That’s right, you have been appointed as a project manager for a brand new project. You are delighted and full of enthusiasm towards the idea of plunging into a new challenge.
Managing a project from A to Z is a true adventure that will bring you some great experience both in the professional and personal field. Nevertheless, in order to prevent this adventure from leading to a catastrophe, the launch of a project is a very important stage that should be carefully prepared.
How to succeed with your project launch?
- Define an objective
- Establish a list of tasks and a plan
- Set a budget
- Identify potential risks
- Choose a performing team
- Promote team integration
- Adopt efficient tools
- Organise a launch-of-the-project meeting
It is essential to start on a healthy and solid foundation, and to create positive dynamics, which you will follow throughout your project. Follow these 8 key steps to succeed in launching your project.
1. Define an objective
A project responds to a precise objective. For your entire team to work towards the accomplishment of this final objective, you should define it as clearly as possible. In order to achieve it, make use of the method SMART:
- S for specific: define your objective in a clear and simple way; make sure that it is comprehensive for everyone,
- M for measurable: you should be able to measure the progress of your project by using the KPI tools,
- A for acceptable and ambitious: the objective to be achieved should be motivating the team. It should stand stand up to the challenge without being impossible to attain. In a word, you should be sensible but ambitious.
- R for realistic: take into account your different constrains (budget, deadlines, resources, etc.) and set a realistic goal.
- T for time-defined: it is imperative to define a target day by which the objective must be reached.
2. Establish a list of tasks and a plan
Once you have defined a precise objective, you should develop your action plan with a view to achieving it. This includes dividing the project into milestones and tasks, that are assigned to various stages, each of which has an objective to reach that will progressively lead to the accomplishment of your final goal. Do not hesitate to look for help so as to make sure that no task gets forgotten.
Once you have got a list of all tasks that are necessary to carry out your project, you should define a list of priorities with your client. This means ranking the tasks by their importance and urgency (you can make use of the Eisenhower’s matrix).
Then, plan the conduct of the project with its milestones and tasks to meet expected deadlines. Be flexible, leave some leeway and do not hesitate to review regularly your planning as you will inevitably confront some unexpected events or problems that may affect your plan.
3. Set a budget
Unless you have unlimited financial resources, which is rather unusual, you should determine the financial allowance for your project. The objective is not to go beyond the allocated budget. To make a fair estimation, take your previous similar projects as a reference point and ask experts in every field about costs required to accomplish their task(s). Finally, in the case of planning alike, predict a security margin / leeway (prévoyez une marge de securité) of additional 10-15% to deal with possible unforeseen events and budget overruns.
4. Identify potential risks
Since a zero-risk level does not exist in project management, you should identify potential risks of your project as soon as it’s launched.
In order to do so, gather your team and:
– list all possible risks (financial, human-related, time-related, organisational etc.),
– evaluate and arrange the risks in order of importance according to their impact and probability of occurrence,
– define your action plan in case risks occur (remove the risk, limit its impact or modify the project).
5. Choose a performing team
In order to succeed in your project, surround yourself with competent collaborators experienced in different fields. Also make sure that they are trained for project management techniques and that they enjoy working in a team. As much as possible, choose people with compatible personalities to avoid tensions and conflicts.
At last, as a project manager, precisely define the roles and responsibilities of every team member. For a team to function well, each and every member must know what they are supposed to do as well as what tasks are assigned to others.
6. Promote team integration
Even if your team is built of the most talented individuals but the team members do not get on and recognise each other, it will be difficult to accomplish your tasks. Hence the importance of creating the team spirit as soon as the project is launched. A team that gets along well will perform better, closer collaborate and stick together even during hard times.
First of all, make sure that everyone knows each other as it makes working together more pleasant.
7. Adopt efficient tools
So as to make the task management easier and prioritise cooperation and communication within your team, opt for a project management solution. For example, solutions such as Wimi allow you to centralise all project data in one place that is accessible to all project participants. You can easily manage your tasks, quickly visualise your project’s progress and reach out to your collaborators at any point. It’s an indispensable tool to organise work of your team and efficiently manage all of your projects.
8. Organise a launch-of-the-project meeting
A so-called kick-off meeting is necessary to launch a project properly as it allows you to:
- bring together all the people involved in the project;
- recall the context, challenges and objectives of the project;
- give out the action plan and explain different stages of the project;
- clarify roles and responsibilities of each and every team member;
- define operating rules;
- discuss potential risks.
Such meeting is important as it gives you a chance to officially launch the project.
Voila, these are your key steps to succeed with your project launch!