The Project Lifecycle
- Name every stakeholder (individual or group), how involved they need to be, and communicate with them as appropriate during Initiation (throughout the project).
- Get as many “we” and as few “they” as possible by inviting every single person that needs to be involved in the project to a launch meeting.
- Name a project sponsor (individual or advisory group) as early as possible.
- The Project manager is responsible for informing and engaging the Sponsor throughout.
- The sponsor should communicate the need a project will meet to potential stakeholders.
- The sponsor should have the organizational position to resolve any governance issues a project faces.
- Name a single project manager as early as possible, even if the project will be initiated by a group.
- Define high-level goals and limits – what problem are you trying to solve, and what problem are you not trying to solve?
- Do prototyping, proof of concept, feasibility study for risky/high stakes projects – in Initiation or as a separate phase or project
- Do a high-level risk analysis to see if the project tis viable. (Develop a risk response strategy in the Planning stage, and adjust and monitor it during Executing.)
- Make a high-level budget, including contingency, before the project is authorized. (Make the budget more precise during Planning, and monitor it during Executing.)
- Ask users to define high-level goals and needs before articulating specific requirements.
- Define and document deliverables, sort them into project phases as needed, and assign a timeline to each.
- Use a change management process to authorize changes to the project timeline, scope and/or budget.
- Add project phases if further development is authorized.
- If implementing a new service, set clear deliverables so that when implementation is completed, the project ends.
Phases and Sub-Projects:
- Break large projects into sub-projects, as necessary, to make more efficient use of staff specialties.
- Sub-projects and project phases each have their own Initiation, Planning, Executing and Closing stages.
- Mark the beginning of Executing with a kickoff meeting that includes all core and extended team members and the sponsor.
- For “Agile” project management, solicit frequent user feedback and adjust the project plan accordingly. Project phases are shorter and iterative.
- Document repeat processes so that they can be used in future projects.
- If additional needs are discovered, the project can still close on time with recommendation for future projects.
- Communicate closure of the project and phases publicly and/or to the team.
- Celebration marks the end of a project for the team and stakeholders.
The Project Manager