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Project Management Checklist

Quick-start your project!

A project management checklist is an essential tool to “quick start” any project. Whether you’re starting a project from the beginning, or you’re taking over one that’s already been started, you’ll need to check that everything you need is in place. The questions in this project management checklist are designed to help you manage your project successfully.

 

The first step is to ensure you follow a clear project management model, which will help you identify clear aims, objectives and desired outcomes. Follow our project management guidelines to help you get started. The next thing you’ll need to do is to check that you have everything in place. That’s where our project management checklist will help.

Project Management Checklist

The checklist is a useful questioning technique, adapted from our problem solving activity. It’s based on the principle of asking the right questions in the right way – a structured way. Questions are perhaps the best management tools at your disposal.

This project management checklist uses the “pecking order” of questions with the more powerful questions (why, how and what) asked first, followed by the less, but perhaps more specific questions (who, where and when)

What:

  • What (exactly) do I want to achieve?
  • What really matters to me?
  • What are the objectives and outcomes of the project?
  • What issue/problem or opportunity is the project addressing?
  • What resources have been allocated to the project?
  • What are the risks involved in the project?
  • What assumptions do you need to test?
  • What is the budget for the project?

Why:

  • Why is the organization investing in the project?
  • Why have I been asked to manage the project?

How:

  • How will the situation be different when the project is successfully completed?
  • How do I contribute to the organization?
  • How will changes to the project be reported and approved?
  • How was the budget created?
  • How was the project plan created (or the timescale for the project determined)?

When:

  • When does the project start?
  • When is the planned finish date?

Where:

  • Where are the resources for the project?
  • Where will the project team be based?
  • Where is the project plan?

Who:

  • Who is the sponsor of the project?
  • Who cares about the project?
  • Who is on the project team?
  • Who is affected?
  • Who knows most about the situation?
  • Who can help with the solution?
  • Who needs to be informed?

These questions may be just a starting point and you may wish to personalize the tool by adding your own specific questions. The important thing is that you ask the right questions before starting work.

Once you have done this you need to clarify the aims, objectives and outcomes for the project. Click on our Project Management Guidelines to look in detail at the critical steps needed to define your project. Resist the tendency to jump straight into action. Initial time spent clarifying the project’s parameters will save you much more time in the long run. Make sure you are clear which way you want to go before you start!

Once you have done this use our Project Management Model to develop a well crafted plan.

Resources

Project Management GuidelinesThe UK Department for Education’s website has some very useful project management guidelines. Follow this link to their great online resource.

One of our affiliate partners also has some excellent project management resources. Project Management Templates has packaged 180 downloadable, “tried and tested templates and guides”.

 

Where to go from here:

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