Take Care of Stakeholders
Identifying people who will be involved and understanding their expectations is key, Shrivastava says. Failure to do so could lead to problems right out of the gate or down the road. “It may delay your project, it may put it on hold forever,” he says. “Many things could happen.”
Identify Risks UpFront
Although it takes skill to identify all of them, Shrivastava says most of the time, risks can be seen in advance—an ability you can sharpen with the more projects you work on. “Know what their impacts might be if they happen and what you are going to do if they happen,” he says. “Learn from the past.”
Talk, Talk, Talk
But first talk about a communication plan, which should outline what needs to be communicated, how information should be shared and who needs to know and when. This step might involve emails, phone calls, video conferences or in-person meetings.
Perform Retrospectives Frequently
Everything about the project, including goals, tasks, people involved and processes, should be revisited and analyzed regularly, Shrivastava says, to determine what changed over the project time span. For example, if it’s a one-year project, do a retrospective monthly. Ask yourself and your team what is working well and what you have learned, then course correct if necessary.