How To Set Your Project Up For Success

So you've been handed a project and initiative, a really important piece of work for your company. You might be sitting there going, Okay, now what do I do?

There are four things that you should do pretty much straight away, which will set you up for success. 

#1 Define Project Scope

The first thing that you should do is define the scope of the project.

  1. First and foremost, what does success look like at the end of the project? It could be some metrics and KPIs and improvement. Make sure you write that down.
  2. The second thing to be very clear on is what are the deliverables? This also forms part of your scope.
  3. The third thing is the budget.
  4. The fourth important thing, what is the timeframe? And there's a very big difference between turning around a big piece of work in two weeks versus two years. So that's your scope.

#2 Schedule

The second thing to do to set your project up for success is to then build a schedule. It doesn't have to be on of those wonderful waterfall type project schedules. It can be a high-level plan, but you really need to be clear on what you're going to be delivering. When, and most importantly, who. So you should in your schedule have, who are the resources, who are going to be delivering the work and also how much effort does it take for them to do it? We've all seen project schedules that have someone's name against them with a timeframe.

But it actually might only take them a couple of hours within that timeframe to deliver the work.

#3 Project Stakholders

The third thing that you need to be very clear on are your stakeholders. So that's both your project team, who's going to be delivering the work and also the stakeholders that need to be informed about what's happening with the project.

You can use the traditional RACI model for this, which stands for:

  • Responsible
  • Accountable
  • Consulted
  • Informed

That's a really good way of capturing everybody. And then you can put that all into a big stakeholder map and understand who's who in the zoo for your project.

But the second part of a stakeholder map, is your governance. So how often will you keep people informed? Do you send a weekly project status report? Do you have a project steering committee meeting once a fortnight being very clear on how you're going to be communicating with these people?

#4 Document

The last thing that you can do to set your project up for success, is to bring all of that together into one document. So you may have heard the term project management plan before, or a project initiation document.

You don't have to be that formal. As long as you have a piece of documentation that you can send to all of your stakeholders which says:

  • What are you doing?
  • What does success look like?
  • What are the timeframes?
  • Who is involved?

That's all you need. And then you are well on your way to have a fantastic project.

If you're ready to tackle 2021 (or Q1/Q2 of Financial Year 2022) with gusto then book a Strategic Planning session with the team at LVL UP Consulting today. 


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