Friday, May 11, 2012

It's All in the Plannning - Managing Large Initiatives

Successful multi-million dollar initiatives don't just happen by accident. They do require enormous planning effort. Here are the pointers to making them successful.

The Vision
What is the goal or objective of the project? You have to have a clearly defined objective. when working on high budget projects, these visions cannot be vague. Several iterations may be necessary to refine the vision before you have the objectives detailed enough to work from.  Take the time and do it right.

When you read text books about project management the examples provided tend to be overly simplistic. This is not reflective of the real world. As the PM, you need dig deeper.

For example, you need to develop a new process to immunize the nation against a new flu. This simple statement is not enough of a goal or objective. It needs to be refined even before you start on requirements. Is the goal to immunize everybody? Citizens? Children? What about double immunization? Is there a vision for reporting? Is reporting required? Is it mandatory or optional? Is there a vision for delivery of the immunizations?

Many times when you are approached with a large scale project, you will have to help the sponsors flesh out their vision. Be prepared to do so and prepare your team to help.

The Team
Ensure that you have established your leadership team for the program/project. Most small companies in the US gross under $2M annually.  So if you have a project with a budget in excess of even $1M, you should think of the project as a small company.  Then you are the president, your sponsor is your board of directors and your core leaders for your team are your vice presidents. 

Do not try to do it all yourself. Large projects, require that you be a great delegator.  Empower your VPs to do their jobs.  You have a team for a reason.  And your leads have their teams for a reason.  Let them do their jobs.   If you try to micro-manage or do their jobs for them, you will fail.

The Plan
Spend your time here with your leadership team and this will insure smooth sailing.  I inherit the troubled projects.  And it is usually the same issue, poor planning, they miss one step or another.  If you know your PMBOK and you adequately cover the areas in your planning processes, when it comes to the execution phase, you should be able to take a vacation.   Good project managers spend the majority of their time planning. 

What do you think?   Please share your thoughts.


Armada Business Consulting, Inc.

Need help getting from strategy to execution?  I can help.  For more information contact Trish at


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