There is a saying that ‘hindsight is 20:20’ but there is a great benefit in using the ‘hindsight’ of others to inform your planning as you undertake a project. There are a number of different aspects that contribute to a successful project but with over 538 projects delivered, we regularly see there are some key areas that aren’t always considered in the project planning or set up process. Check out below three of our tips that don’t always take the spotlight in project planning.

1. Senior Management buy in

Whilst building business cases or trying to get sign off for projects, senior management can be engaged in a way that sets a tone that their involvement is focused solely around approvals and budgets.

It’s essential that senior management are not only bought into the project not just for sign off but for their engagement. Their enthusiasm and engagement in ensuring they support the organisation to ‘make room’ for the project in the form of time and resources is vital to its success.

When senior management are bought into a project, they can actively champion managers and team leaders to enthuse their teams concerning the projects and continue to ensure the project is kept at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

2. Set realistic timelines

Setting realistic timelines is not just about considering appropriate length of time for tasks. When setting timelines, ensure that you have considered time for testing and ensuring that the necessary teams and stakeholders can be involved in an effective way.

Take some time when creating project timelines to look at the calendar for your organisation. Is UAT booked over a period where there is a major event for your organisation or annual awareness key to your organisation such as Stress Awareness Week? Have you planned go live for the week before Christmas when traditionally most people take annual leave from early December?

Considering these points will help you set realistic timelines from the onset that will support all stakeholders to know what to expect and when.

3. Build ‘Business As Usual’ capacity

Projects such as an implementation will happening alongside your business as usual activity. When allocating roles within the organisation, it’s important to consider that unless they are being seconded into this role full time (e.g. Project lead), this will need to be done alongside their duties associated with their current role. Without proper time to really dedicate to the project that is protected through secondment or room within their duties, their capacity to contribute to the project may be limited.

Additionally, ensuring that the organisation at large can continue it’s activities without being impacted by the project and the necessary activity related to the project.

Whilst the above tips need consideration at the beginning of a project, they are areas that should consistently be reviewed and considered. If you are interested in finding out more about running a successful project, check out our webinar ‘The principles of running a successful project’.

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