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Create a Project Implementation Plan

As important as any step within the process, the implementation plan, once complete, will serve as a guide for the engineer that will be implementing the system. The best way to formulate an implementation plan is to write down all of the tasks that need to be completed before the system can be put into production. Order does not matter at this point; just write down the tasks as you think of them. Checking your network diagram will help, for there are many steps that need to be taken that you may forget. Document all of the tasks necessary to get the system online, even those for which you are not responsible.

Once you have all of the tasks written down, begin ordering them based upon the order in which the tasks need to take place to complete your project. After you get your list of tasks in order, go down the list and assign each task to a particular person. This provides an "owner" for each task, someone who is solely responsible for completing that action.

For those who have done project management, this method will be easily accomplished, but for those who are new to it, project planning takes some practice. There are many applications on the market that will assist you in the development of your project plan, including Microsoft Project. For those who are more advanced, Microsoft Excel can be used to plot out your course. Whichever application you use, just make sure your plan is comprehensive, covering every task that needs to be accomplished. Also be sure to review it several times for completeness.

After completing the task list and the ownership of each task, assign a start date to the first task and then assign duration to each task. This will be the time it takes to complete each task and will give you an approximate completion date for the project.

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