How to Make an Integrated Master Plan in 3 Steps, Plus Plotting Your IMP into an Integrated Master Schedule

Ron Ause
September 1, 2022
4 minute read

 

An integrated master plan is a list of events you’ll need to accomplish in your project to support your objectives. It also includes targets you’ll need to meet and the criteria to define their success.

Closely tied to your work breakdown structure (WBS), your integrated master plan outlines milestones and deliverables, but it’s not time-bound. It simply identifies the deliverables your clients can expect from you and activities you plan to do to support your campaign objectives.

Because it’s generally high level, you can use your integrated master plan to pattern your contracts.

Your integrated master schedule, on the other hand, is time-bound and detailed. Primarily aiding execution, your integrated master schedule outlines your team’s tasks, start times, and deadlines. A Gantt chart is a great visualization tool you can use for this.

 

To facilitate successful campaigns, you’ll need both: your integrated master plan to get your client on board, and an integrated master schedule to follow through on your commitments.

 

How To Make An Integrated Master Plan

 

An integrated master plan is composed of three key elements:

  • Events: What you intend to deliver for your campaign
  • Accomplishments: Key tasks to support the event
  • Criteria: Parameters to define the success of the accomplishments

Let’s talk about how you can build one for your campaign.

 

Step 1: Decide On A Structure

There are several ways you can structure your integrated master plan for your campaign. Two examples you can look into are by phase or by channel/key deliverable.

For example, let’s say you’re promoting an event for your client. Here’s how you can structure your integrated master plan by phase:

 

A

Event A: Promotion Plan

A01

Refine Goals And Objectives

A01a

    Assemble proposed goals and objectives

A01b

    Present proposed goals and objectives

A01c

    Have goals and objectives approved

A02

Promotion Plan Presentation

A02a

    Assemble proposal and timeline

A02b

    Present promotion plan to stakeholders

A02c

    Approved promotion plan

B

Event B: Pre-Production

B01

Kickoff Meeting

B01a

    Pre-production meeting deck

 

Here, you’ll see that Event A outlines the planning phase. Event B lists the accomplishments and criteria for the next step once the promotion plan is finished. If we continue this list, you can expect to see events that revolve around the steady development of each project phase

Alternatively, you can organize your integrated master plan by key deliverables. Here’s an example:

 

A

Event A: Event Branding

A01

Event logo

A01a

    Logo studies

A01b

    Approved logo

A02

Visual branding

A02a

    Color scheme and mockups

A02b

    Approved color scheme

B

Event B: Event Landing Page

B01

Landing Page Layout

B01a

    Approved Landing Page Layout

B02

Copywriting

B02a

    Approved copy for landing page

B03

Web development

B03a

    Approved website prototype

B03b

    Approved website full functionality test

B03c

    Approved website stress test

B04

Launch Landing Page

B04a

    Launch campaign

B04b

    Deployed landing page

C

Event C: Event Social Channels

C01

Facebook Event

C01a

    Facebook event display photo and cover photo

 

Here, events are organized according to key deliverables: an event brand, a landing page, and social channels.

Your structure will primarily depend on your project and client. If your project follows a sequential approach and iterations can be pricey, organizing by phase may be a good way to go. However, some clients might prefer to see what they’ll get from the deal, more clearly. In this case, organizing by deliverable can be a better option.

 

Step 2: List Down Key Events

There can be an overwhelming amount of tasks in your marketing campaign. If you have a massive budget and sufficient resources, then you may decide to pursue them all.

But when working with limited resources, you’ll need to think about the efforts that will make the most impact to determine your key events.

For example, if your audience primarily engages through Tiktok and Twitter, then you might want to evaluate if it’s still worth putting time and effort into other social channels such as Instagram and Facebook. If you get the most visibility through ads, then you may want to dial down your influencer marketing campaign.

Think about the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule. It states that there is an unequal relationship between input and output. 80% of results come from 20% of causes. So as a project manager, you’ll need to think critically about which actions will really move the needle. This way, you can maximize your results while managing your resources.

4-Sep-01-2022-12-39-42-49-AM

 

Step 3: Break Events Down Into Accomplishments & Criteria

Now that you’ve determined your key events, you can start working on accomplishments and criteria. In this step, it’s important to clearly define what success looks like. Make it tangible, concrete, and actionable.

For example, if your key event is to build a digital presence on Facebook, some of your accomplishments should not be:

  • Post regularly
  • Increase follower count

 

Instead, turn them into:

  • Plan and publish at least 20 posts in 1 month
  • Get 20,000 new followers
  • Get account verified

 

The second set of accomplishments determine the parameters that the requirements need to fulfill for them to be able to support the key event.

 

Plotting Your Integrated Master Plan (IMP) Into An Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)

When you’re working on an integrated marketing plan, clear messaging and smooth synchronization are critical for success. To effectively pull this off, you’ll need to make sure that your teams are constantly aligned. An integrated master schedule can help you with this.

As mentioned earlier, Gantt charts are great tools to use when plotting out an integrated master schedule.

 

Step 1: Identify Key Dates & Requirements

Key dates in your campaign can be influenced by your client's preferences, trends you want to ride, and production feasibility. For example, your client might want you to finish launching their new product by June because there’s intel that a major player is about to file for bankruptcy on the same month.

Once you determine the key dates, identify which requirements need to be delivered. These are called dependencies. For example, if you’re planning to launch your website in October, then your assets need to be ready by August. So asset production is a dependency on launching your website.

 

Step 2: Plot Tasks And Dependencies On Gantt Chart

As mentioned earlier, a Gantt chart is a great tool for your integrated marketing schedule. It’s a horizontal bar graph that represents tasks needed to complete a project. At a glance, it displays tasks, deadlines, work durations, and dependencies.

 

 

Your integrated master schedule plotted on a Gantt chart will help you monitor progress across your whole campaign. A tool like Workamajig consolidates the schedules of all your project activities so you can see how they all work together.

 

Conclusion

Your integrated master plan and integrated master schedule can help you close more clients and facilitate efficient team operations. Your integrated master plan (IMP) will communicate your project’s key deliverables and scope. Meanwhile, your integrated master schedule (IMS) plots them on a calendar. This way, you can manage resources and ensure that your efforts and results are both maximized.

 

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