Managing projects - checklist

Managing projects - checklistIf you don't keep control of your projects, you risk missing deadlines, compromising quality and disappointing clients. Here are the key steps to follow.

  • Define clear objectives.
  • Appoint a project manager - choose an individual who will champion the project, and motivate and manage the project team.
  • Identify what resources the project requires.
  • Break down large projects into smaller, manageable stages.
  • Clarify the outcomes the project must achieve; set performance criteria and standards for the project as a whole and for each stage.
  • Identify the key risks - for example, potential technical problems - and how likely they are; plan what you can do to minimise them and how you will cope with problems.
  • Budget costs for each stage such as staff costs, overheads, materials and equipment.
  • Set timescales for each stage.
  • Identify the critical path - which activities must be completed before others can be started, and which can be undertaken in parallel.
  • Include a contingency allowance - for both costs and timescales - to allow for identified risks and unexpected problems.
  • Identify the overall project duration and costs.
  • Confirm that it is worth proceeding with the project, taking into account the costs, timescales and risks you have identified.
  • Monitor progress against plans and performance targets as the project proceeds; adjust your plans as necessary.
  • Complete the project; evaluate its success and what you can learn from it for the future.

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