7 Project Checklist Points to Deliver a Successful Project by Anurag Pattnaik T T T T Join 9K+ Subscribers May 28, 2020September 26, 2023 Spread the loveProject management requires extensive planning & accuracy to meet the stated business goals. Therefore, every project manager should have a project checklist with points for achieving success in project management. Stakeholders & project sponsors are focused on the ROI. It is the dedicated project manager who is tasked with guaranteeing that deliverables meet business objectives, achieving top ROI, along with utmost efficiency and productivity. Efficiency – to be able to charge more, increase revenue and or profits with less effort Productivity – get more done with less effort And Orangescrum is right at the heart of “ALL of the above”. Here is a quick project management checklist for project managers to excel in their role and consistently meet the organization’s strategic and tactical objectives at all levels. (Source: slingshotapp.io) ContentsContact Us Contents 1. Identify & Know your Stakeholders2. Take Requirements Gathering Seriously3. Finalize the Scope – The Project BibleAs simple as that!4. Host the Kick- off meeting5. Execute the Project Plan6. Centralize all Communication7. Track and Report Project StatusConclusion 1. Identify & Know your Stakeholders (Source: snam.it) Savvy project managers are well aware of the role of their project stakeholders. Identifying, understanding and knowing them early on is crucial to the project’s success. Make no mistake to accept the fact that – “Each stakeholder has their own goals, motives & expectations from the endeavor that’s about to begin”. As a project manager you must know that and plan to accommodate those expectations as long as they contribute to the project’s overall mission and end goal. At the same time, make no bones about setting the right expectations of which of their objectives will and will not be met by the project at hand. Set up interviews & requirements review sessions to get an in-depth view of where they are coming from and what their prime motivators are. You will be in a better position to get-them invested in the success of your project. 2. Take Requirements Gathering Seriously (Source: brightwork.com) Regardless of numerous mentions, some project managers still end up mishandling their requirements gathering process. Requirement gathering is what makes or breaks your project. Be very detailed in your approach and spend considerable time and honest efforts to this crucial project management activity. Meet with all stakeholders Capture requirements Review them with the project team as much as possible Set follow up and Q&A sessions with your stakeholders Ensure assumptions are listed, understood and agreed Set a deadline by which updates or changes to the requirements will be accepted Layout the expected results, quantity, quality, timeline & costs Pro-Tip: Set up a “Requirements Gathering task group” within your project in Orangescrum and list out all associated activities as tasks, subtasks and checklists. Assign to the stakeholders as well where needed. So they know how detailed and serious you are plus everything is easily tracked and traceable if needed J 3. Finalize the Scope – The Project Bible (Source: techno-pm.com) Well, you have come this far – met your stakeholders, understood their objectives, and reviewed the requirements… So, its time now to get to the dotted line! Scope a.k.a the project bible is one of the most critical success factors. Many don’t realize it, but that’s another story. The point is not to use it as a whip. Rather separate the real thing from the clutter. Get to the crux of what’s important. Eliminate all “me too” and “nice to have or I want to have” type requests. As simple as that! A well-defined and signed scope will provides extreme clarity of Associated risks & assumptions End to end project requirements The ONE GOAL that must be met The Change Management process Project milestones & duration Pro-Tip – Enable workflow with relevant status to track the life cycle of scope from gathering to approved! 4. Host the Kick- off meeting (Source: slidemodel.com) Bringing the team together is very important. The earlier, the better! Kick-off meetings are great ice-breakers for all involved in the project. The team gets to meet and greet the project sponsor, key stakeholders and hear. Directly about the significance, expectations and vision for the project. Allow for enough team interaction so that they can get their question answered. Demonstrate value that the projects adds to their job, role and learning objectives. Answer what’s in it for me (WIFM) upfront. Project kick-off meetings enable Teams to know each other Meet & greet with the stakeholders Understand the project goal Clarity of roles and responsibilities Q&A sessions for the team to understand all aspects of the project better 5. Execute the Project Plan (Source: smartsheet.com) Note, project plans are not meant to be just on paper. They must work in real life scenarios and get the work done. Hence pay special attention to some of the key attributes of a successful project plan: Well-defined tasks and milestone breakdown Clear timelines, estimated hours, assignee Systematic task classification with custom task types and labels Enable project visualization in custom views for clarity and smooth execution Sequence or flow of tasks are clear No confusion around what to execute next and when Pro-Tip: Project plans in Orangescrum help achieve all of the above plus you can reuse them for similar projects. 6. Centralize all Communication (Source: trueconf.com) Project execution leads to numerous communication channels, with information in different formats at different frequencies and the volume is just unmanageable. Don’t let that happen to your team! Make a robust communication plan and share with the team. Ensure the team knows when to contact whom, how on what media or platform. A well-defined RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) matrix would come in handy & reduce unwanted information overload. Access to critical project information when required is important too. And then you need to ensure that team members with the right authorization can access them. Implementing a project management and collaboration software is recommended: Enable automatic reminders, alerts and email notifications Daily check-ins and stand up meetings are interactive and efficient Comments, replies and information exchange happens over a single platform Precious time is saved from shuffling across multiple apps Teams know what to access, when, where and how Proper role based permissions are configured Pro-Tip: User role management, daily catch-up, Gdrive & Dropbox integrations along with custom reminders and status updates are integral to Orangescrum. 7. Track and Report Project Status Monitoring project performance regularly and reviewing it with the team and stakeholders is a must. Agree on the reports and metrics that will be tracked for the project and the frequency at which they will be reported. Maintaining efficiency and productivity is crucial to keep the project on track. Hence, real time reports are necessary to track Planned vs actual hours Task progress, # of tasks completed Overdue tasks Resource Utilization Pending tasks Project overview Billable vs Non-billable hours When you have visibility to the above aspects, you are well equipped to steer your project away from unwanted delays. Timely reviews enable proactive identification of bottlenecks & course corrections. As a project manager you can keep your stakeholders engaged, get their attention when required and drive decisions in the interest of the project. Conclusion The 7 point checklist cover the broad practical aspects of project management. The objective is to enable project managers to establish an effective model that can handle the real-world elements of project management, including: Communication challenges Scope creep Resource management Time tracking Remote team management KPI & reporting management Process disconnects Lack of automation The success lies in putting a scalable system in place that allows for easy integration and alignment of our people and processes. The easier for your resources to adopt a process, closer you are to project success. Basically, project teams would be more inclined to contribute towards the project goal when you take away the administrative hassles from their work. And over a period of time, the process becomes an inherent part and teams find it easier to follow it and deliver efficiently. Orangescrum project management tool ensures you are able to initiate, plan, execute, monitor and improve your project team’s performance and delivery. What is the current project model or checklist you rely on? Sign up to lead a well-organized project environment for your teams!