Project Management

9 Good Reasons to Start the Project Late

No one likes disappointing people. If you tell a client a project will start by a date, you want to follow through and live up to this expectation. Unfortunately, life often gets in the way and there are obstacles that inevitably delay a project. In an article for, Brad Egeland discusses nine reasons why you should postpone the start of a project:

  1. The customer needs training.
  2. Requirements are unclear.
  3. Funding is not established.
  4. There is no definition for the true project.
  5. The goals are not defined.
  6. The team is not in place.
  7. A customer is disengaged.
  8. There is no formal schedule.
  9. The leadership is not defined.

You Only Get One First Chance

If the customer is unclear or unsure about the technology, they will never be able to meet the requirements after you implement the solution. Sometimes the customer needs a little training before they can take on the new solution. In order for the project to be a success, the customer needs to be just as engaged as the team. The requirements are what drive the technology, and so they need to be in order before execution can take place. Without clear requirements, there will be issues with project scope down the line.

Nothing is worse than starting a project before the budget is secured only to discover the money is never coming through. Always be sure that everything is signed and the money is in place before beginning a project. Interestingly, quite frequently the true project is not what was defined upfront. It is important to walk through the problem and proposed solution with the customer to ensure that you understand the actual project.

You cannot execute a project, at least not execute it well, if you do not understand what the goals of the project are. Knowing the end target will help define the path to get there. Project managers are more than capable of launching a project on their own, but it is helpful to have a team behind them from the outset. It is important to have the team in place before the project begins so that the project manager is not scrambling to assemble a group. Likewise, before a project begins there should be a formal kickoff session. This session will get everyone on the same page and establish the expectations for the project.

Lastly, someone needs to be in charge of the project, so who is it? Without clear people in place to represent the delivery and customer sides, the project should not be started.

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