Good Practice: The project plan should be monitored and updated every week. This activity is essential since tasks are often underestimated, and new tasks will be identified as the project moves forward.
Many people use what is called Rolling Wave Planning. This is when you plan down to the level of detail currently known and go back to plan deeper once more information is acquired. Usually rolling wave planning needs to stay at least 2 to 3 months ahead of the actual work being done, but of course this varies slightly by industry. 1
If you create plans at the beginning of a project, put them in a drawer and forget them, why bother making them in the first place?
In poorly run projects, problems can go undetected until the project fails. It's like the drip…drip…drip of a leaky underground pipe. Money is being lost, but you don't see it until there is an explosion.
1 Micah Mathis, PMP, Work Breakdown Structure: Purpose, Process and Pitfalls, 2007.
Question 11: Are you monitoring progress regularly?
Question 13: Are you achieving the right balance of consultation and leadership?