Are you about to start a big, new project at work? What do you to make sure you don't blow it in front of your boss and your client? The last thing you want is for it to go wrong, which is why disaster-proofing is a must! Check out our top tips to making sure your project goes as smooth as possible.
1. Identify business requirements – The first step to disaster-proof your project is to ensure that you sufficiently identify business requirements. You need to have an extremely clear grasp of all strategic goals. Then, you need to set, clarify and document the purpose of the project, as well as the expectations and the scope. Having a clear scope will be the guidepost to answer every question that may come up as you execute the project.
2. Build in contingencies – Further disaster-proof your project for the client in question and build in contingencies. You can reduce costly mistakes by learning lessons from previous projects, whether they were your projects or not. Take the time to review projects of a similar nature regarding complexity, size, and industry. This will enable you to decipher the root causes of any problems that came up. Once you have done this, you can put contingencies in place to allow for enough resources and time. Don’t make the mistake of setting your project up for failure by scheduling and estimating down to the wire.
3. Assemble and Align Team Members – Once you understand the scope and have built in contingencies, you need to assemble skill-based teams. Don't just look to traditional departmental representation if you are to increase effectiveness and gain maximum benefits from project efforts. People from operations may see things differently than people from legal or risk and that diverse insight will be helpful for your project execution. You should align incentives of the team (meaning each team member benefits when everyone does their scope of work well) and clearly identify to each team member what success for them will look like so that the team can complete the project successfully. You may also look for people outside your organization to help your project to completion. If you are working on moving a business but don't have in-house expertise, a real estate broker may be needed. If you need to address an international expansion, you may need special tax or legal advice. If you are on a construction project, an experienced consultant like Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction may be the right fit for you. Team members are the biggest asset to ensure success of ay project so invest in a high-value project team with right individual skills to complete your project.
4. Constant and clear communication – Once a project is underway, all deliverables and tasks need to be vetted on a continual basis against the client’s objectives. This will ensure that there is sufficient alignment and enables you to capture any changes to key requirements early. Clear communication means you don’t waste any resources. It is also vital so you can reduce the risk of dissatisfaction and misunderstandings with the stakeholders. People can react better and be more strategic when they are not shocked by something but rather kept in the loop through each step of a project.
Now go out there and conquer the day! Give us your top tips for project execution in the comments!
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M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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