It is becoming more and more common for project managers to wear a multitude of hats, or for the organization to contract out the position all together. But the tools that are readily available for project management can only be capitalized on if there is a defined strategy to follow. In an article for PC Magazine, Jill Duffy explores what you need to get started on your project management path. There are four things you must establish before project management can be successful:
- A project should exist.
- Define the scope.
- Hold a “kickoff meeting.”
- Define deadlines.
Gotta Start Somewhere
Before you dive headfirst into managing a project, it is vitally important that you ensure that what you have on your hands is actually a project. Jason Westland, CEO of ProjectManager.com, defines a project as: “If you have a set of tasks or defined scope of work, and it has to be delivered by a particular end date to meet a particular requirement, then it’s a project. If it’s ongoing, then it is not.”
It does not matter where it comes from; there needs to be a clear delineation for a project. Defining the scope may happen in a meeting, or it may happen during the course of an email conversation. All that truly matters is that it is defined. The kickoff meeting will be the place in which the project lead articulates for everyone the project scope and requirements, who is involved, and elements like deliverables and milestones. Additionally, the meeting should define the hierarchy of project control.
Everything must come to an end, and it is important to take the time to demarcate that for your own project. Be sure to define the end date clearly, because anything that goes on after that will be follow-up work.
You can read the original article here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2498919,00.asp