You’ve done it! You’ve been made a project manager! Ah yes, but now anxiety is creeping in.
Where do you start? How do you get organised? In our experience, whatever business you’re in, establishing a project plan is essential for running your projects. This document helps you organise how the project unfolds by addressing several major questions. Here are some tips for writing an effective project plan. The key to success? Answer four key questions.
1 – Why? – What are the goals this project should address?
These elements are defined during the project launch. In practical terms, you should organise a kick-off meeting with all participants as soon as possible. This is where you’ll set goals together. Don’t skip this step, as it will help you focus on the project’s reason for being.
2 – What? – What is the project going to achieve?
In other words, what are the expected deliverables: documents, products or services? These elements are also defined during the project launch. Does all this seem obvious to you? Don’t be fooled: it is very important to know how to answer this question right from the start of the project, as it will help you avoid someone saying, “I didn’t know you were expecting that of me!”
3 – Who? – Which people are in charge of what?
And now, who does what. The project plan identifies the people involved, their responsibilities and how the team is organised:
- Project Manager (PM)
- Production team members
- Know the progress of various tasks
- Estimate the time each resource spends on the project
- Manage the budget
- Control costs
- Measure the cost-effectiveness of the project
Everyone knows that you can’t be everywhere at the same time to monitor each detail of the project. Make life easier on yourself by getting these kinds of tools. You’ll save time and be more efficient, guaranteed!
4 – When? – What is the project schedule and its key dates?
Drawing up a schedule is an art in itself. The goal is to set milestones and spread things out over time, depending on the delivery of various items by project team members. Some deliveries will determine how the rest of the project goes, others less so. Identify them in advance.
Tip: Don’t be too optimistic when you’re writing your schedule. Give yourself some wiggle room.
Have you followed our advice and answered the four big questions for organising the project launch? Great! You’ve given yourself every chance to coordinate project management and make sure it’s a success!