So, you have been put in charge of a project and stakeholders want to see results as soon as possible. You haven’t yet put together your team, but you are feeling the pressure to deliver something. You find yourself in a rush and don’t take the time to plan or set the project up properly. You don’t put any thought into the resources you need or how to organize the project and how it will run, because you are trying to do the work of a whole team by yourself.
This is a recipe for disaster.
Surprisingly, though, many projects start off like this. This need for instant results leads to many short cuts, with one person filling the role of many because the team hasn’t yet been recruited. Critical steps are being overlooked or delayed and the whole project begins to suffer. And this is all just to pacify someone who wants results today instead of tomorrow.
This is mainly due to management having unrealistic expectations, but also due to the project manager who doesn’t say anything. Remember, if you want your project to succeed the planning stage is one of the most critical, followed by a proper set up. Unfortunately, most people forget this and then wonder why their project was unsuccessful.
So, what’s the solution? Simple. Take the time in the beginning! It doesn’t matter how you do it or where you find the time. You simply have to find the time to plan and prepare before you start working on the project.
First off, you need to discuss things with the stakeholders or management and explain to them that if they want the project to succeed they need to give you the time to plan properly. Without an effective plan, there is no way the project gets completed on schedule and delivers the desired results. Of course, this is an ideal situation and it won’t happen every time.
Thus, if you can’t get anyone to listen to you, you need to plan in stages and set priorities. Make sure that you cover every aspect so you don’t miss anything and plan the next stage as you are working.
Categorize all the tasks according to their importance. Set up the most important first, such as methodologies and strategies. These need to be established first to avoid later confusion. Then work through the tasks according to their importance.
Make sure that you add milestones and accountability to ensure that you complete all the activities. This helps you to guarantee that you won’t put them off. You will be accountable to someone else and will have to provide a report.
However, you should do everything in your power to convince the stakeholders to give you at least a few days or weeks, depending on the size of the project, to plan and set everything up.
The return on the investment of time will be exponential and, in fact, they end up saving both money and time, as there will be fewer problems that need to be solved.
You can get more great tips on Project Success in The Ultimate Project Success Guide, yours FREE to download now!
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