Managing a project can be extremely challenging. Projects often require dedicated planning, and this could range from planning a wedding to constructing a house. Regardless of what project you are involved in, you will want to make use of project management techniques in order to assist you in reaching your objectives. While there are many project development techniques that you can use, the following basic techniques are extremely powerful and versatile enough to be useful for successfully managing your project. The first of these techniques is to take the time to define both the objectives of the project, as well as its scope.
Define Objective and Scope of Project
You will never succeed with any project if you do not know its objectives. For example, let us say that your supervisor wants you to structure a campaign for blood donors. Is the goal (objective) to get the largest amount of blood donated, or enhance the profile of the company in the local community? When you undertake new projects, it is very important for you to figure out the real objectives for the project. Once you know the actual objectives for the project, you will be better capable of planning it.
In the world of project management, scope is a term which is used to describe the boundaries which have been set up for the project. For example, in our blood donation case, would the organization be responsible for transporting the staff of the site for blood donation, or would they get there with their own resources? Deciding which option to use is an example of adding scope into the project. Once you understand what is in scope or out of scope, you will be much better able to figure out the level of work that will need to be put into the project.
By deciding the individuals who are your stakeholders, what they need, you will be able to gain their support by demonstrating that you are working towards fulfilling the core requirement of stakeholders. After you have defined the objectives along with the scope, you will want to get the stakeholders to analyze everything, and get their approval.
Define the Deliverables
The next phase after defining the objectives and scope of the project, you need to plan on deliverable that the project is designed to provide. For example, if your project is to run an effective ad campaign for the marketing of a chocolate candy bar, one deliverable that you will need to have could be the artwork which is needed for the advertisement. This is just one of the many things that you will need to deliver, and you will need to take the time to make a list of these things and document it in a manner so that it will allow someone else to create them in a manner which is correct and effective. It is absolutely critical that your primary stakeholders always be made aware for the deliverables, and they must be in total agreement with the delivery proposal.
Finalize the Project Plans
After finalizing the project deliverables, the next phase of planning is the actual execution of the project itself. Properly planning any project will require the PM to figure out the individuals, budget, and resources which are needed to successfully complete the project. It is very important to define the activities which are necessary to create the deliverables based on the usage of techniques like the WBS, or Work Breakdown Structure. You will need to create an estimate for the time and the effort which will be needed for every given activity. You will also need to understand the dependencies that exist among the activities, and have a solid schedule for finishing them.
As you take the time to plan the project, it is very important that you incorporate the team in figuring out the time it will take for the project to be completed. One good way to pace the project successfully is to create milestones that will showcase critical dates for the project. It is also crucial to make sure this is properly written into the project plan. You will want to take the time to incorporate the primary stakeholders into the review process, and you will want to get their approval for the final plan.