For a project manager, there is not anything worse than going into a project devoid of having a solid plan in place. Even if your plan changes and adapts to unexpected hardships, having that initial plan in place makes everything go much more smoothly. With that in mind, here are five things you need to prepare before you start a project. Getting these items nailed down will help make the entire project management experience a breeze.
Even if you have never done a project of the identical size and scope before, you can figure out where you expect to start and where you need to end. From there, you need to determine the assessable goals that you should meet along the way, as well as expected challenges that might prevent you from meeting those goals. Doing this will assurance that you have a gauge of whether you are on track or not as the project proceeds.
Who stands to profit from the project’s success, and who will suffer if the scheme fails to meet its goals? By identifying the stakeholders, you determine who you and your team are accountable to. Sometimes this is a simple matter of seeing who signs the paychecks, but other times there are unexpected beneficiaries of the project that you need to be aware of. Putting a face to your stakeholders lets you know the cost of success and the price of failure.
Redundancy is one of the maximum enemies of good project management. When planning the scope and details of your project, make sure that everybody on your team has a role and a responsibility that doesn’t overlap with other team members. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore cross-training in case you need to adjust your plan. However, by keeping everybody focused on a unique task that matches their skills, you keep the project moving along at peak efficiency.
Each member of the project team needs to be able to efficiently and time after time communicate with their coworkers. This can be mainly difficult if you have people working remotely. Developing a communication plan includes outlining the methods of communication that your team members can use reliably. It also lets you set up recurring meetings and briefs that fit into everybody’s schedule, even if some people have to call in from a remote site.
Knowing your blind spots and the vulnerable areas of your project plan will help you adapt when problems come up. Figure out what assumptions you’re making and then determine if those assumptions are reasonable or not. Identify the risks should you make a bad supposition or poor judgment. Finally, think about what items within your project road map depend on each other if one step needs another to go right first, you know to focus your energy on that first part before beginning the dependent phase.
Using the points outlined above, your project will be more streamlined and efficient than ever before. This will help you meet goals faster and control costs effectively.