Applying the three level requires a clearly defined process how to achieve and maintain a valid plan. Basically, the planning is often seen only as Time Management task but it includes all other management arras. This makes the planning even more complicated because it has to take the Level Model and all project management areas into account.

There are three different approaches to achieve a valid plan whereas C) mostly applies to defining and maintaining A) and B) as well:

  1. Down Flow Planning Approach

The strategical level defines certain parameters which have to be followed. This may be the timeline, budget or resources. Each of these inputs triggers a specific approach in the project planning and execution.

  1. Up Flow Planning Approach

The operational level defines the parameters for planning the project because it fully depends on the work packages that have to be executed. In this case, timeline and budget may be defined during the planning stage of the project and finally approved in the strategical level.

  1. Cycle Flow Planning Approach

Most likely, the planning phase will iterative and follows a cycle. It means the strategical and the operational level as well work on the input coming from the other level and define step by step the final outcome. This approach must be managed very tightly and carefully. The tactical level has the responsibility to keep all involved parties together and balance all inputs until a final plan has be agreed.

Each project should define at the beginning which way of planning is desired and who is responsible.