The Ultimate Project Management Checklist
“Project management is like juggling three balls – time, cost, and quality. Program management is like a troupe of circus performers standing in a circle, each juggling three balls and swapping balls from time to time.” ~ Quote by G. Reiss.
The above quotation best sums up the complexities involved in project management and the impact on its successful outcome while being led by an agile manager. As a project manager overseeing a project of any magnitude, a checklist is important for all aspects from start to finish. In this blog, we run down the various features which need to be reflected on such a project management checklist.
Goal and objectives of the project - The basis of any project is what are its goals and what are the outcomes a business is seeking from it? These will assist in understanding the project deliverables and solutions to issues that need to be addressed.
Engagement with constituents – It’s incumbent upon the project manager (and his team members) to engage intensively over a period of time with the various stakeholders in the project. These can be customers, vendors, peers, business management, and so on.
Collate Requirements – Based on the engagement with various constituents who have a stake in the project, the next step is collating the needs & requirements of the project based on its nature. For example, success factors.
Project Plan - The next crucial bit on the project checklist is to draw up in detail a project plan with timelines, schedules, assignments, risk factors, steps to be taken along with the scope of the project being cast in stone.
Project budget – No project can take off without the allocation of sufficient budget (including direct and indirect costs). Begin this task with a large assumption as project manager delves deeper into details it can be reduced based on actual costs involved. The budget of a project is always based on the time taken to complete the project. Delays can cause escalations as it happens in infrastructure projects time and again. For example, a small dam can cost RS 100 crore to be built by 2020, and delays leading to its completion in another 5 years can lead its price to go up by double.
Resource allocation - At this stage allocation of work to various teams and members takes place. Tasks and assignments are delegated which the project manager oversees and steps in when required. Resources also mean finances, equipment, tools and third-party vendors.
Schedule - Establish timelines and schedules which all must adhere to ensuring a smooth finish to the project and it remains on course. It includes allocation of time to specific tasks, set dependencies, and due dates. For the project to be successful, it must be completed before or on time.
Monitor Progress – The project manager role is to oversee all aspects of the project including the work of colleagues, budget staying on course as well as the schedule, fire fighting, and troubleshooting, visualising issues and finding their solutions.
Project Closure – The checklist is not completed without proper documentation and paperwork being addressed. All loose ends being wrapped up and the goals of the project achieved.
Project management can be a tricky minefield. With the above checklist, a project can run its course and a manager stay sane during the process.