Project Planning Flow Process


Project Workflow Management


By Dan Epstein

New York, USA



While PM Workflow® is a continuous multi-threaded process, where all PM processes are integrated together; this article will describe the project planning flow process. For a full introduction to PM Workflow® , I strongly recommend reading my article Project Workflow Framework – An Error Free Project Management Environment and on the PMI affiliated projectmanagement.com website (https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/330037/Project-Workflow-Framework–An-Error-Free-Project-Management-Environment). That article provides an overview and explanation of how the project workflow framework achieves established objectives.

For more information, please visit www.pm-workflow.com                         

Before studying the project planning process, it is recommended that readers also revisit the project initiation process previously published in PM World Journal, as follows:

Part 1 (February 2015)

Part 2 (March 2015)

Part 3 (April 2015) 


The purpose of the project planning process is to develop plans for executing and controlling all project groups of processes called frames and processes within each frame. This section instructs how to break down project tasks, estimate them, package them, and then, most importantly, to communicate the detailed project plan. The Planning Frame consists of the following major detailed processes:

  • Preliminary Project Planning and Updating the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • Risk Management Planning and Execution
  • Communications Management Planning and Execution
  • Configuration Management Planning and Execution
  • Resource Management Planning and Execution
  • Subcontractor/Offshore Management Planning and Execution
  • Quality Management Planning and Execution
  • Estimate project activities
  • Develop/Update the plan package
  • Communicate the plan package
  • Develop Statement of Work (SOW)
  • Update and approve the project, frame and the scope change budget

The combination of the above elements is used to develop plans for all project activities, which have a major impact on project cost, duration and quality. The more thorough the project plan, the more predictable the project’s cost and schedule.

All activities require planning. This includes planning of the Planning Frame, since the Planning Frame activities include plans for high level design, plans for risk management, plans for quality management etc. Planning of all project activities and the overall project is always done in the Planning Frame, but may be initiated by other frames. The list of where the planning of each frame is initiated is shown in Table 5-1.


To read entire article (click here)


Editor’s note: This series of articles is based on the book Project Workflow Management: A Business Process Approach by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman, published by J Ross Publishing in 2014. The book describes the PM Workflow® framework, a step-by-step approach using project management methods, practical techniques, examples, tools, templates, checklists and tips.  The book teaches readers how to manage a project “hands-on” from scratch, including what to do, when and how to do it up to delivering a completed and tested product or service to a client.

How to cite this article:
Epstein, D. (date), Project Planning Flow Process, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5, May 2018. https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/pmwj70-May2018-Epstein-project-planning-flow-process-series-article.pdf

About the Author

Dan Epstein

New York, USA


Dan Epstein
combines over 25 years of experience in the project management field and the best practices area, working for several major Canadian and U.S. corporations, as well as 4 years teaching university students project management and several software engineering subjects. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the LITMO University in Leningrad (today St. Petersburg, Russia), was certified as a Professional Engineer in 1983 by the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers – Ontario, and earned a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University in 2000 and the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) in 2001.

Throughout his career, Dan managed multiple complex interdependent projects and programs, traveling extensively worldwide. He possesses multi-industry business analysis, process reengineering, best practices, professional training development and technical background in a wide array of technologies. In 2004 Dan was a keynote speaker and educator at the PMI-sponsored International Project Management Symposium in Central Asia. He published several articles and gave published interviews on several occasions. In the summer of 2008 he published “Methodology for Project Managers Education” in a university journal. His book, Project Workflow Management – The Business Process Approach, written in cooperation with Rich Maltzman, was published in 2014 by J. Ross Publishing.

Dan first started development of the Project Management Workflow in 2003, and it was used in a project management training course. Later this early version of the methodology was used for teaching project management classes at universities in the 2003–2005 school years. Later on, working in the best practices area, the author entertained the idea of presenting project management as a single multithreaded business workflow. In 2007–2008 the idea was further refined when teaching the project management class at a university.

Dan is an author of many publications in professional magazines, speaker at the international presentations, a guest at podcasts, etc. The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) assessment of his book says: “Contains a holistic learning environment so that after finishing the book and assignments, new project managers or students will possess enough knowledge to confidently manage small to medium projects”. The full list of his publications and appearances can be found at the website www.pm-workflow.com in the Publications tab.

Dan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by Dan Epstein, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dan-epstein/