‘… can you just write us a little proposal about this …? – The moment your project really starts!

You might know this moment: You’re working in a small organisation (one without rigid structures or well-defined processes in project management) and you have come up with a good idea. You started developing it slightly, you’ve chatted with some others about it, and finally you have presented it as an idea to your seniors.

And guess what, because your idea is really good and you have presented your idea well, you now casually get tasked with developing it: ‘… just write me a little project proposal’… and then you realise your project has the potential to become reality!

For many of us this is the moment of great excitement but also of some level of heart-sinking. How on earth can I communicate this idea and all its add-ons clearly? How do I write about it knowing the very different requirements and goals within the wider team?

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Now you have worked out who your stakeholders are (if you need a reminder go to this article: What actually is a stakeholder?)!

Now let’s look at why is it so important to keep your focus on these people, your stakeholders?

In an ideal world all of our stakeholders have a great interest in the success of the project…

Sadly, that’s often not how it works in reality.

For you, the project manager, this means you need to be aware that:

  • it is very common to have stakeholders with opposing priorities and interests
  • those priorities and interests need to be identified
  • critical stakeholders, that is people who can effectively fail the project, need to be given specific attention
  • this will potentially have implications on both the route to follow and even the final goal.

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Okay, so we all know that there can be problems in life and in a project! Things go wrong and solutions need to be found.

For your project, it is quite important that you are aware of the risks associated with what you’re doing.

Risk management is another key area within project management and below are seven steps that allow you to keep on top of your risks and manage them successfully. Continue reading →

Stakeholder – that just sounds like project management lingo! One of those things that actually distracts from the real work?

Totally not!

Whether you are working on an internal project or you are coming into a situation to manage a project, you always have to identify who your main stakeholders are.

If you don’t bother identifying them and their perspective/agenda, it is quite likely that you will:

  • totally miss your targets/goals
  • not spot possible issues and stumbling blocks ahead
  • not get key people on board
  • not be able to identify solutions and opportunities
  • possibly run into deep problems including the failure of the whole project

Why is that so, you ask? …and, since we are talking about it, who are these people? Continue reading →