Most work in companies is comprised of numerous projects. These projects run the gamut and can include construction, marketing research, web related, new product introduction and company acquisition projects. Whatever the case, someone needs to spearhead the project and develop a checklist for getting the work completed. Subsequently, responsibilities need to be analyzed and assigned. You need to allow enough time to get the project completed on time. Hence, there are some key things to consider when launching any new project.
List of Tasks
The first consideration when launching a project is listing out specific tasks. The project leader, which can be a director or manager, will usually supervise the project. In doing so, he needs to list all necessary tasks or functions to bring the project to fruition. For example, a construction project requires a selection of a particular site location, financing, permits and the procurement of raw materials like wood and concrete. Additional tasks must be included to complete the construction of the building or structure. When launching a project, make a complete list of every task involved. Meet with other managers to ensure that your list is accurate and all inclusive. Another department manager may know of additional tasks required for the project.
You will usually have a budget for your project. As project leader, it is your responsibility to make sure you complete the project on or under budget. One way to accomplish this is to have everyone involved provide costs for their assignments. Certain individuals will have more expertise in estimating material costs than the project leader, especially if numerous specialized professionals will work on the project. Whenever possible, add 10 percent to 15 percent extra to the project's cost as a buffer, according to Social Signal, consultants for the social media industry. You will only be able to add this 10 perfect to 15 percent buffer when writing your business plan in advance -- when you know about the project ahead of time.
Another important part of the project launch checklist is determining the resource you will need. Resources include contractors, agencies and other outside vendors that will help you on the project. For example, contractors are needed for constructions projects. You may need a marketing research agency to conduct phone surveys for your project. Resources can also include reference materials or reports; or special software you may need to complete the project.
Task Assignments and Due Dates
People working on your project need to be assigned certain tasks. Delegating assignments helps you get more done at a faster pace. Assign tasks to people who specialize in specific areas related to the tasks. For example, financial managers can work on projecting sales and profits for a new product introduction project. Marketing managers can work on tasks related to product concepts or ideas, pricing, advertising and distribution. Additionally, due dates must be established for all projects. The best way to assign project tasks and due dates is through meetings. Subsequently, provide a list of all project tasks and people responsible for completing them. Distribute the list to everyone involved on the project. Meet periodically to ensure tasks are progressing in a timely manner.
Always have contingencies built into your project checklist. Sometime, tasks may be difficult to complete on time. For example, a printing vendor may be running late in printing sales visual aids on time. Certain raw materials may be impossible to obtain. Consequently, you need to think of back-up plans to meet your deadlines. For example, you may be able to substitute another raw material for a construction project; or deliver a draft of the sales visual aids if they are not finalized. Subsequently, inform executives or your boss when the final copies of visual aids will be completed.
- Business Management and Gadgets; Project Management Systems Evaluation Checklist; December 2010
- VIP Task Manager: Project Launch Checklist
- "Entrepreneur"; Stretch Your Business to the Limit; Randy Meyers; February 2010
- Microsoft Office: Assigning Resources to Your Project Tasks
- "Social Signal"; How to Create Budget Estimates for Proposals and Product Management; Alexandra Samuel; March 2010
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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