Have you ever tried to go on vacation without putting any effort towards planning? How about just showing up at the airport asking for a flight out in the next 30 minutes to a beautiful all-inclusive resort on an island in the middle of nowhere? I wish it were that easy. With the proper planning you could go on that awesome vacation in no time.
Some people may not look at a vacation as a project. What exactly is a project anyway? A project is defined as a temporary activity with a clear beginning and end… so a vacation would fit the bill. You can actually use the project management life cycle to plan/manage your next vacation and just about anything else.
There are many different activities or services that can fall under the project umbrella such as website design, webinars, social media marketing, virtual or live events, just to name a few. If you are struggling with implementing services within your business or would like a better strategy to be able to implement successfully and offer these services to clients, then let’s take a look at the 5 crucial steps to managing successful projects.
- Initiation This is where the concept of the project comes alive, where you share your idea about the project and how it will benefit you, your business and/or your clients. In other words, define the problem that the deliverable will address.
- Planning Now that the idea has been birthed, it is time to document the plan in writing including information relative to the final deliverables. This is known as the project requirements. This is the step where you identify and prioritize task, identify and secure the required resources, create a budget and timeline, etc.
- Managing or Launch This step is where the majority of the action takes place. Communicating roles and responsibilities, assigning task to team members and ultimately delivering the product or service.
- Monitor & Control This is where you monitor the estimated progress of the plan to the actual progress of the plan and make adjustments as necessary to stay on track.
- Closeout We’re not finished yet! Before we close out the project, it is important to determine if we met our project objectives based on the documented requirements. Here is where we measure our results, document our lessons learned (good & bad) to improve our future launch results and release our resources.
I’ve managed a multitude of projects over the years. From experience, proper planning will set your project up for success. Like the saying goes, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
LaToya Frazier is an online project manager with over a decade of project management and consulting expertise. She has many years as a Senior Project Manager with a background in learning and development, process improvements, and new products. LaToya uses her skills and the project management framework to specialize in program launches driving efficiency and results.