November 10, 2010 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Delegation
Project Managers: Plan the Project Before Delegating Tasks
By Paul Naybour
Step 1 - Discover the objectives
Very often the first brief you get is not the ‘right one’. Objectives can be written in a hurry, full of jargon and not particularly well thought through.
…And then there’s the way we respond to it. Often we ask questions about the issue and the constraints but little about the measure of success. In covering the following 4 areas you’ll get a greater understanding of the project and the problem owner’s real wants.
- Context: Why now? What’s the big picture? Why is it important? What is your competition doing?
- Constraints: What can and can’t we do? What are the time or budget restrictions?
- Politics: Who’s going to make this happen come what may? Who are the cynics and how do we get them on board?
- Success: What do you see as a successful outcome in ‘x’ months from now?
Step 2 - Define the scope
It’s critical to define what the scope includes and more importantly excludes. Specifically what deliverable(s) will the project produce.
- What is included in the project? What will the deliverable be for the project?
- Specifically what is excluded from this project?
- What deliverable will be required from other projects to ensure your project is a success?
- How will the quality of these deliverable be measured?
Step 3 - Break the project into manageable task
- What are the tasks needed to complete the deliverable, how long will they take and how will the quality of each takes be evaluated?
- Can these tasks be organized into logical groups or work packages?
- How long will each of the tasks take?
Step 4 - Agree on delegation
Having defined the tasks and deliverable you can then allocate them in a structure way within the team. Ideally you can define clearly defined responsibilities and roles for each deliverable. You will need to involve individuals in agreeing what they will deliver and when.
Step 5 - Agree on dependencies
Individuals will often depend on others to complete there activities. These dependencies should be agreed upon and negotiated at an early stage with others. This is especially true for deliverable(s) from other projects or teams.
Paul Naybour is passionate about the use of project management for successful projects. He has a wealth of experience in helping organizations to improve project management and has worked on both sides of the fence with both clients and suppliers. Paul is the Business Development Director of Parallel Project Training.
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