Plan to succeed on projects! (Part 1)
You've heard the old saying: "Plan the flight then fly the plan..." well I'd like to apply this approach to project management in this article and offer an formula that will ensure you're driving the project by result rather than activity.
Here we go:
Step 1) Find a sponsor. Note: If you haven't got a sponsor... get one... don't give in to the temptation to implement your own vision. If you're the sponsor then ideally get someone else to deliver your vision ;-)
Step 2) Talk to the sponsor about their dream... replay your interpretation at every opportunity. Especially the benefits they expect.
Step 3) Once you've gained a bit of rapport start talking about: scope, success criteria, time scales.
Step 4) Go away and think about the objectives and resources you'll need.
Step 5) Propose the set of highlevel project objectives and negotiate for resources.
Step 6) Develop a product breakdown structure... Derive the Product Flow Chart that follows.
Step 7) Market this to the team and sponsor as the delivery roadmap, make sure the roadmap attacks the highest risk/reward items first.
Step 8) In closing, make sure you're set up to drive the project by result not activities!
By this stage, you should have enough to get a green light to proceed. So there you have it... the flight plan.
In part 2 we'll look more closely at flying the plan...