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How To Do a Project Plan and Business Case? Project Plan Toolkit Included.

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

You may be asked from time to time to assist with a project or lead on a project or even draft a business case to make necessary changes or improve something in a workplace. You may wish to do some house improvements/development or you are organising a wedding, moving to another country and similar but want to keep a track of your progress that you can easily review and monitor. My Project Plan Toolkit below can be adapted and used for many situations.

It is important to note that there are many project managers out there who have relevant qualification and experience of leading on from small to high level projects and normally work in business development or business transformation departments or are self-employed and do this as contractors. They would normally have PRINCE2 qualifications (if in the UK) and similar project management qualifications that need to be refreshed every few years. They are not difficult to obtain as it takes a several days to complete but they are quite expensive.

The purpose of this blog is for people who are not qualified and experienced project managers. From time to time, there may be a need for an ad hoc project or bigger piece of work that you have been asked to lead on one or assist with it. If you do not know how to approach this but want to take part in it and demonstrate that you can absolutely deliver on this, then look no further. This blog will give you relevant steps and a free template to get you started.

  1. Business Case

  2. Change Readiness

  3. Scoping Scale of Change

  4. Stakeholder Map

  5. RACI Model

  6. Project Management Template - Excel


A good business case will normally have sections along below lines:

  • The need / drivers for change | (Possible customer comment / market opportunity)

  • Vision – what will it look like after the change – details specific outcomes / outputs

  • How this change supports business strategy / business goals

  • The benefits the change will bring

  • What will be the impact of not pursuing the change

  • Costs of change – physical + material resources

  • Overview of change process

  • Indicative timescales


This is basically a list of questions you need to ask and answer with YES, SOMEWHAT or NO and make sure you add Comments section.

  • Do leaders understand the drivers and vision for the project?

  • Do leaders and the project team work well together?

  • Is there a communication plan for leaders to deliver?

  • Is this project co-ordinated with all other initiatives/projects etc?

  • Can leaders describe the change process?

  • Will the organisation culture support the changes?

  • Are leaders demonstrating the necessary commitment to the project, i.e. walking the talk?

  • Are leaders’ concerns being identified and addressed?

  • Have the key business drivers for the project been identified?

  • Have all of the impacts on the organisation been identified and considered/addressed?

  • Is the communication plan reaching target audiences?

  • Can current HR processes handle impacts when required?

  • Is there a training and education plan?

  • Have we developed performance indicators to reflect/suggest new ways of doing business?

  • Do employees have an opportunity to give input?

  • Are we getting enough employee buy-in at all levels?

  • Are people getting all the support/information they need in a timely way?

  • Are team members enthusiastic and achieving their personal goals?

  • Are we celebrating milestones/wins?

  • Are Change Management tasks integrated into the Project work plan?


The aim of this exercise is to help you consider the full impact of the change project you are leading and thereby identify potential difficulties and ensure adequate resourcing.

Let's say you use a scale 1-5 for this exercise. The higher the total value the more complex the change project.

  • Who is affected by the change?

  • Number of impacted employees?

  • Variation of the groups impacted?

  • Degree of process change?

  • Degree of technology and system change?

  • Degree of job role changes?

  • Degree of organisational restructuring?

  • Type of change?

  • Impact on culture?

  • Reduction in total staffing levels?

  • Impact on other human factors - friendships and relationships


Step 1 – Identify your main Stakeholders

  • Think of anyone, who is affected by the change initiative, has influence or power over it, or has an interest in its successful or unsuccessful conclusion

  • Identify by name / group

Step 2 – Understand Stakeholder needs

  • To what extent can they influence the success of the change initiative?

  • To what extent are they interested in the change initiative?

  • Plot each stakeholder on the full size grid on last page

  • Differentiate supporters and detractors

Also consider:

  • What are their financial or emotional interests in the change initiative?

  • Information needs - what do they need to know and why?

  • What is their current opinion of the change initiative? Is this based on an accurate assessment?

  • Who else may influence their opinions?

  • Who do they influence?

  • What motivates them in the workplace?

  • What do you need to do to win their support?

  • How could you manage their opposition?

Step 3 - Develop a Stakeholder Plan - what do I want from this Stakeholder and how can I achieve this?

Identify what you need from this Stakeholder:

  • To understand their needs/interests?

  • Get their ideas/input?

  • Gain their support/resources?

  • Gain approval?

  • Gain recognition?

Then consider - how can I best achieve this?

  • Actions

  • Messages

Step 4 – Get Feedback and Review as you go

  • How will you review the progress and success of your Stakeholder Plan?


RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed

Many change initiatives fail because we don’t ensure that the people involved know what we expect of them. Similarly many change initiatives fail because we don’t take into account the interests and needs of people directly affected or because we don’t keep those impacted informed about what we are doing, when and why.

  • R= who is responsible? The person who has to do it

  • A= who is accountable? The person who makes the final decision and has ultimate ownership (the buck stops here)

  • C= who is consulted The person who must be consulted before a decision or action is taken

  • I= who is informed The person who must be informed that a decision or action has been taken


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Best wishes


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