“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
I think that most of us have, at one time or another, just returned from a trip to the store only to realize that we have forgotten one or more items that we will need to finish the task we wanted to do. If we had taken the time to plan better ahead of our shopping, we would have saved ourselves from an annoying and time-consuming return trip to the store. While this example is considered at most a frustrating incident, these types of mistakes on a work project can be very costly and possibly career altering. If a critical component of a construction project is forgotten, the costs in time and money can be extremely high and result in the termination of the contract.
To help reduce or eliminate these types of mistakes from becoming an issue on your project, proper planning is essential. Spending the time up front to properly plan your project before you start work will prevent many of the issues that crop up during it. There are eight areas that you should evaluate during your planning process. Answering the questions below are a part of the project management processes and will go a long way to ensure that your project will be completed on time, on budget, and to the satisfaction of your customers. They will also help you next time you go shopping to prevent those annoying return trips.
What is the scope of the project you are working on?
What isn’t in the scope of the project you are working on?
What is the work that will need to be done, how you will do it, what resources you’ll use, and how long it will take?
What is the budget is going to be for the project and how you are going to control costs?
Human Resource Management
How are you going to get and keep the people you need to complete your project?
Who are you going to communicate with and how to ensure your project progresses smoothly?
How are you going to identify and manage the risks associated with your project?
How will you obtain and manage the resources you will require to complete your project?
Who are the people that are critical to the success of your project, and how will you keep them happy as you work through the project?