Project plan

Archived Content

The National Project Management System has been replaced by Project Navigator effective October 15, 2021. Therefore, this page has been archived and will be taken down in 2024.


The Project Plan (used in conjunction with a Project charter) is the principal mechanism utilized by the Project Leader/Project Manager to formally define the goals and objectives of the project and to document its key functional, technical and administrative parameters throughout all stages of the National Project Management System (NPMS).

The Project Plan Guidelines are intended to be used for the preparation of the Project Plan throughout the lifecycle of the project - from the preparation of the initial preliminary project plan, to the completion of the project management plan, which is prepared at the project Delivery Stage.


Real Property context

The Project Leader (PL) has overall accountability for obtaining project approvals and overseeing the Project Plan, while the Project Manager (PM) is responsible for developing the project management plan as soon as the PM is appointed to the team. Completion of a Project Plan is required as identified under the National Project Management System Directive for Real Property projects for real property projects, however the amount of content varies based on the size, complexity and sensitivity of the project. PMs are responsible to exercise judgment in its development and base the content and format on the project specifics as identified in the investment strategy. For Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) projects, the PM assists the PL in developing the preliminary project plan. For other government department (OGD) funded projects, the PM provides input as soon as possible, however the front-end planning, feasibility studies and Treasury Board (TB) approval are often completed by the OGD, in which case, the PM is involved only at the Delivery Stage.

The Project Plan takes on two forms during the life of the project. It initially starts out as the "preliminary project plan" and can have specific annexes updated as more information becomes available. At the beginning of the Delivery Stage, the "project management plan" is prepared to detail the delivery plan to the end of the project. The content of the Project Plan is, for the most part, structured around the Project Management Institute (PMI) knowledge areas.

Project Plans for PSPC projects are approved by the appropriate regional or national authorities in accordance with the established dollar value thresholds (refer to National Project Management System Directive for Real Property projects). A new project leader, project manager, or other team member assigned to the project at any point would be able to refer to the plan and become familiar with the background, decisions taken to that point, and current status of the project.

Guidelines and templates

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