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1.0 Fully Scope The Project
Before starting a project, fully understand and scope the project to ensure it has merit. Projects need "buy-in" from Stakeholders and need to be based on solid foundations. Gain an understanding of stakeholder interests and expectations and how they relate to their vision of a successful project.

 

Make sure the project scope is clearly defined and nailed down. Specify the roles and responsibilities of all involved. Verify, goals, key elements including milestones and dependencies and clearly define them in your project plan. Include defined measures for success criteria, including accomplishing tasks on schedule, achieving budget targets, confirming functionality is satisfactory to the customer, and ensuring that any regulatory requirements are met.

2.0 Identify Project and Team Requirements
Start building your project team based on resources identified as required in your plan. Your team needs to work together as one unit with complimentary skills in order to deliver the project. Integration of individual skills, personalities and working practices from both your internal project team and the stakeholders is a primary concern for you as a project manager in order for the project to run smoothly.

Individuals needs to understand their tasks and what they are expected to provide as the end deliverable.

3.0 Be the Project Leader
Being the Project Manager makes you key to the project. You will need to become a leader managing team dynamics and acting as coach / mentor to all team members. You will also be responsible for getting input from the project team and major stakeholders, as well as keeping everyone committed. You will need to inspire your team to follow you through the turbulent times, as well as the calm times. Take charge and lead your team to success.

4.0 Define The Critical Path
Defining the critical path for a project provides focus and priorities. Build a life cycle of the project by including four main phases or critical path milestones: initiation, planning, execution, and closure. Perform an evaluation at the end of each phase. Examine every deliverable in the project plan including all of the elements involved to ensure the project is to specification.

These milestones will help to eliminate project risk and assist in monitoring project changes. They will also alert you to any issues whilst ensuring that every task is correctly completed.

5.0 Communication
One of the most critical aspects of project management is that of communication. As the project manager, you need to make sure all channels of communication are open and maintained. Make sure everyone involved communicates and records key information in a defined way.

Throughout the project, communication must be consistent, open, honest and clear. Keep in touch with stakeholders and team members throughout the project process. Ensure that everyone has the information required to make decisions and/or proceed with their tasking. Keep everyone on the same page by creating status reports based upon the project information and updates.

6.0 Documentation Management and Sign-offs
From the initiation of the project to the milestones and tasks, you should have documentation signed by the stakeholders. Make sure your documentation is in-line with your project management methodology to cover you in terms of deliverables, and expectations. Even with the best project management processes a project can still drift in terms of timescales or budget, so it is important to have the appropriate documentation ready for the stakeholders and adjustments to your plan for any unforeseen elements. Any documentation needs to be simple and easily understood as complicated documents can bring confusion and even a degree of miss trust from stakeholders if confusion takes place.

7.0 Manage Project Risks
Projects by their nature are full of risk. Your experience with similar projects can help you to foresee when risk is imminent and when corrective action needs to be taken. Open communication is another key tool in identifying and managing risks before they get out of hand. Identify and control project risks because if you don't they have the potential to control you.

Risk is a potential problem, so being able to avoid it or take care of it before it becomes an actual problem is one of the most important practices in project management. Risk management is crucial to a projects success.

8.0 Avoid Scope Creep
Change is inevitable in any project and there has to be an element of flexibility in any project plan however you will need to keep your project from creeping into something bigger. Scope creep generally happens when new elements are added to a project that's already been approved, but with no consideration to increasing the budget, allowing more time or adding more resources to compensate for the additions. If the project's scope does need to be revisited, you should have a process in place for re-scoping. Appropriate documentation needs to be available for stakeholders sign off on any additions or changes before the project continues.

9.0 Test Deliverables
Deliverables should be tested at every critical milestone so that the project stays on track to meet its requirements. Before starting the next phase of the project, be sure that everything is developed so far as planned.

Various types of deliverables are produced as the project evolves to support continuation, to measure progress, and to validate the project plan. The right results must be attained at every stage of the project. The completed project (the Deliverable) must meet or exceed the customer expectations to be considered a success.

10.0 Evaluate the Project
What have you learned from delivering the project, was there anything you would change in your project management process? Every project is a valuable learning tool. Review the project as a whole, as well as analyse specific project elements. What were the project successes? Where were there project disappointments? Make informed conclusions about the project's quality and the deliverable's performance.

Financially compare the planned return on investment (ROI) to the actual ROI to understand the level of your success. You can use the lessons learned from each project to minimize future failures and maximize future successes.

Cloud Based Project Management Solutions

Using QuickBase we can build custom project Apps to work with your processes and methodology in order to make reporting, communication and overall project management more efficient. Contact us for further information.

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