How to Start a Project – 5 Key Steps

How to Start a Project – 5 Key Steps


Have you just been given the marching
orders to start a project and you’re wondering, how do you do it? Well this
video is for you. I’m gonna give you five quick and easy tips on how to start the
project the right way. As well stay tuned for the end of the video because I’m
gonna give you a free download for a key project document that you need in order
to be successful. Hi, I’m Adriana Girdler, President of
CornerStone Dynamics and an efficiency expert, I’m also a project management
professional and I have managed small to large global scale projects for the past
20 years and over the years of doing this I have learned a lot of ups and
downs of what makes a great project and what really can kill a project and in
this video I have some tried and true techniques that I use all the time no
matter the size of the project and I like to share them with you so let’s get
to it. Step number one: I want you to validate
or create a project scope statement. You’ve just been given your marching
orders, congratulations, that’s a really big accomplishment to be managing a
project. If you are lucky you probably got a project scope statement from the
executive sponsor or your direct manager but probably a nine out of ten cases you
didn’t, so the first thing you have to do is you have to create a scope statement
but if you did get one you have to validate it. I highly recommend this, this
sometimes gets missed and what happens a lot of times as a lot of assumptions get
built. I want you to validate or create a project scope statement sit down with
the key executives and get them to agree to everything that is in and out, do not
move forward with the project if you have not done this, I promise you it will
kill you in the end because people will assume a lot of stuff and if you don’t
do this very important step at the get-go, you ultimately are not going to
have a successful project, so take that equation out and I want you to create or
validate your project scope statement as a very first step of your project.
Step number two is to create your project charter, this is a very important
document, just like your project scope statement, your project scope statement
actually lives in the charter. The charter is a live document, it actually
outlines everything that you need to know to sort of kick off this project, it
has the scope it has assumptions, expectations, initial risks, roles,
responsibilities, who’s doing exactly what, high-level milestones, budgets,
there’s a whole bunch of cool stuff. You have to do this and as a project manager
it’s your job to actually kick off this initial documentation, I actually use it
as my kick off in order to get everyone ready to rock and roll and even more
importantly is get people to sign it because this is going to ensure that
they bought into everything that was put in this document and ensure that you
have a successful project. Step number three is to create a project deliverable
list and that is real high level either action item or milestones on what
potentially is in the project. As a project manager you really need this to
kick it off with your team, so we actually call this a WBS, if you check
out my other video on project terminology you’ll actually get a whole
bunch of terminologies of things that I’m saying in this video but there’s a
nice explanation of what a WBS is in that particular video so please check it
out but on that note you really have to kick it off to saying, what are we
responsible for? And create that high level deliverable list, really important
along with those other documents. Step number four is now you have to set up
your project support mechanisms. Well what do I mean by that? Well you got the
scope statement, you have a charter, you’ve done the high level deliverable
breakdown lists, all important things so that you can kick things off with your
team but now you got to set up, what are the tools, the expectations that you want
to have your team work within? Is that a shared drive, are you going to go to
SharePoint, where are you gonna house stuff, all of that important stuff, what
tools are you gonna use? You need to get everybody on the same page because if
we’re all doing the same thing at least for greater success then everyone doing
all their siloed activity because we know what silo does, it just does not
bring everybody together, so get a central
location for stuff, really figure out how you want your team to work and give them
the tools to be successful. Step number five: Schedule and execute your project
kickoff meeting. Congratulations, this is a really critical part of your project,
you’ve just done all of this preparatory work, as I said the scope statement, the
charter, your high-level deliverables, you have everything set up from a tool
perspective for your team to be successful. Now you want to kick it off,
you want to invite everybody to the kickoff meeting, share with them all of
these documents that you created, more importantly don’t tell them what to do,
get them to buy into what they’re gonna do. So what I usually do is I set aside
either a half day or even a full day depending on how large the project is
and I get them to review everything and provide input. Is this true, do you think
anything has to come out, do you have to add anything, here’s a section you’re going
to own, what else do you want to add to it? Etc etc. It really ensures this
empowerment of the team, it gets everyone together and bought into the process
which is really important if you’re going to be successful because I promise
you, projects happen with a group of people
who are all working synergistically not individual people who are only worried
about themselves, so on that note set up your project kickoff meeting and get
your team bought in to what you’re trying to do by getting their input
because don’t forget, they’re the subject matter expert. Congratulations, you are
now ready to start your project by using those five really impactful tips. I
highly recommend you do them, it will truly make a difference in your project.
As well don’t forget the promise of that free download, I have a free mini charter
for you to download, take a look at the download below in the verbiage and it
will give you what you need in order to execute your project. The cool thing is
you can keep it as is or you can ramp it up by adding more information it’s
really up to you as to how far you want to go with it. Thank you so much for
watching this video, if you liked this video please give it a thumbs up, please
subscribe to the button below and if you agree with what was said in this video
please say “Project Management Rocks” in the comment below. I look
forward to talking to you at my next video. Have a great day, bye!