46 Project Planning Quotes To Help You Reach Your Goals

Updated Jan 11, 2023.

Project planning is something you do at the project initiation stage to kick off the start of the project. It is that phase in project management when you get into your head and think of ways to get the results you want to get. But what happens when there is no desire to plan. Maybe you have lost the motivation to plan or you want to inspire your team to plan. This is where planning quotes are needed to help motivate you and your team.

A goal can never be accomplished without a solid plan. The problem with planning is that most people believe that it is not important. Even if it is important, they believe that it takes too much time. It is not easy to make a plan and stay committed to it.

Fortunately, we have gathered the best planning quotes to help you get started on planning actionable strategies on how you can achieve your goals. After reading these quotes, tear out a sheet of paper (or open up your computer) and start planning.

Best Planning Quotes To Help You Achieve Your Goals

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States

Creating an action plan with your project team provides a sense of direction. One of the top reasons for project failure is that the project team does not know how to proceed. They are not prepared and do not know what to do. Effective project planning allows the team to determine which tasks are a priority and should be completed.

“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.”
― Confucius, Chinese philosopher

For a project to succeed, it must be carefully thought of. One of the key qualities of a good project manager is to be proactive. This comes as a result of good planning. You proactively address potential problems and prepare possible ways to fix them while they are still harmless. Challenges – like inadequate funds and resources, low staffing, or poor time management – are likely to arise in a project. Effective planning lets you see them and fix them before they harm the project.

“Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet and essayist

Lack of planning makes handling a task more difficult than it ought to. It affects the effectiveness of your whole team. Without a plan, you and your team are at risk of getting sunk to the bottom of the ocean of failure, with no life support. Everything required in achieving your set project goals needs planning from budgeting to execution of strategies, daily schedule, networking, and even staffing.

Proper project planning ensures you get a clear understanding of the tasks that need to be done and the estimated time required for each of them. Any delay in delivering the project is equal to a project failure.

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
— Warren Buffett, investor

A project goes smoothly because a team took time out to plan, execute, and deliver the best results. A great benefit of planning is that it helps you think about the future effects of the results. Will it yield more fruits or will it die in a matter of time? You get to decide what direction you want the project to go. A present plan reaps future benefits. Planning gets you ready for the future.

The best way to curb major challenges is to start planning now. Setting up a plan improves motivation and commitment among your team members. When your goals and strategies are not coming together, your team becomes unmotivated. There is no enthusiasm or commitment. Planning lays out the direction and responsibilities everyone is expected to take. Every plan you make today affects your future goals, plan wisely.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
― Pablo Picasso, painter

Success doesn't happen by accident. It is a result of a well-thought-out and followed plan. You have to believe in your plans to succeed. A project is just like a football match, each team comes out to play with a plan in mind. It aids teamwork and success because the desired outcomes have already been defined for each team member. With planning, you know when to draw back, correct your steps, and restrategize. It improves performance standards.

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”
― Thomas Edison, inventor

Opportunities are favorable to the team that plans. Because you are already prepared, with everything set in place, when the opportunity comes you make the most of it to produce something worthwhile. Planning helps achieve more goals within a time frame. You become more productive when you plan and stay committed. There is nothing as painful as a wasted opportunity. It means you weren't ready enough to plan ahead.

A good project plan eases the mental stress that comes with managing a tough project because you already have an idea of what to do next. Imagine handling a project with no set goal in mind. Almost everything you do becomes overwhelming, especially when they are not working out and you're getting negative results.

“Unless you have definite, precise, clearly set goals, you are not going to realize the maximum potential that lies within you.”
― Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker

Planning brings out the best in you and your team. It helps you maximize your full potential. In the planning stage, you get to consider the outcome of the project, the budget, staffing capacity, and resources needed. It requires skills and careful attention to details

Project planning doesn't just cover What to do. It also covers the How, When, Where, and Who to do it. Without answering these five questions, you do not have a solid plan at all. Great men didn't just become great overnight. They spent time planning, strategizing, and restrategizing. They didn't give up, but kept planning and planning.

Project Planning Process
Source: Venngage
“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.”
― Napoleon Hill, author

Planning is part of the goal-setting process. You take note of your team's strengths and weaknesses and know how to use them to achieve your goals. Effective planning requires commitment if you want to see results. You don't have to be “ready” before you begin something. As long as you have a project plan and the resources are ready, you are very prepared. Also, your plan shouldn't only be in your head. Let your team members in on what the plan and strategy are. It will also help them become prepared and ready for action.

“Never begin the day until it is finished on paper.”
― Jim Rohn, entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker

Planning your day, before you even start it, sets you for success. The best way to achieve a task is to break it down into smaller bits and set out to complete each one after the other. Without a daily plan for your project, you will find out that you are way behind time. Effective time and resource management are a result of effective planning.

A general project plan is important but this plan should also contain smaller daily plans that would guide your team members on what task they should perform each day. In project management, the time factor is very important. This translates to the understanding that every day counts as it leads to your deadline.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A project plan is a foundation on which every activity is built on. If the plan is not good, then the project is doomed to failure. Setting actionable plans for a goal you want to achieve sets things in motion. It makes the goal achievable, especially when you keep track of the success of the project with the best project tracker tools.

If you don't have an active plan, then your goal will be merely a wish, an unachievable wish. It means you are unprepared to achieve the goal. Before any action is taken, it must be carefully thought of and planned out.

“The more the plans fail the more the planner’s plan.”
— Ronald Reagan

Poor planning takes a lot of project time and resources. It delays productivity. A failed plan is an avenue to go back, restrategize, and plan again. When things are not going straight, the first thing the team does is to revisit the plan to know where the error started from. You can trace how to find the error.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
― Alexander Graham Bell, inventor

Project success happens when the resources are enough to complete the tasks. Unfortunately, many projects are victims of improper resource management due to poor planning. They run out of resources even before the tasks have been completed. When this happens, employees are left stranded and everything falls on the project manager. In the worst case, the project is discontinued and left abandoned.

Preparation is the first step to achieving success. You cannot be prepared unless you plan. A project planning process outlines how the set goal will be met and exactly what resources are needed (with the adequate amount). Challenges cause a delay in the project timeline and the deadline is passed. It shows incompetence, on the part of the project manager and the organization as a whole. The planning process is very critical in project management. It is where the decision-making process happens.

Project Timeline
Source: Venngage
“Planning is a skill and an art which takes a lifetime to master.”
— Paddick Van Zyl

Making plans is easy but making effective plans is a skill. It requires a lot of brain work and factors to consider and reconsider. Poor planning means that you are headed for failure. Your planning strategies are a reflection of your values. Great leaders spent time planning and replanning. It wasn't a skill they developed overnight but what they have learned and practiced with time.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
— Charles Darwin

Adaptability is another key quality you should possess as a project manager. You should be flexible enough to adapt to changes. You stay updated on the latest trends and reorganize your plans to fit the latest trends. An outdated plan has little or no effect and it would only lead to a waste of resources, opportunities, and staff effort.

There will always be a need to revisit your plan no matter how foolproof it is, your plan should be revisited and modified to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. The time you invest in planning is worth every effort made. The level of effective planning you do determines the level of success you achieve. Your plans and strategies decide the future of your project.

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
― Gloria Steinem

Humans are hardwired to lose interest in things they do not plan for. It's because there is neither excitement nor enthusiasm. Without a plan, the project execution process will be dull and prone to failure. When your project team plans together, they learn each other's skills, strengths, and weaknesses. It fosters teamwork and collaboration, causing everyone to bring in their best.

An active plan excites and motivates your team because they have a blueprint to fall back on when they need guidance. Spending time to plan, with your team of equally goal-oriented individuals, opens up your mind to lots of possibilities. It fuels your imagination, thus bringing out all your full potential. A project thrives on proper planning to succeed.

“Speaking from my personal experiences, setting goals, along with a detailed action plan, has actually changed my life from one cast in frustration to one of purpose.”
― Catherine Pulsifer

The road to success is hard but without a plan, it is harder, almost impossible to go through. Likewise, without a proper plan, your project is headed for disaster. The lack of an action plan is very frustrating. Imagine starting a project with absolutely no plan. You, your team, and your investors will be left confused. A goal and a plan to back it up creates a sense of purpose for you and your team members.

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”
— Tom Landry

It is easy to set a goal. Anyone can do it. But the real work starts with deciding HOW to achieve that goal. Your project plan is like deciding to go on a journey to a whole new destination. No one knows the place or the way to get there but you still go ahead without a roadmap or a compass. The entire crew is uncertain and unprepared for what they will encounter. You do not know what tools or weapons to take. It is safe to say that the journey will become unfruitful because you didn't plan enough on how you will get there.

Also, it is one thing to create a plan and it is another thing to work with the plan. A plan can be very great but hard to go through. This is why you should make realistic plans that inspire your team to work more effectively, not frustrate them.

“The backbone of success is hard work, determination, good planning, and perseverance.”
— Mia Hamm

The success equation is simple: hard work + proper planning and perseverance = Success. For you to achieve the best results for your project, you need a good amount for each one. Determination fuels good planning, good planning motivates hard work.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”
— Stephen Covey

It is easy to get caught up on unimportant tasks, especially when the project involves a lot of tasks. There are the most important ones and the less important ones. The important tasks should be scheduled at the top priorities. This prompts your team members to work on the most important tasks first and set things in motion.

Geniuses give time to the things they prioritize most in the world. This is a plan and they stick to it. Without a solid project plan, you are always prone to giving time to unimportant things. This is because the human brain is hard-wired to take a break from stress and just wants to relax.

”For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
— Benjamin Franklin

As a project manager, you work hand-in-hand with the project planner to create an effective project schedule and determine the project deliverable. The planned project schedule helps you arrange every activity needed to complete the project. You save yourself extra hours that would be spent on trying to

The project objectives indeed begin to look attainable when you plan. You get enough free time to evaluate your success and improve your plan. Delayed delivery is another major cause of project failure. Taking time to properly plan your strategies and make them foolproof is not a waste of time. Instead, it saves you more time when project risks and unforeseen challenges arise.

A project is full of risks and uncertainties. They can occur at any moment. Although the future cannot be predicted 100% accurately, planning still helps to anticipate future risks. You are better prepared when they arrive.

“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.”
― Brian Tracy, author and motivational speaker

The beauty of creating a good project plan for your goals is that you feel more powerful and confident, especially when everything is falling into place. You are more organized and motivated to keep moving. Because most of your team members are working remotely (due to the Covid-19 restrictions), planning lets you know the best remote work tools for your employees.

Planning makes the project execution easier and leads to better coordination in the workplace. It also avoids duplication of tasks. You know the results you are looking to get, so you do not accept anything less.

“Don’t be busy, be productive.”
― Unknown

Project management can be a very busy task. You are in charge of overseeing the entire project and ensuring that the project deliverables are right on time. A lot of people are very busy. They are always engaged in one activity or another. But at the end of the day, they are unproductive. This is an effect of poor planning. Poor time management leads to a lot of consequences from incorrect decision making, poor work done, conflict, and poor working environment.

With proper planning, you and your team will have better chances of hitting project milestones as quickly as possible. The truth is that it takes a lot of discipline to stick to a plan but this discipline yields so much. Lack of proper planning before starting a project makes you (and your team) busy handling various tasks but being unproductive at the end of the day. Many tasks will be left half done, poorly done, or completely undone. With such a working technique, what do you expect to get? Nothing but very poor results.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
– John F. Kennedy

Ever heard the popular saying “there is time for everything”?. This is true, especially when handling a project – whether big or small. Every strategy should be well planned out and done at the right time. A smart goal is set in a specific timeframe. Wrong execution would affect the results.

“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”
– Richard Cushing

Planning encourages you to be proactive. Being proactive sets you ahead of your competition and makes you smarter. While others are still trying to understand the problem, you have already gotten a solution and are moving forward. You can foresee the future of your project and plan accordingly. If you want to succeed, you cannot afford to be reactive to situations. Being reactive to situations and circumstances only sets your goals up for failure.

“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.”
— H. Stanely Judd

Planning keeps you focused on the goal. Whenever you lose your direction, all you have to do is go back to the planning board and get working again. Effective teamwork and collaboration thrive on planning. You plan out each move and strategy, analyze the budget and the workforce, and consider the project risks. You know when and where to use each resource to your advantage so you can achieve your full potential. Proper planning shows you how to effectively organize your actions so that you can achieve your goals.

“There are dreamers and there are planners; the planners make their dreams come true.”
— Edwin Louis Cole

This smart planning quote clearly shows the difference between one who dreams and one who plans. A dream without a plan is just a wish. It is just there with no one to act on it. But the one who plans considers his options, analyzes the resources, and works with a goal in mind. He turns the dream into a reality.

“Plan your work and work your plan”
— Napoleon Hill

Strategize your work before taking action. Before building a house, the workers take a look at the house plan to have an idea of what the end goal should look like and how to begin working. This is similar to project management, including handling a project or trying to achieve a goal. The direction of the plan is the direction of the work. Plan your work and actions first, then stay committed to it. Put the plans you have written down into action and watch the results unfold.

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”
– Peter F. Drucker

Plans are very important if you want to achieve your goals. But without commitment, your plans are ineffective. A plan has to be acted upon if you want to see results.

”Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
— Alexander Graham Bell

Project management involves teamwork. One of the best ways to promote effective teamwork is through effective communication. Planning makes communication easier for your team members. Each one knows the responsibility to handle and when to do it. They also know who to submit a status report to and who is accountable for any task.

Preparation opens up more opportunities for you and your team members. It is easier to control projects and manage resources. A project may take longer than anticipated due to some shortcomings but proper preparation prevents serious damages. Success has never come easy for anybody. It takes hard work and dedication to stay successful. Even when you finally attain success, you need a new plan on how to maintain your success.

“Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small”
— Sun Tzu

Taking time out to plan allows you to take note of potential loopholes and setbacks that can form a huge challenge in the future. You can navigate through the whole process on paper and have a clear vision of what should happen and what could possibly go wrong. Then you solve the problem before it escalates into something more. A good plan considers several factors and gets you prepared for the tasks ahead.

“Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan.”
– Winston Churchill

Planning your project gives you a clearer vision of where you are headed. Even though you are not committed to your plan, you still have a vision of how your order should go. When things go wrong, you can refer to your plan. This is what makes you different from someone who has no plan at all. He hasn't got any vision of where to arrive at his goal. He is like a man on a quest but without a compass. When things go wrong, he has nowhere to turn to nor a plan to fall back on.

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.”
― Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

There is a time and season for everything. Everybody on earth has 24 hours in a day to accomplish something. Most people make use of their 24 hours while others complain that 24 hours is too short to finish all they have to do in a day. What distinguishes these two sets of people is proper daily planning.

Start each day with a small goal. As you complain that 24 hours is too short, you find out that you were busy but unproductive. This is a result of poor planning. You do not have to set huge goals to accomplish in one day. Proper planning shows you that little achievements are big steps in reaching your goals.

”For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”
— African Proverb

The little plans you make today have an effect on the results you get tomorrow. A prepared mind is ready for anything that comes its way. If you fail to plan and prepare for the future, you will have no. resources to adapt to the changes. The world is always changing, so are ideas too. So the best time to prepare for the future is now. You can only be prepared for the future when you start planning now.

“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow”
— George S Patton

Starting now to plan is better than waiting for the work to start before you plan. Is a very risky and not-so-smart move, especially when a lot of resources are at stake. You need a side plan to move. There is no such thing as a perfect plan, so you might as well just start planning now.

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination”
— Napoleon Hill

Planning begins with your imagination. It is also a great way of challenging your creativity and innovative capacity. By drawing up plans and actionable strategies on how to achieve a goal, you begin to think up new possibilities on how to achieve your goals. Achieving success is not easy but it is easier for those who plan.

“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”
― Fitzhugh Dodson, author

A plan gives your company a sense of direction. Without a solid plan, your goals may either take too long to be accomplished or never become a reality. Your plan is like a compass or a blueprint that tells you when to go and stop, what to do and not to do. It guides your actions and lets you know the amount of time and resources needed to achieve your goals.

A plan is not just thought of by one person but a whole team, who figure out multiple ways to solve one problem. A solid plan should drive towards solving the problem. It should align with the vision and create solutions.

“If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters – 204 if you’re in Japan.”
― Claire Cook, writer and motivational speaker

Always have a backup plan. This shows how smart and prepared you are. Don't give up because your initial plan didn't work out. While you cannot predict the future, you can prepare for future circumstances and potential problems. When one plan goes awry, you move on to the next plan instead of halting every activity. It saves both time, energy, and resources. Your team is already prepared on how to tackle major threats to achieve your goal.

“We cannot drive people; we must direct their development”
– Henry Gantt, creator of the Gantt Chart

A key benefit of planning is that a well-set-out plan directs your team on their development. Creating a plan and ensuring that your team follows it helps them develop themselves so that they can handle the tasks given to them. This quest for development motivates them to keep giving their best in every stage of the plan.

“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.”
– Denis Waitley

The beauty of setting goals and planning for them is that you have an idea of how the outcome would be. But that doesn't mean it always goes like that. Your plan should also cover worst-case scenarios. What would you do when one execution stage doesn't go as planned? Maybe a team member failed to do his part at the right time and that has caused a glitch in the results, what would happen?

These are the issues you should consider in your plan. Not everything goes according to the perfect plan, which is why making provision for emergencies is very wise. Believe in your plans, while executing. It is the only way to put in your best.

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”
— Anatole France

It's one thing to plan and it's another thing to believe in your plan. Believing in your plan means believing in your abilities. Lack of confidence in your plans not only puts your morale down but it disorganizes your team. They will not feel motivated because they already see the plan as a failure. Motivate your team members to trust the plan and stay committed to it. This is how you will be unshaven when Sudden challenges arise.

“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.”
– Winston Churchill

The difference between a wise project manager and a foolish project manager is that the foolish manager spends his time worrying about potential problems and the outcome of the tasks. He worries about what could possibly go wrong. But a wise PM understands that problems are likely to arise, so he plans ahead and fixes all loopholes to ensure that there will be no problem. Even if another problem should arise suddenly, it is not large enough to disrupt the team from achieving their goals. Effective planning requires you to be proactive.

“To succeed in any significant task in life, you need to set goals.”
— Anonymous

Every important task or action worth taking needs to be thoroughly planned out first. Mistakes can be too costly. They cause more damage than intended. Every step needs to be properly planned out and examined. It doesn't matter whether it is big or small, a concrete plan saves you more than you can imagine.

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

A half-baked plan is better than no plan at all. Spending time to wish for changes will not have any effect on the situation. Wishing doesn't take the problem away. It doesn't create solutions, either. Planning does. You can wish for a project to be complete and the goals to be achieved and that is all there is to it. But you can plan on how you can achieve them and that is the first major step to making it a reality. A plan is created with the end in mind. It should reveal various possible means to the end.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Having a task to complete is one thing, but deciding how to complete the task (and doing it) is another thing. Every second you take planning and test your plan, you are getting ready for the big strike. A soldier doesn't just go into battle. He takes out time to analyze his opponents and plan out his areas of attack.

He maps out various tactics he can use to make him victorious. The same is similar in handling a project, except this time, the opponents are obstacles and potential problems that may arise sooner or later. For example, when a project is taking more funds than expected, a carefully solid plan has already made provisions for emergency funds. This shows that you are prepared and ready to take on any challenges.

“Good planning without good working is nothing.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

Planning is beautiful and effective when you actually put some work and dedication into it. The same energy you put into creating the best plans is the same you should put into working it. Because a plan is superb doesn't mean it is foolproof or it would go smoothly. It requires your time and innovation to make it work. Without enough work, you can plan all you want but it would have very little to no effect. Put in the work.

“An average person with average talents and ambition and average education can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our society if that person has clear, focused goals.”
— Mark Kay Ash

Having a solid plan to back up your goals makes you smarter than someone who has goals but no plans at all. Your strength is in your planning. Specific goals need specific strategies and execution.

You need one project planning quote a day to keep your planning spirit motivated. Writing a project plan should never be underestimated, else you stand to lose too much in your project.

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.