5 Tips to Start Your Project Off Right
Written on . By CPM Solutions
Your company was awarded a contract to build a spectacular new project. But, you’ve been left in the lurch. Your boss said, “Here you go, Bob. Good luck!” Now you’ve got to deliver this project on time and within the budget set out in the contract. Here are a few tips to start your project off right:
1. FIND YOUR TEAM AND ENGAGE THEM IN THE PROJECT PLANNING PROCESS.
Assemble a team of project managers and on-site managers that will be directing resources on this project. The next step is to engage your team so that they feel accountable for their assigned tasks. You could, for example, make weekly meetings mandatory so that you can interact with your on- and off-site managers. During these meetings, you can explain the upcoming tasks at hand and listen to concerns.
Utilizing tools, such as the P6 Team Member app, can allow on-site managers to update the project plan in real-time on the project site and minimize delays in the scheduling process. By giving on-site resources the ability to directly apply actuals to the project, you will minimize the time you spend updating the project schedule and give resources more responsibility for the project plan. Engaging your team will produce better deliverables while completing the project on-time and within budgetary constraints.
2. CREATE A BASELINE OF THE INITIAL PROJECT PLAN.
You’ve managed to create a project schedule based on a group effort of different managers and resources. Now that the initial plan has been designed, make a baseline of the project plan. Comparing the baseline plan to an updated plan will help you evaluate your project’s progress.
Are you meeting major milestones? Have you hit key deliverables? Once you start updating the project, you can have answers to these key questions. By creating a baseline of the initial project plan, you will be able to see if your project has gone off track. Although the baseline serves as a back-up copy of your initial plan, it is always a good idea to export or create a copy of the project as well.
3. USE KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS TO EVALUATE PROGRESS.
KPIs are another type of measuring tool that your team can use to evaluate if the project schedule is meeting requirements. Use the P6 Web Access dashboards to quickly view KPIs via earned value performance. You might find that your project schedule is running behind or project costs are above the original budgets. KPIs can help you recognize these issues before they become a problem.
4. DECIDE ON AN APPROVAL PROCESS THAT IS EFFICIENT FOR BOTH STAKEHOLDERS AND MANAGERS.
Designing an efficient process to receive approval from stakeholders on deliverables can significantly reduce the delay between project checkpoints. Communication between stakeholders and managers can also help your team better understand the objectives and expectations of the project. Proper approval processes can help to eliminate complications if scope is added by allowing stakeholders to clearly indicate what is required and how it will be added to the project schedule.
5. BUILD A DOCUMENTATION PROCESS THAT IS EASY TO FOLLOW.
Design a documentation process that is completed before the project has started, during the project, and after the project has been completed. You should set-up a standard document format to indicate who wrote the document, the date and time, the purpose, and the document contents so that it can be easily managed and found at a later date. Documentation is essential to record stakeholder requirements, scope changes, and for clearly identifying if your team is meeting all of the project objectives. By having key individuals sign-off on documents, you can verify that each party has agreed on the goal of the project and remove future conflicts between stakeholders and project managers. Keep references to documents in P6 so that your team can quickly find them while on a job site. You can also document the project completion and have key stakeholders sign-off that your team has met the project deliverables initially outlined and any additional scope.
These five tips can help you take a project with absolutely no direction to being successfully scheduled and completed. Strategically planning to use P6 during the project initiation phase to engage your team, baseline your plan, approve progress, monitor KPIs, and document stages can increase your chances of project success.