For many people wishing to deliver an important project, starting is the hardest part. This is especially true for complicated projects that seem overwhelming and intimidating. And while some people don’t even bother planning and hope things will just work out, others get stuck in analysis and give up long before starting.
Here are 6 steps that will save your time and help kick off any project.
#1. Know your Statement of Work inside out
The first thing you should do when assigned the PM is to read the Statement of Work. And then re-read it again and again. Make sure you know this document inside out as it describes in detail the objectives, scope, timeline, stakeholders, high-level requirements, assumptions, resources and other facts that you must be familiar with.
This is one of the core requirements that are crucial for project success. If you don’t know the Statement well, you won’t be able to make the correct estimates (costs, resources, timelines, etc.) and the project will be doomed to fail from the very beginning.
#2. Refresh lessons learned from past projects
Go through lessons learned from past projects. It’s even better if your past projects are similar to your new one. Talk to other project managers in case you could overlook something important. 30 minutes are often enough to share experience and get valuable insights into how to run the project.
#3. Secure resources
Make sure your project has all necessary resources (people, equipment, facilities, funding, etc.) Otherwise, you’re only a project manager and can’t accomplish much.
#4. Define the Project Charter
Once you decide to start a project, the Project Charter is the most important document to define. It should describe the scope, resources, timelines, as well as clarify roles and responsibilities for the project.
As soon as the draft is ready, share it with stakeholders and give them chance to provide comments. This is a great way to show your stakeholders that they matter and you appreciate their efforts and input.
#5. Have a Method Adoption Workshop
Get all team leaders together and agree on approaches towards delivering the project. It’s also time to clarify all roles and responsibilities and allow the team to prepare for project delivery.
#6. Meet Stakeholders
It’s important to “warm up” stakeholders right before the start of the project. They are typically very busy and have no time to understand what the project is about. That’s why it matters to explain why you’re doing your project and how they will be impacted.
If stakeholders have any questions, clarify them – this will help build rapport, create relationships of trust and make stakeholders more cooperative.
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