If you are the senior manager responsible for a project, here are a series of questions to ask yourself at the start to ensure success!
- Are the objectives and benefits achievable? The project may be very well intentioned and it may sound very grand but can your organization actually do it (even with advice) and will it be worthwhile?
- Is this the right investment for the organization at this time and how does this project fit within the existing programme of projects and competing priorities for the organization. It may sound right but you may have a lot of other priorities right now – can the resource be made available? Will some other project already underway make this project redundant even before it starts?
- Who are the stakeholders and do they agree on the objectives and benefits? What other parts of the organization and the supply chain will you be dependent on? Will your customers appreciate the benefits you plan?
- Is there anything novel in terms of process or technology and can you cope with it? This particularly important for IT based projects – leading edge is one thing – bleeding edge quite another? If it is IT and you don’t know the difference then definitely take advice!
- Are you clear about the scope – is there a project brief that describes the project in full and from a business perspective? Do you understand where the boundaries of your project are? What is in and what is out? If you don’t know, you may find it very difficult to know when you have a success and also to control your costs!
- Does the project fit well with your organization’s strategic initiatives, frameworks and architectures? Does this fit well with the overall direction of the organization, is it compatible with your existing service contracts – if it is IT, will it fit in with your existing systems?
- Have you tested the underlying assumptions within the project brief and business case? Have you really challenged the team on the assumptions they have made – are they being realistic and do the figures really stack up?
- Does the project have an agreed set of performance measures against which performance can be measured during the life of the project, and at its conclusion? How can you ensure the right quality is being delivered! What will be the key milestones and how will you know when you have got there?
- Does the business case reflect the full cost of the project including associated business change costs? Buying an IT system for example is not completing a project – what about the cost of training you staff? What about the cost of the time they spend training? How much will you pay for support? How will funding be tracked?
- Are you confident that you are the right person to sponsor for this project? Do you have the knowledge needed – if not, have you the time to learn – can you find a mentor? Have you got the time to do it? Are you senior enough? Will you have to refer key decisions further up the line?
If you would like advice on any of this then Wisewolf Consulting will be happy to help! You can contact us at this link