1. Define the Project
The project objectives all lead to the final objective, these series of objectives should be specific as this increases the chances of leading to a specific outcome. Vague objectives eg. ‘to improve wardrobe doors’ are not really measurable, so always keep objectives as specific as possible.
Objectives can be broken into three primary headings:
- Time Objective - All significant stages of the project must take place no later than their specified dates, to result in total project completion on or before the planned finish date. Late completion of the project will not be satisfactory to any stakeholders. Good time management is essential as for eg. if a project start date is delayed this can cause the finish date to be postponed and that can have a flow on effect to a budget ‘blowout’.
- Budget/Cost - Budget is an essential and major part of any project and the project should be preferably kept under budget but definitely not exceed the authorised project funding. As almost all projects are undertaken for financial gain on their completion, but even without the profit incentive the cost objective is still essential due to the fact that there will be some limitations on funds available. One of the worst outcomes of funds running out is that of projects having to be abandoned before completion therefore all of the time, money and effort invested in the project would be forfeited and written off.
- Performance and Quality - it is your responsibility to ensure the project meets those objectives and you are accountable for this. Responsibility for quality is shared by all team members from the top management downwards.
2. Create a scope document
The scope forms the boundary of your project. It is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, deadlines, and budget. Basically, it is what needs to be achieved and the work that needs to be done to deliver the project. If you don’t define what it is the likelihood is that it will grow and grow as the project progresses - from small project to huge project. By documenting each project goal and identifying tasks the scope of your project becomes clearer.
Documenting in as much detail as possible each task you need to complete will make it clearer the amount of time you need to allocate to each step. This will help determine how long the schedule for the project will be.
Adding in as much detail as possible about each step is essential to capturing the smallest details that could be missed along the way, which may become delays later on in the project.