Project Managers think through projects all the time. However, people who are not PM’s nor intend to be can benefit from the basic framework of Project Management.
- What are my objectives?
- What are my assumptions?
- What are my risks?
- What is my high level timeline
- What external events is my project dependent upon?
- Who are the stakeholders? (If the project fails, who will be held responsible? If it succeeds, who will take the glory?)
When explaining the fundamentals of project management to managers, it is a challenge to specify what should be a project and what should not. Sometimes, it is hard for managers to discern between a task and a project. Some tasks require extensive planning. A rule of thumb that I use is that if you have five or more related tasks, they are probably better of being viewed as a small project. The probability of success is higher is these tasks are viewed as a project. The number of 5 used in my rule of thumb is not scientific. However, it has worked well for me in terms of defining projects.