What Is This Project, Anyway?

Road to Success

Getting a new project started on the right road from the beginning is critical to making sure you actually get to the right destination.

…If you don't know where you're going any road will get you there...
(Lewis Carroll)

Getting a new project started on the right road from the beginning is critical to making sure you actually get to the right destination.

Frequently, new projects are launched with a variety of unstated goals and objectives and an unclear scope. Projects with multiple executive sponsors and a variety of stakeholders often lack focus, and the results (or lack thereof) can be costly. Invest the time to frame your project

Spending the time upfront to document the project frame will be an investment that will pay substantial dividends down the road.

Bring your project team together and spend focused time to carefully define the “project frame”

  1. Opportunity
    What is the opportunity?
    Why are we doing this project?
  2. Current/Desired State
    What is the current state as related to this project?
    What is desired?
  3. Deliverables
    What will be delivered at various stages or phase gates of the project?
    What are the final deliverables?
  4. In Frame/ Out of Frame
    What areas are “in scope”?
    What things are we clearly NOT doing?
  5. Givens
    What are some clearly stated “givens” that we can assume will be true about this project?
  6. Stakeholders
    What individuals or groups have a stake in the outcome?
    Do we have the right people on the project?
    How much influence does each one have?
    What do they need?
  7. Key Decisions
    What are the key decisions we need to make as this project progresses?
  8. Enablers/Restrainers
    What circumstances will help make this project successful?
    What things will contribute to a failure?
  9. Metrics
    How will we measure success? In the short term? In the long term?

A small upfront investment with the project team will pay big dividends down the road... the RIGHT road!

Written By: David Haedtler, August 2011
David is a Principal with CIO Professional Services
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