Managing a project isn’t the same as supervising ongoing operations in your workplace. To ensure that the next project you’re responsible for goes smoothly, start by asking these questions:
- What’s the purpose of the project? Find out exactly what’s wanted—the ultimate outcome. This includes the big picture as well as the fine details: What will the result look like? What will it do? What impact will it have?
- Who stands to benefit? Your boss isn’t the only person you have to please. Find out who the “clients” are. These may be the people who buy your products or other employees of your organization. Get input so you’ll know what they expect.
- How are you expected to proceed? Find out what methods your organization expects you to use. Will you hire outside contractors or bring people in from your workforce? What information resources are available? How will you monitor progress and test your results?
- What’s the schedule? You’ll have deadlines. Establish a series of milestones, so you’ll know when you’re on track—or when unavoidable developments are throwing you behind. Discuss long-term and short-term requirements with your stakeholders, so you can adjust your efforts accordingly.