Ideas, suggestions and general thoughts about project management for development.

Become a better planner

b2ap3_thumbnail_Planner.pngManaging the expectations of beneficiaries, donors and maintaining stakeholder relationships is important to the long term success of any project. Planning can be the difference between success and failure. Whether you are managing a small project or a multi-year program, planning is a critical element for successful project.

Here are 3 quick tips on how you can become a better planner.

  • Strengths and weaknesses. Figure out where your strengths are and where your weakness may lie. As a project manager you don’t need to develop all the project plans, work on those that you know you have expertise and delegate or ask others with more experience to do the plans where your skills are not too strong. For example, you may be good at decomposing the project using  a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), but you may now know much about using a scheduling software to find our the project critical path.
  • Plan with SMART goals in mind. Set some reachable short term goals. How many milestones do you want to make this month? How many beneficiaries do you want to reach? How many events will you present this month? Set a goal and reach it. Work the project details on short term goals; don’t spend too much time of defining the tasks for objectives that are still months or even years away in your project plan. Projects are built on assumptions, and assumptions tend to change.
  • See the big picture. Make sure your plan is aligned to the end goals of the project, that you will connect your plan with the expected results and not just the achievement of activities. Monitor progress of you plan and make changes as needed.
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