Four Useful Project Planning Tips
Whether your business is based on clients or customers – when you sign a contract, a project begins. With this, your team has to ‘divide and conquer’ to get things moving and completed in a timely manner. Some businesses don’t prioritize their projects enough, but rather take on new projects at once, and each team member handles the project completely themselves. While this works, it can cause stress, and decrease the likelihood of completing the project in a timely manner, or make it harder to achieve success quickly.
To help you avoid this situation, we’ve compiled four tips for planning projects:
- Determine Your Projects: This is straightforward, determine which projects you have, and compile a list of information that is needed in order to complete the project. This may include information based on the business, or what each team member will need to complete in order to get things completed. Once you’ve gathered the information, prioritize the list by the most important, or by deadlines discussed during the contract signing.
- Give each project a Timeline: This simply means, give each project a start and end date. This will help ensure you complete the project in a timely manner, and are able to keep track of the status of each project throughout that timeline. This will also help you keep within those time constraints, in order to keep everything on schedule.
- Create a One-Page-Plan: One way to ensure that a project succeeds, is to create a one-page plan of each element that must be completed so the next step can be taken on. This will keep you on your timeline, and also help you define where certain areas take more time than others. The following are some questions you should include:
- What problem will the project solve?
- What is the benefit to the organization?
- What kind of staff and budget do I need?
- What are the major milestones?
- What are the potential stumbling blocks?
- What risks does this project pose?
- What is my work plan (list of tasks that must be completed by a specific date)?
- What are the specific metrics of success?
- How will you the project is done?
- Establish open lines of Communication: If it's essential in order to complete a project to have communication with your clients or customers, it’s best to establish this in the beginning stages of the process. The best way to do this is to inform your clients or customers that of the timeline you have in place, and let them know if you will need to contact them at specific times throughout the process to keep things moving. Make them aware before the process begins.
Once you’ve completed these four steps, you should be ready to begin working on your projects! For more information on project planning tips, click here.