A project can be defined as a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a result and events are most definitely a project, with a clearly defined start and end point, and an objective.
We all undertake projects all the time, even though we don’t necessarily recognise them as such. Creating a new website, preparing a will, replacing a kitchen, if you start to think about it almost all our activities done for clients are projects.
We don’t always need to create a project plan, especially if it is something we do regularly, like preparing someone’s accounts. We don’t necessarily need to think about the details, as we know the steps we need to undertake. However, occasionally we may undertake things which are more complex and in these instances, it is a good idea to use a systematic approach to ensure success. So here are just a few simple ideas that anyone can use, both in business and in our personal lives, to make sure our endeavours run more smoothly.
Understand Your Project Scope
Before you undertake your project, take the time to understand all aspects of it, and to understand how other stakeholders are viewing it as well. What it is the desired outcome? Who are the stakeholders – maybe your client, your family, suppliers, guests, etc – anyone that is going to be impacted by the project? What are the priorities – there is a triangle of time, money and quality, and if one has to give, its best to have identified early on which is the most important and which is the least important. What is the timeline? Who is in charge and whose buy in do you need? Who makes the decisions and who needs to know of the decisions being made?
Get Buy In
Spend the time at the outset to make sure that you have buy in from stakeholders. Share your vision and answer any questions or concerns they have. What do you need to do to get buy in? Or how will it impact the project if you don’t have buy in – are you dependent on it, or can you find work arounds?
Highlight milestones. A milestone is a key deadline, one which if missed will have a detrimental effect on the project longer term. What do you need to do to ensure you hit your milestones, and what happens if you don’t? Do you have a contingency plan?
Communication is the single most important factor. Understanding who needs to know what and making sure that any changes, decisions, responses, etc are communicated to the appropriate people can ensure your project stays on track, doesn’t get delayed or worse, doesn’t meet the objective.
Measuring Success and Learning
If you undertake projects regularly, it is well worth scrutinising how it has gone. Was your project successful? Did it meet the objective? Were there difficulties that could have been avoided? Could the outcome have been better? This is an important step as there is no such thing as the perfect project – there is always room for improvement, and certainly for me, that is always my aim.
If you would like help with planning an event, then get in touch with Wendy at Wendy Marston Events.