Jason Westland shares 5 tips that will help you get started with projects in a professional and organized manner.
Congratulations if you have been asked to lead a new project. This is a great opportunity. This is a great opportunity to get things set up the way you want them. It also gives you the chance to meet new people in your project team. Even if you are already an experienced project manager, you’ll still learn a lot about project management and other areas of your business.
Here are five tips to help you get started on your next project.
1. Create a Project Charter
The Project Charter outlines the goals and objectives of the project. It also contains information about how the team will achieve the project goals, even if they are quite high-level.
You may have written your Project Charter, or someone else did it. Either way, it’s important to get a copy as soon as possible to ensure you understand what you are asked to do. The document should contain the project’s goals, objectives, measures for success, a high-level plan with milestones if they are known, a matrix of roles and responsibilities for the team, as well as a high-level estimate of the budget. You can also refer to any internal or external project management standards, processes, or methods you will be using.
The contents should be approved by all key stakeholders (at the very least, those that you are aware of at the moment). The project sponsor should also approve it. This is the first step to get your project started.
2. Get together your project team
Without a team, you can’t complete your project! Your sponsor might already have ideas on how to acquire the team. You may also be able influence the process by selecting the most qualified candidates from the available resources.
You may need to negotiate with other managers if you don’t have complete control of the project team members. They would need to make their staff available for your project on a part- or full-time basis.
Even if you don?t have the budget to hire your team, you can begin thinking about what skills you will need and how you can acquire them. You should also consider the various business areas you are interested in and how they will be represented on your team.
3. Set up a kick-off meeting
Once you have a list of the team members, arrange for a meeting. This is a chance to meet people and to make sure everyone understands the project’s goals.
It is important to review the roles and responsibilities of each member of your team. This will ensure that everyone is clear about who does what and who they can turn to for help in any given area. Participate in this discussion so they understand your role and that of a project manager.
4. Create a project plan
You can draft your project plan in the initial kickoff meeting or separately. However, it is important to have a clear understanding of the tasks and plans early on in your project.
This will not be possible as you won’t know all the details for each area. You will need to get input from the rest the project team. There are tasks that are common for each project that you can add to your schedule. These include key dates for reporting and the overall structure of the phases. Software testing is one example. The team members can then be asked to expand on these activities by assigning more specific tasks.
5. Make a log of risks and issues
You will need to keep track of all potential problems and risks that could affect your project. This log will need input from your team. A brief description of the r should be included in the log.