It takes work and planning to successfully put a project together and bring it to completion. Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to do it for you.
Time and time again I hear from folks that are stuck with their current project. Many times it is the overwhelm that comes with managing a project that trips people up.
Whether it be a website redesign, a new membership site, or an opt in, there are steps you can take to move your project along smoothly. I’d like to let you in on a few secrets that help me with my projects. Here are 5 Project Planning Tips to use on your next project.
1) Make Sure You Have All the Details
No matter if the project is for yourself or a client, you need to know the full scope of the project before you can make a smart plan to complete it. Make sure you get clear about what needs to be done as well as all the who’s and what’s.
Answer these questions:
- What is the goal of this project?
- What are the client’s (my/team) expectations?
- What smaller tasks need to get done to finish the whole project?
- What will success look like?
2) Communication Is Key
OK this one can get a little weird if you are working alone on your own project! But even so, communication will be the key to your project success. Make sure you are clear with others (team members/clients/yourself).
To keep communication open, check in with regular status updates. Use the best method (Email, phone, Skype, PM tools) for all parties involved and make sure you pick one everyone agrees on using. It may sometimes feel like you are over doing it, but do it any way. Communication will keep the other person (or people) in the loop. It will also create accountability along each step of the project.
3) Brace for Bumps In the Road
No matter what the project is or who is involved, there will always be something that doesn’t go as planned. Know that it will happen and that it happens to everyone. Work through the bump and keep moving forward.
4) Pad Your Deadlines
Always leave extra time around the smaller tasks and final project deadlines. Things will come up, pieces of the project will change, someone will be late. Life is unpredictable. Adding padding to your deadlines allows for this unpredictability. It also helps keep your time line realistic.
5) Get It Together!
You have all the details, communication plans, project tools and deadlines. Now what?
Pull all the info together in one organized place. Having an organized plan is important, especially when you have more than one project on the go at a time. Make sure all the info is together somewhere- paper and pen or an online program.
Make sure you include:
- Who is involved
- What the tasks are
- What the deadlines are
Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude.
No matter how overwhelming it might seem – you have a plan of action. You can do this! A negative this-is-to-much frame of mind will only slow you down and mess with your head. Have faith in yourself and keep positive.
So, now you know my big secret. I don’t have any magic, just steps and plans to help me work through the overwhelm. No matter what your project is, put these steps into action to help you overcome the overwhelm blues.
Go forth and conquer your projects!
Photo source: JoseDay on flickr