How to Manage a Project

Getting Started

Additional Materials

Getting Started

The early days of a project are always important - they provide a window of time in which you as project manager can question items and negotiate some changes. Later in the project it becomes more difficult to do this. This stage is about that period and about preparing the ground - getting the foundations in place to make managing the project an easier task.

To use this section, please do the following:

1.    Ensure that you understand what we mean by Project Scoping

A project scoping study is a brief review of the project to establish what the project is to deliver, what the issues are, and how it should be organised and tackled. The results are summarised in a project plan.

Review "What is Project Scoping" and "Why Scope" in the links in the side menu to the left.

2.    Review the "Getting Started Checklist" in the menu to the left.

This contains a list of eight key questions that experienced projects managers ask about their project as soon as they are asked to carry it out. They use it to identify areas of concern and issues which they then try to remedy whilst they can. They may use the list as the agenda for an initial meeting with their  Project Sponsor.

If you are just beginning a project, use the checklist yourself to identify any areas of concern you might have and to see what needs to be done about them.

3.    Clarify the areas of concern using the Additional Materials

We have provided Additional Materials covering tools and tips which may help in this stage. In particular:

  • For concerns about the Stakeholders, "Mapping Stakeholders" can help.
  • For concerns about support for the project, try the force-field tool in "Gaining Support".
  • For concerns about getting resources, see the tips in "Getting Resources"

And the Outcome of this Stage

A project where the ground is prepared in terms of project sponsorship, agreement to a Project Scoping Study, understanding of both stakeholder requirements and the level of support for the project, and forewarning and preparation of those likely to be working on or contributing to the project.