Making each project a success is before all a matter of organization
Have you ever found yourself diving into a project even before having thought it through? Project management implies having a clear overview of the requirements and goals before starting any action.
Within a company almost everything could be considered a project, especially in the field of product development.
The creation of a new brochure, design of a new website, renewal of the company's hardware, establishment of a new brand identity, etc. All those elements are possible projects you and your team might face on a daily basis.
Even though those might seem extremely different from one another, they all have one thing in common: they all belong to "Project Management" and require the same set of skills.
Before starting a project
“If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.”
This quote from Henry Kissinger (American political scientist) clearly states my point: if you are not clear about your target, there is no way you could reach it.
Before jumping in the execution, let's sit down a minute and analyze the situation. The most efficient way to start a project is to create some kind of "project specs" document that you will be able to refer to later on to evaluate the accuracy of your progress.
1. My goal
What is your goal? What is the purpose of this project and what do you want to achieve?
2. My segment
After stating your goal clearly, identify your buyers persona: who are the people that your project targets? In the case of a product, we talk about customers. For a brochure, we would need to identify the potential readers. In terms of a website, we should consider the visitors, etc.
3. My communication
Now that you know who you will achieve this project for, it is time to estimate how to communicate with those people, how to make sure your project "talks" to them. You cannot address a child the way you address a CEO: identifying your target will help you finding the right communication style.
4. My message
Defining a communication style is different from defining a message. The message is "what you say" while the communication style is "how you say it". Make sure your message is clear to you and your team and properly addresses the project's needs before starting anything.
5. My plan
The last step before really starting the work is to define your plan. Your plan is basically an overview of the milestones necessary to reach the goals you set earlier.
While developing your project
Now that your project has been clearly defined, you can start seriously developing it.
You should try following the milestones you set earlier and at the end of each step take a short break to analyze the situation and evaluate whether you have or haven't followed your project's settings. If the project follows the specs defined earlier, continue. Otherwise, you will be able to correct your work on time and at smaller cost.
After the project's development
Before declaring your project as officially finished, try to see if you respected your own specifications.
That way, any project you handle will fit your requirements. What might look like a waste of time at first glance end up being a gain in terms of time and efficiency.
If you wish to go further and make some real life change that will help with your personal organization, I suggest you read "The Power of Habit" that offers keys to self control and efficiency improvement.
Last update: 2017-07-21 Tags: project management goal target organization