The 6 basics of project management
So you’re planning a special event or renovating… to start with, a project must have a dedicated project manager to run, oversee and quality check all aspects of the project in order for it to be a success.
Who are your stakeholders? That’s everyone with an interest or involvement in your project. e.g. Internal stakeholders: employees, managers, business owners. External stakeholders: sponsors, suppliers (utilities, materials), government (applications, approvals), shareholders, boards, customers/target audience.
What is your budget? How much have you pooled together from sponsors, the company’s marketing budget… dependent on your project. It may be the launch of your own business so you’ll need to set aside a start-up amount. Does your project warrant a government grant for funding?
What are your resources? What materials (e.g. skip, paint, soil, signage) are required and when, to tie in with the schedule of events. Who is doing the work? e.g. electrician, artist. Do you need to organise advertising/flyers/eMarketing?
The schedule! Work out your sequence of required activities/approvals and their durations. A project is temporary so must have a start date and an end date. So work back from the actual deadline and map out your deliverables. Think about the relationships of the tasks; which multiple tasks can happen at the same time and also which ones can’t start without another prior. e.g. plastering a wall before painting it. STICK TO THE SCHEDULE!
What are your risks? We’ve all heard of Murphy’s Law. You need to think about what could and can go wrong so you can devise a back-up plan. How will rain affect your project or even the grand event if it rains during the project or even the event on the end date? How will this affect you? What happens if you don’t receive the approvals you were hoping from from the boss, client or even the council building approval.
Most importantly Communication! A successful project requires clear and timely communication amongst all stakeholders – whether it be market research with the target audience at the beginning stages; regular team meetings so everyone is kept up-to-date; phone calls to suppliers to confirm things are running to schedule and materials will be delivered on time; social media to announce a ‘hold the date’ for an event or sending the invites.
Now remember this is just the basics, there are more levels to project management, like the forms which need to be used for recording the accounts, timesheets, waivers, approvals etc. Procedural documentation to ensure quality and safety.
The above are enough to get you started and thinking.
Yours in project management,
Amber van Sloten