So, you’ve been asked to deliver a project … maybe you are a certified PRINCE2 or Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Manager but haven’t really gotten to the real world experience part yet or maybe you’re just the chap at the office everyone felt would be good at organizing things. In any event, it’s time to dig in…
First Question, do you know where to start?
Right, grab a drink, a pen and paper and block some time out of your day. (Hmm, what to put on that calendar description… ’Having a cup of tea with the Queen’?)
Project Management Basics: Know the What, When, Where, Why, Who and How?
There are 6 questions that I find effective in figuring out what it is I’m supposed to be doing. As a Project Manager, if you are able to answer these at a general level, you’ve got a great start. Can’t answer them? Pick up the phone and start talking to the right people who will answer them.
WHAT is the project delivering?
WHEN is it needed?
WHERE is it being developed and deployed? (It could be developed in one Country, but deployed somewhere else entirely)
WHY is there a project? This is a GREAT question! It’s effectively the Business Case, the purpose, the reason for being, the unwritten guidance as to why you roll out of bed each morning and groan when you realize you’ve got a day full of meetings and no time for that cup of tea with the Queen.
WHO is it for, WHO is doing the work, WHO is paying for it? WHO is going to provide the correct guidance? (This is the client, the stakeholder, the project team and your therapist)
HOW are we going to do this? Oh, this is THE PLAN! This is where all the Methodologies and Best Practices come in to play. Is it a software development? Are you feeling ‘Agile’ today or would you rather go visit a ‘waterfall’? This is what will drive the project, your day and you crazy at times!
You’re off to a good Start!
You have a good place to start, you know who you need to talk to, what questions you DON’T have answers for, and what gaps in knowledge you need to fill. Now, it’s time to organize your ideas into tasks on a plan and answer those questions again for each task!!! And you’re on your way!
Now, for that cup of tea……………………………
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