Planning can be a big part of any project or venture. Planning meticulously down to every last detail is one way to approach your project. But sometimes, too much planning can bog you down, leaving you paralyzed to take action.
Your plan should essentially take you from point A to point B in order to reach your objective. A lot of the time, we can jump the gun with our enthusiasm to start the project. Before diving in head first, you need to figure out the basics of how you’ll go about it. Follow these five tips to plan for success.
get ready to mobilize
Part of the reason projects hit roadblocks is because you don’t have the right information or equipment to take action. During you planning stage and while you’re putting together you main plan, try and get things ready to go. It could be things like email templates and spreadsheets for accounting. Get preparing so that when you’re ready to go, actions can be mobilized quickly.
what are your milestones?
In order to reach your final goal, you’ll have a number of important milestones to reach along the way. These milestones will be critical events to the success of your project. Make sure that you figure out what these events are and when they need to occur. However, don’t fall in the deadline illusion!
make a timeline
Figure out how long tasks are going to take you, then create a timeline of events that will take you from A to B. Factor in your important milestones and schedule in all the actions you need to take. During this stage, it can be a good idea to figure out who will be responsible for accomplishing the task (if working in a team). For example, you can use a Gantt chart.
check your resources
Whether it’s information, skills or funds, make sure you have access to the right resources, when the time comes to kick off your project. The last thing you want is to be waiting around for something just so you can start your task. Making sure that everything is ready to go during the planning stage will keep your project on track.
rely on technology
There are a bevy of software and apps available specifically for things like project planning that are really helpful and easy to use. These programs are usually web-based and include features like document sharing that are really useful if working in teams. It’s also a bonus being able to access your plan from your smartphone or laptop if you’re working remotely.
Starting a new project can be exciting but don’t let it fall flat because of bad planning. With these five tips, plan out your ideas for a successful result. For more helpful advice on planning and organization check out the free eBook, “How to be a Great Project Manager” from the resources library at ProjectManager.com
PS: if you feel like digging deeper, here’s another blog post you may want to read - is your project set up for failure or success?
photo credit: copyright rangizzz - Fotolia.com
I'm a writer and I manage a Web development team at Project Manager. I'm used to working in small businesses and assisting larger businesses with ERP software and project delivery.