Nobody starts a project thinking it will fail, right? But many are sabotaged or scrapped by bad planning (or no planning). Whether your project is starting a new website, home improvements, a family vacation or planning your parents’ 50 wedding anniversary — basic project management skills can save you money, time, and maybe even a few gray hairs!
BEFORE you start a new project, the 5 questions you need answered:
- When? and
Taking the time to define these key elements on paper first, will help to ensure maximum success. Whether you use a simple outline or checklist, a hand-sketched flow chart, or even MS Project to manage the details of the five key details, fill in the blanks.
When you’re creating your project on paper, be realistic — and do your research. If you’re not at least 80% sure that you can complete a task with the resources you have , don’t do it. Period. Adapting the attitude of “back to the drawing board” or setting a project aside as a future goal is not a bad thing. Having a project that turns into “the money pit” is.
And the MOST important element to a successful project?
COMMUNICATION. A good project manager is successful, not because they micro-manage, but because they have great communication skills. They give clear directives, they keep everyone necessary in the loop, and they listen to their team — adjusting project scope if necessary.
A little project management goes a long way. I wish you much success with yours.