Getting things done step by step – project management

The march of a thousand miles begins with one small step! When you need to get things done in project mode, one of the key challenges is deciding how to proceed and some basic principles of project management should be followed.

Her are some basic principles:

1) Build your project organisation: you need a sponsor with political clout, a steering committee to arbitrate difficult decisions, a project team to execute and manage change
2) Have your sponsor validate your mission statement and publish it internally
3) Publish your Initial statement of work and detailed statement of work as you go: these documents capture your project deliverables, your deadlines, the expected benefits, the costs, the resources required and project organisation
4) Build your work breakdown structure with your project team and ensure that each project team member is clear on his role and responsibilities, understands what he/she needs to deliver by when.
5) Analyze with your project team the impact of your project on the organisation concerning people, structure, processes, tools, etc.. and design a plan to drive the change.


You’ll find below a link to some very interesting guidelines from NASA on running a project.

Nasa 100 lessons in project management

There are some great lessons and tips in this NASA guide and thanks to its author for making it available. Amongst my favourite tips:

rule 4: Most managers succeed on the strength and skill of their staff.
rule 15: Wrong decisions made early can be salvaged, but “right” decisions made late cannot.
rule 32: Don’t be afraid to fail or you will not succeed, but always work at your skill to recover. Part of that skill is knowing who can help.
rule 36: A puzzle is hard to discern from just one piece, so don’t be surprised if team members deprived of information reach the wrong conclusion.
rule 41: Management principles are still the same. It is just the tools that have changed. You still should find the right people to do the work and get out of the way so they can do it.
rule 42: It is mainly the incompetent that don’t like to show off their work.

Happy reading!

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