5 top tips to kickstart a successful project
We at Idea Science know the importance of starting a project on the right foot. Whether it’s a marathon or a sprint, or something in between, there are several tried-and-tested strategies to make sure your team hits the ground running. Here are our top five.
Assemble your team
Make sure you have the right people in the room from the outset. It may sound obvious, but it’s one of the most important aspects of a project and can also be one of the hardest to achieve. Think about the task at hand from all sides and list anyone who might need to be involved. Putting the right people in the right roles will make it easier to keep everyone on the same page, plus you’ll avoid the delays that come with needing to repeat key information.
Get the team together and clearly define the finish line
Before you begin a race, you have to know where you’re running to, which is why one of the first steps in any project should be a kick-off meeting. The purpose of this is to review objectives and desired outcomes with everyone involved in your project. In doing so, you’ll create a collaborative and inclusive process and reduce the risk of misinterpretation or miscommunication.
This is also the time to discuss communication strategies, cadence and the rhythm of project, and set up the project method, approach and processes that can be used to achieve the desired outcome. You’ll also need to set out budget, schedule and scope, making sure everyone understands and is onboard.
Your team can also agree on how they will work together (including the use of tools and technology) – knowing what’s available to help your project run more smoothly is key to success.
Share quality information
Make sure all key facts, background information, research and analysis are shared early on, so your team has what they need to execute their roles well. Operate off trusted information, not assumptions.
Foster an open dialogue
Encourage everyone involved in the project to express their opinions and concerns openly and honestly through regular touchpoints. These can be in the form of digital collaboration tools (such as Jira and Confluence or Smartsheet), regular stand-ups or meetings, or a combination of all options that suit your project. Facilitating an open dialogue will only serve to improve the project’s final outcomes.
Adjust the goalposts as needed
Keep in mind that just as a business’s priorities can change, project priorities may also need to change, so you might need to revisit, reshape and refine your plan and adjust accordingly to meet your end goal. We normally recommend that you incorporate a mid-point retrospective for your project and use it as an opportunity to gather learnings and optimise based on current conditions.