Happy Monday to all. Here is a set of questions to start your week with regards to any project you are looking to pursue. Enjoy!
- Who is the targeted audience? Obviously, the final presentation of a Project will be packaged differently if senior management is the target than if the work team is the target. It isn’t a quality of work difference; it is a matter of the questions you’d need to address often being different.
- What is the expectation? Knowing how the outcome of a Project will be used often helps you better understand the level of risk that is acceptable in the final results. Also, knowing what the actual deliverable (report, presentation, tool, etc.) is will help you organize the activity stream to ensure it is realistic.
- What is the time frame? It is important to understand what needs to be delivered when. Often, the Project you are working on feeds into a larger set of activities and failure to meet timelines will result in the larger initiative missing the completion date.
- What is the budget? Managers would like to believe that first you figure out the right way to complete a Project and then you establish an appropriate budget to do it the right way, and in the real world that is rarely the case. More often than not budgets are constrained and you need to find the best approach within that constraint to get the Project completed.
- What must be covered? Defining the areas that must be addressed helps you think through the activities required. It also helps you avoid a situation where you did a great job on a Project, but it is judged less successful because you missed something Management was expecting. Teasing out the “must haves” up front is a great time saver on the back-end, and helps ensure you deliver against all expectations.
- Who needs to be involved? This one is tough, because the answer typically ends up being a laundry list of people. Winnowing this list down to something practical is a huge help. There should be a specific reason why somebody is on the list of people for you to involve. Each person adds a complexity to the completion of the Project, and your goal should be simplification.
- Who approves the final results? Identifying the decision maker is hard, because often Management hasn’t thought this question through thoroughly enough. If at all possible, the goal is to get down to one decision maker. Obvious choices are easy, but challenging choices require a defined decision maker otherwise you get stuck with opinions and no clear direction.
- What is already in play? Most of the time somebody in an Organization is already working on the Project you are expected to manage. Finding out who has worked on something similar, or is currently working on what you are being asked to do can help you better understand the challenges to success.
- How will success really be measured? Often, the final goal can be easily articulated, but the end-process measure isn’t necessarily the right way to determine if your Project was successful. It is very important to get alignment on a realistic measure. For example, a Project to brand a community should not be measured by the number of jobs created since there are so many more things that affect job growth. Improved perception of your community as a place to live and work may be a better measure since it is a more directly related outcome.
If you are looking to grow your share of tourism it is time you called us at Lakeview Productions to get on the right track and reach the best audiences.