Module 1 – Define

Chapter 2: Project Plan Development

A project plan is often presented as a Gantt chart (schedule) showing the timeline or due dates. All projects have clearly defined start and end dates! A project plan is comprised of both the work breakdown structure (WBS) and the Gantt chart. These are two foundation parts needed in developing a project plan.  It serves as a roadmap showing the project phases, key activities, and their start and end dates, dependencies between tasks, and project milestones. Project plans are typically presented as just the Gantt chart as a summary format to various audiences.

Watch the interactive video below:

In ME 2700: 

  • The project phases are:
    • Define,
    • Measure,
    • Analyze,
    • Design,
    • Verify, and
    • Report (DMADVR)
  • The details of tasks/activities are commonly referred to as the work break down structure (WBS), to ensure responsibilities and deadlines are identified.
  • In MS project the WBS drives Gantt chart development.
  • In developing a full project plan:
    • The WBS is determined
    • The GANTT chart is developed (as a result of WBS inputs)
  • At Iowa State University students have access to MS Project in computer rooms, classroom computers, and the ability to download it to laptops/tablets through the IT services website. It is a great professional tool to have in a design engineer’s toolkit. It will be a great bonus to place on your resume as you seek internships, co-ops, and your first employment opportunity upon graduation.
Practice Exercise

Check your understanding with the activity below:


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Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design Copyright © 2023 by Jacqulyn A. Baughman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.