed background image would move at a slower speed as the character moved faster than the background. Some examples of these games – Disney’s Aladdin and Disney’s Lion King. These games were launched back in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
These websites, once designed with parallax scrolling for the desktop versions, are added with code that supports mobile screens as well.Advantages of Parallax Scrolling in Web and Mobile From Audience Perspective
There is a fun element associated with the parallax scrolling. As you have seen in the above example, conveying the information of thousand words has become easier as the user scrolls from different screens.
If we consider a first time user, there is a curiosity associated with each scroll. Hence, it not only enriches the experience of the website but also increases the probability of the user spending more time in the first visit to the website itself.
The proportion of user engagement dramatically increases as the user is intrigued in the scrolling.
The user does not have to get into the thought of process of figuring out the information, as it is available in a more obvious manner.
In some cases, you can put a story about the product/service you are offering by animating other items on the screen, such as the logo or the menu icon.From Technical Perspective
Once you implement parallax scrolling for a desktop version, very easily the same framework can be used for the mobile website or screens.
As the code snippet is simple and reusable, if you are a marketing agency or website service provider company, this becomes effortless when gathering new clients.
As the world strives to find a sense of normalcy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, video calling applications have emerged as our sole, irrefutable lifelines. From Google Duo to Skype — the selection of traditional video calling applications is quite extensive. Sadly, none of these do enough to take your mind off mundane conversations and offer something a bit more engaging.
So, if you’re looking for a bit more fun and a little less worry, you’d be wise to take the road less taken and explore Houseparty — an app that has successfully fused video calling with interactive games.
Sure, there have been a few reports of compromised security, but none of them were conclusively proven. The company even held a press conference, clearing the doubt and assuring no data breach had occurred.
Now with that out of the way, let’s focus back on today’s discussion: getting you accustomed to the Houseparty language. We’ll share pretty much everything you need to know to get around the app and eventually make the most out of it.
Related: How to Use Houseparty Privately
What is different about Houseparty?
In an attempt to stand out from the crowd of conventional video calling applications, Houseparty uses innovative terms and phrases to denote even the simplest of tasks.
For newbies, mastering the language can be a little challenging, and that’s where we hope to come in. Check out the subsections below to learn about the many quirks of Houseparty.
Related: How to play Houseparty on PC
Houseparty Lingo: Tips to know
Passing a Note
In regular terms, it’s called sending a text message. Simply tap on one of your contacts and then hit ‘Pass a Note.’ After you’re satisfied with the message, hit send.
Houseparty, by default, notifies your friends when you log in to the app. And while that’s great for people you want to get in touch with, it can be a bit annoying if you’re looking to fly below the radar.
By Ghosting a specific contact, you could disable the notification we just mentioned for the individual, while still notifying your other important contacts. To do so, tap on the contact’s name, go to settings, and toggle on Ghosting.
House Party has changed ‘Ghosting’ in the latest update, making it more accessible for casual users. Instead of turning on ghosting, you’ll now need to toggle off ‘Send Notifications’ to ghost a contact. Similarly, you could toggle off ‘Get Notifications’ to stop getting alerts every time the user logs in to Houseparty.
Sneak into the house
This feature is quite similar to Ghosting but on a grander scale. While Ghosting allows you to evade a single individual, sneaking in lets you hide from all your friends. Do ‘Sneak into the house,’ press and hold the game icon, and tap on ‘Sneak into the house.’
This feature is identical to Facebook Messenger’s ‘Wave’ functionality. By waving, you notify a friend that you are available to talk. To wave, tap on a contact and hit ‘Say Hi.’
Send a Facemail
If you are familiar with Google Duo’s video messages, you’re going to feel right at home, here. Houseparty allows you to record short video messages — called a Facemail — and send it to as many contacts as you like.
Please note that the sender gets notified when the receiver watches their Facemail. So, it’s better to avoid reading Facemails when you’re sneaking in the house.
What is We Time?
Houseparty wishes to be the bridge between you and your contacts even you are thousands of miles apart. By offering this incentive called ‘We Time,’ the app encourages you to make more calls and stay within touching distance. This timer starts when you and your friend have been talking for 120 minutes.
Every minute you add beyond the 2-hour mark is added to your ‘We Time’ counter. Similar to the Snapchat streak, ‘We Time,’ too, needs regular maintenance. If you don’t talk with a contact for over 2 days, your We Time counter is reset and starts from 0.
Locking a Room
Houseparty allows your friends to see when you are online, who you are talking to, and whether you are available to chat. They can then simply join your room and start a video calling session. This feature makes Houseparty more accessible than other apps.
However, if you are looking for alone time with someone or don’t want to ruin your zen solo session, you could simply choose to lock your room. Friends would still be able to send a joining request, but you can easily ignore them. To lock your room, simply tap on the padlock button at the bottom of your screen.
If you want to learn deep dive into the world of Houseparty games, be sure to check out our dedicated article: “Cool Houseparty games to play right now.”
Software is increasingly becoming an integral part of modern businesses. The increasing demand for software means that developers have to work incredibly hard to keep up. Businesses are requiring faster application delivery while web development grows more complicated. For instance, with tight deadlines,
have to build applications that can adapt to any device, integrate with other services, and port to any platform. On top of that, they must create applications that can withstand increasingly complex attacks.
The problem is that with the growing demand and changing requirements, web developers often find it hard to keep up. Some development aspects tend to be overlooked, and security is a major culprit. While security is increasingly becoming an important part of development, most web developers are not following some basic
. Consequently, there are numerous applications with serious security vulnerabilities. This article seeks to outline important security guidelines every web developer should follow.1. Implement security testing
With hackers inventing new techniques everyday, security testing is necessary to enhance the security of your web application. The objective of web application security testing is to find out how vulnerable an application may be and establish whether its resources and data are protected from potential attacks.
Learn more about testing
here.2. Know what you should protect
An important security principle every web developer should follow is only storing the data they need. To establish which data you should store, ask yourself how much it would hurt the company or the client if the data was compromised. There is really no need to store sensitive customer data such as their credit card numbers and addresses.3. Encrypt sensitive user data
If you must store any sensitive information in your database, ensure it is encrypted. Storing unencrypted data in your database can easily land you and your company in hot water. You don’t want to lose customers’ sensitive data because you kept it in plain text in your database. Encrypting sensitive data is even more crucial in shared hosting environments or large companies, since not everyone with access to the data can be trusted to not exploit it.4. Make use of a VPN
Additionally, depending on the website you are working on, you may have access to crucial client data, which can be devastating if it’s compromised. Schematics, financial information, patent information, and a lot more can get into the wrong hands if you’re not careful with your security.
Masking your IP
using a VPN eliminates the risk that this data faces.5. Keep your software updated
When trying to gain access to your database, a cybercriminal will always try to exploit the path with the least resistance. In most cases, the path of least resistance is found in insecure and
. To minimize the risk of being hacked, be sure to thoroughly patch and update your application.
Another important thing you must do is to disable unused software. It is common to find companies with software linked to their systems that are not in use. If left unchecked, unused software provides an easy pathway for hackers.6. Apply the principle of least privileges
Sometimes, external attackers are not the biggest
threat to your data
. It may be an ill-informed end-user with several system privileges. By reducing user privileges, you minimize the risk of security mistakes from uneducated end-users.
In every IT system or web application, it’s prudent to give users only the privileges they really need as opposed to giving all users the same access level. The principle of least privileges keeps your system more secure by eliminating the risk of abuse by unqualified users. It also eliminates unprivileged users from the blame in case of a breach.7. Use server-side and client-side validation
For enhanced security, be sure to perform both server-side and client-side validation. Server-side validation helps to prevent malicious input, such as someone planting their code into your database. Client-side validation helps to prevent user mistakes such as forgetting a field or entering data incorrectly.8. Sanitize user input
There should never be direct communication between user input and the database. It should be sanitized and validated to enhance data integrity and prevent common attacks such as SQL injection.Endnote
Teclast Master T10
The Teclast Master T10 is a 10.1″ tablet with midrange specifications, an MTK8176 hexacore processor, 4GB of RAM, and a high resolution 2560×1600 IPS LCD. There aren’t many tablets made anymore, let alone large 10.1″ tablets, and this is one of the few options released recently.
Is it Good?Teclast Master T10
Processor MediaTek MTK8176 Hexacore
Display 10.1″ Sharp 2560×1600 IPS LCD
Storage 64 ROM
Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat
Cameras 8MP, 13MP Camera
Physical Dimensions 553g, 23.90 x 16.70 x 0.80 cm
Big thanks to Gearbest for providing this review unit.Teclast Master T10
The tablet doesn’t stand out with a rather generic silver metal body, it looks like every other tablet out there. However, the metal body does feel fairly good in the hand but unfortunately fingerprints are somewhat visible on the tablet. Flip the tablet around and we see fairly small bezels on this tablet, not bezelless no, as that would render the tablet unholdable. We have a fair amount of ports here, a microUSB port, a microSD card slot, and a micro HDMI port as well.
Fairly generic lookTeclast Master T10
Gizchina News of the week
Join GizChina on TelegramTeclast Master T10
The tablet has stereo speakers, one on each side of the tablet and it does provide stereo sound to a certain extent, and audio volume is quite loud, loud enough for most situations. Audio quality is just average, there is a bit of bass but there is distortion at max volume that disappears if you lower it a notch.Teclast Master T10
I also performed a video playback test and was able to playback 720p video at 200nits of brightness for 9 hours and 22 minutes before the tablet died, definitely a good media consumption device.
Good battery lifeTeclast Master T10
The tablet runs stock Android 7.0 Nougat but unfortunately performance is not silky smooth. Swiping between home screens is quite smooth, definitely more than smooth enough for normal use, but its not as smooth as a high end Android phone or even the Mi Pad 3. There is a bit of stutter opening apps but multi-tasking is great with 4GB of RAM.
I was able to play many games on the tablet, however Need For Speed: No Limits did not run properly because the entire screen was black except for the road signs. Many other games ran well also such as Hearthstone and Clash of Clans chúng tôi fingerprint sensor is not that great, its fairly accurate but its not very fast.Teclast Master T10
WiFi performance is blazing fast, hitting incredible speeds however WiFi range is poor, cutting it in and out even a mere 15 feet away.
Bluetooth works fine, and GPS performance is fairly slow.Teclast Master T10
The camera is actually fairly decent, especially for a tablet. The 8MP rear camera takes some fairly OK photos with some fair detail and colour saturation. The rear 13MP camera also takes some good photos as well, definitely more than good enough for video calls and selfies (but selfies with a tablet, seriously?).Teclast Master T10
Good tabletTeclast Master T10
blog / Project Management A Comprehensive Guide to Project Planning: The Steps That Matter
The global project portfolio market size is estimated to reach $6.5 billion by 2027, at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.7%. Companies are looking forward to aligning their business strategy with project goals. Project management is becoming imperative for minimizing risks, maximizing resource utilization, and delivering projects within time and budget. One of the most crucial phases of project management is project planning. It helps bring complex workstreams together to ensure everything is delivered on time and within budget. Whether your project is still a concept or you are already managing an ongoing one, this guide can help you to get familiar with the key concepts involved in the project planning phase.What is a Project Plan?
A project plan is a series of official documents defining the project’s execution and control stages. In addition to addressing project scope (such as goals, deadlines, and deliverables), cost, and schedule baselines, project planning takes risk management, resource management, and communications into consideration. After getting formally approved at the beginning of the project, the plan serves as an official point of reference for the project team, company, and stakeholders.The Importance of Project Planning
Project planning outlines the fundamentals of a project such as a project scope, objectives, goals, and schedule. Project managers utilize the planning phase to turn an intangible idea into reality in the following ways:
Facilitating communication and providing a clear roadmap to the project team on specific tasks and activities
Providing a central source of information for the projects sponsors and key stakeholders
Facilitating project management and control as the project progresses
Enabling effective monitoring and control of a project
Managing project risks and generating feedback useful for the next project planning phasePurpose of Project Planning
Project planning communicates deliverables, timing, and schedules, as well as team roles and responsibilities to all the stakeholders involved. During the planning phase of a project, project managers estimate the project risks involved. This early risk consideration can save a project from failure. Overall, the purpose of the planning phase of project management is to determine how smoothly the projects can move through their life cycles. Hence, managers should spend sufficient time at the beginning of projects to first get their planning right.Project Planning Example
Often presented as a Gantt chart, a project plan is a document that demonstrates each step to take a project from start to finish. The chart serves as a roadmap that shows project phases, crucial project tasks, start and end dates, dependencies between activities, and milestones. Let’s consider a simple project planning example of baking a cake. In that case, the project plan will outline all the processes to be followed, from the current state (no cake) to the desired future state (a baked cake).
To accomplish the above task, a simple project plan using Gantt charts will demonstrate the following four phases: initiation, planning, baking, and evaluation, along with the sub-task durations (time to prepare the batter), start and finish timelines, milestones (cake browning), and dependencies (oven temperature).
ALSO READ: What is Project Management and How to Become a Successful PMProject Planning Process
Project planning is a multifaceted process and typically involves the following steps:Scope, Cost, and Resource Determination
Estimating the project’s scale, cost, and resources are useful for determining how long it will take to finish the project, the number of people required to work on the project, and the kind of skills needed. A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) technique is used for this step, which divides the whole process into smaller, manageable segments.Risk Identification
There can be multiple risks involved in a project such as budget risks, resistance to change, and integration risks. Project managers use a variety of techniques, like surveys or meetings, to collect information on potential risks involved in a project. Then, the team selects the issue that requires immediate attention in order to resolve it.Stakeholder Collaboration
The project planning process includes identifying and explaining the purpose of the plan to key stakeholders such as the project sponsors, business experts, project team, and end users. Although the support of the stakeholders is instrumental to a project’s success, gaining stakeholders’ confidence can be one of the most challenging tasks of the process. Therefore, a project manager should host a project kick-off meeting to discuss the vision statement, roles and responsibilities, team dynamics, decision-making, and other ground rules to build stakeholder engagement.Project Planning Tools
Tools for project planning make it easier for all the stakeholders to keep track of project requirements and deadlines. The following are some of the most popular tools and techniques used:Gantt Chart
Gantt charts are an industry standard used for monitoring time and interdependencies between tasks. They form a crucial tool to showcase different project phases, project activities, and resources involved in project management.Critical Path Method (CPM)
Critical Path Method (CPM) is an important tool to monitor the progress of a project and ensure that it is completed on schedule. CPM helps in identifying the essential or critical path to increase the speed of project delivery by finding out the longest stretch of dependent tasks.PERT Chart
The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) chart helps in analyzing the project’s critical tasks and the time needed to execute them, thereby simplifying the planning and scheduling of tasks for managing large and complex projects effectively.Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a technique used in organizing the project team’s work into manageable sections. It is a hierarchical structure of the deliverables needed to complete the project.
Additionally, there are some project management software tools that streamline the project planning process. The best tools that enhance collaboration among stakeholders have intuitive user interfaces and provide built-in time tracking and invoicing functionalities. The following are some examples:
Users of Freedcamp can use a Gantt chart or a Kanban board to arrange their project tasks.
The software delivers several project management capabilities such as Kanban features, resource management, budget management, and progress monitoring features.
ALSO READ: How to be the Best Fit for a Technical Project Manager Job DescriptionHow to Create a Project Plan
To help project managers effectively outline a project plan for their next stream of work, let’s outline the six necessary steps in creating a project plan.Create a Scope Statement
A scope statement documents the project goals and outcomes. Once project managers understand the stakeholder requirements, it is essential to define the scope, as it will serve as the foundation of the project plan. Moreover, by outlining project scope boundaries, a project manager can distinctly define the roles and responsibilities of all the stakeholders in the project and minimize any unapproved tasks from popping up.Create a Statement of Work (SoW)
A Statement of Work (SoW) includes information about the project’s needs, components, and timetables. As a legally enforceable contract that specifies the amount a client will pay to an organization for particular deliveries, it is an essential document for both parties involved. Moreover, an SoW aids in preventing scope creep and changing project requirements that impede a project’s progress.Conduct Research
From arranging stakeholder meetings to analyzing project risks, conducting research is an essential step for a project’s success. At this stage, a project manager examines the key factors. Such as project ownership, decision-making, dates and times when the stakeholders are away. Also, preferred communication methods, and team dynamics to define ownership of individual tasks.Design the Project Plan
The next step in the planning phase is to draft the individual components of the project plan. While drafting the project plan documents, think about the following:
: Even in the planning phase of a project, it is wise to pinpoint what exactly needs to be delivered at the end of its lifecycle.
: This includes a list of participants involved in a project from start to finish.
Tasks and Milestones:
Consider the multiple milestones and project streams you’ll need to manage simultaneously.
: Will you require additional funding, materials or extra staff?
Consider making a business case to track return on investment (ROI).
: Figure out how you will track progress and measure the success of your project.Create a Project Schedule
After the plan is drafted, the project manager needs to break the tasks into sections and map tasks to deliverables. This step involves creating a plan. For assigning tasks to individual members of a project team to build a sense of accountability.Review and Approve the Plan
The project manager must obtain stakeholders’ approval before the project plan is implemented. To accomplish this, they should build a strong rapport with stakeholders and gain their confidence.How Project Planning Can Improve Your Organization and Career
Even the most promising project plans and strategies fail if they aren’t effectively executed. The best way to ensure project success is by learning to employ proven project management methodologies used by some of the biggest and most agile organizations in today’s business landscape. Enrol in Emeritus’ online project management courses offered in association with the world’s top universities to master the in-demand project planning and other project management skills to make a difference in your career and organization.
By Rupam Deb
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