What are Subsidiary Management Plans in Project Management?

A comprehensive Project Management Plan is key to executing any project successfully. Within this overarching plan are Subsidiary Management Plans that provide detailed guidance for managing specific aspects of the project.

Understanding the purpose and components of these sub-plans will enable you to develop a robust project plan.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the 10 Subsidiary Management Plans that make up the project management plan. With a knowledge of how these plans fit together, you’ll be well on your way to effectively managing project components and stakeholders throughout the project life cycle.

What is a Project Management Plan?

A Project Management Plan is a formal, approved document that defines how the project will be executed, monitored, and controlled. It brings together all the information, subsidiary management plans, and baselines developed in other planning processes.

The main components of a project plan include the project scope, resource requirements, budget, and schedule. The plan outlines the project objectives, deliverables, milestones, roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and risk management strategy. It serves as a roadmap for how the project will be managed from start to finish.

Developing a comprehensive project plan is a critical process for the project manager and team. The plan should be created in collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure alignment on project goals and execution. It acts as a communication tool, aligning various teams and clarifying the approach.

An approved project plan is foundational. As the project kicks off, the project manager will continually refer to the plan to guide the team. They’ll use it as a baseline to track progress and manage changes. A well-developed plan sets the stage for effectively controlling project work and ultimately delivering successful outcomes.

10 Subsidiary Management Plans

The project management plan consists of a number of critical subsidiary plans that outline how specific aspects of the project will be managed. Each component provides tactical guidance and brings a greater definition to the overall plan.

Here are the 10 subsidiary management plans that are combined with the performance measurement baselines (scope baseline, schedule baseline, and cost baseline) to make up the overall project management plan:

1. Scope Management Plan

The Scope Management Plan specifies how the project scope will be defined, validated, and controlled. It provides a procedure for subdividing deliverables into smaller, more manageable pieces using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), while the WBS dictionary clarifies the scope for each item.

This plan establishes the process for obtaining formal acceptance of completed project deliverables from stakeholders. Ongoing scope monitoring ensures changes are captured and prevents scope creep.

2. Schedule Management Plan

The Schedule Management Plan documents the criteria used to develop, monitor, and control the project schedule. It defines the schedule model and methodology along with tools for managing scheduled activities and resource allocation.

This plan identifies schedule milestones and sets thresholds for measuring performance. Tracking metrics help identify schedule variances needing corrective action.

3. Cost Management Plan

The Cost Management Plan outlines how project costs will be estimated, budgeted, and controlled. It defines the units of measure, level of precision, and rules for performance measurement.

This plan establishes processes for financial reporting and metrics for assessing cost variances. Earned value management techniques are used to evaluate project performance against the approved budget.

4. Quality Management Plan

The Quality Management Plan defines the quality standards for the project and its deliverables based on stakeholder needs and expectations. This plan designates the processes, tools, and metrics that will be utilized to measure and verify quality.

It specifies how the team will ensure quality requirements are met for each deliverable produced. Statistical analysis, reviews, and quality audits are some techniques.

5. Resource Management Plan

The Resource Management Plan outlines how project resources will be identified, acquired, allocated, and controlled throughout the project lifecycle. This includes determining resource requirements, optimizing usage, and tracking team member skills and availability.

It establishes processes for managing staff assignments, resolving conflicts, and releasing resources as needs change which optimizes resource productivity.

6. Communications Management Plan

The Communications Management Plan defines the protocols and methods for exchanging project information between team members and stakeholders. It identifies information types, distribution frequency, recipients, escalation processes, and communication responsibilities.

This plan improves visibility and enables timely issue resolution through effective stakeholder communications. It ensures the right messages reach the intended audiences.

7. Risk Management Plan

The Risk Management Plan outlines the processes for identifying, analyzing, responding to, and monitoring project risks. It defines risk categories, probability ratings, impact scales, and a risk register.

This plan quantifies overall project risk and establishes thresholds for implementing risk responses. It facilitates proactive risk management through continuous monitoring and risk audits.

8. Procurement Management Plan

The Procurement Management Plan defines the processes for procuring necessary goods and services from vendors and suppliers. It specifies procurement techniques, selection criteria, legal and regulatory compliance, management of contracts and vendors, and procedures for closure.

This plan ensures procurement aligns with the project objectives in terms of budget, quality, and schedule.

9. Stakeholder Engagement Plan

The Stakeholder Engagement Plan identifies key project stakeholders, assesses their levels of interest and influence, and outlines engagement strategies for each stakeholder group.

This plan helps manage stakeholder expectations and gain their support. Stakeholder analysis helps tailor communications and engagement and engagement approaches may include emails, meetings, focus groups, or role assignments.

10. Requirements Management Plan

The Requirements Management Plan defines the process for capturing, analyzing, documenting, prioritizing, and managing project requirements provided by key stakeholders.

This plan establishes traceability between requirements and project objectives and guides managing changes to requirements as projects evolve. Sound requirements processes ensure stakeholders’ needs are met.


An effective Project Management Plan is incomplete without Subsidiary Management Plans that address project components like scope, schedule, resources, quality, communications, risks, and procurement.

These detailed plans provide the procedures and metrics to control key aspects of your project. Be sure to invest time upfront in developing robust sub-plans as they serve as invaluable guides as you execute, monitor, and close your project.

With comprehensive Subsidiary Management Plans, you empower your team to deliver project objectives within budget, on schedule, and to stakeholder expectations.

David Usifo (PSM, MBCS, PMP®)
David Usifo (PSM, MBCS, PMP®)

David Usifo is a certified Project Management professional, professional Scrum Master, and a BCS certified Business Analyst with a background in product development and database management.

He enjoys using his knowledge and skills to share with aspiring and experienced Project Managers and Business Analysts the core concept of value-creation through adaptive solutions.

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