Project Management
I hope that you enjoyed the articles and have got some encouraging feedback - would be really grateful if you would comment on the articles, even though I do enjoy the emails also.

On the previous two post, we cover all of the topics you would expect to see. Here in the final post today, you will see some expected topics, but you will also see some unexpected ones also - but they are vital to ensuring the success of your projects.

So where do we start - let's look at the topics we will be covering in this post:
  1. Legal considerations and obligations
  2. Research
  3. PR & Communications
  4. Risks
  5. Creative thinking
  6. What are you "Waiting For"
So let's take them 1 by 1.

Legal considerations and obligations
You must take great care with any legal obligation and particular regulation that you have to abide by. To avoinf becoming in any way hamstrung by them, you should establish what they are, who can best advise you and which are mandatory and which are not - clear direction and knowledge of this will eliminate unnecessary worry for you and risk for the project.

Firstly apologies for not delivering the second part of this series last week. Having reviewed the feedback from the survey, it is clear to me that the preference with respect to posts and tutorials is:

Posts once a week and make them in-depth but yet easy to consume.

Tutorials - pick key topics and keep the tutorial to between five and ten minutes maximum.

So, based on this feedback, I will now be posting once a week and adding a 5-10 minute tutorial once a week. I have already made some of the tutorials and they are longer, so I will not re-edit these as that is a substantial amount of work. I will however make sure that as of today, written posts are once a week and in-depth.

After all of that, we can now continue on the project planning checklist. In the last post, we covered:
  1. Resources
  2. Key Objectives
  3. People and
  4. Finances
In today's post we will discuss:
  1. Schedule
  2. Quality
  3. Politics
  4. Space, Equipment and Facilities

Put yourself in the position where you are at the start of a project. You may be either joining a project which has started or you may be part of kicking the project off. Where do you start? There is myriad of areas where you need to find answers - so what framework is available. Well, let’s take a look at a “Project Planning Checklist” which lays these out. I am writing this article primarily with the Project Manager in mind, but it is good for anyone who wants to make an oversized contribution to their project. 

There is a lot in this series of posts and if you are at the start of your project, then take this one topic at a time and work through it before you proceed onto the next topic. I will spread this topic across a three posts, two this week.

Just to summarise the first part of this two part post, I said that at a minimum the project sponsor must: 
  • Define “Why we are doing the project” in detail.
  • Develop the Business Case or Justification for the project.
  • Provide key direction, that is, define and identify key constraint, finances for the project and timeline within which the project team must deliver the benefits
  • Define clearly the business benefits which must accrue from the project
  • And lastly, it is a Key Contribution and Commitment from Project Sponsor, Project Manager & the Client.
We identified the main questions to be answered as being addressed by answering the list of 9 topics below:
  1. Project Name
  2. Project Objectives
  3. Project Benefits
  4. Project Constraints
  5. Project Milestones
  6. Mandatory Project Reviews
  7. Critical Success Factors
  8. Project Deliverables
  9. Sign Off

We answered the first five - so now let us go on and look at the last four

Hope you are enjoying the posts.

Just added a new tutorial on the use of a simple but complete Project Charter - this is a 40 minutes video/screencast which you can download and view at a time that suits you.

A number of topics are slated for blogs, but please feel free to put your suggestions forward as comments.

Firstly let me put some context on this - if you are involved in a small project, then you could be the project manager and the project sponsor! If the project is a larger undertaking, then there is most probably a Project Sponsor, who is a senior manager and may well not be full time assigned to the project. So what are they accountable and/or responsible for? Good question.

This is likely to be a bit long for some, so I will put a short version upfront and a longer version after(which I am sure you will all read!).