Does everyone know where you’re going?

Project management is all about getting from Point A to Point Z, right? But does everyone on your team know where that is and how to get there?

Not surprisingly, many projects slow down and stumble due to lack of clear definitions of objectives, goals, and desired outcomes. This can happen when project leaders delay discussions that lead to decision-making, not recognizing the ramifications of leaving them for later, and not tackling them up front. Finding common ground and making compromises among leadership can be difficult, but it’s better to make your choices sooner than to leave them for later. Without clear leadership definition, the project team can easily entertain too many features or neglect critical functionality issues. What’s worse, the further you get into the project timeline with changes to goals and modification of scope, the more significant the cost and the greater the impact on the schedule.

Successful project leaders insist on and orchestrate agreement on success metrics and objectives early in the process. Aim for and negotiate win-win scenarios and, if necessary, don’t hesitate to bring in conflict resolution specialists.

Include cost/benefit projections for targets that may be contentious. These will facilitate prioritization.

Engage project success metrics that are indeed measurable. Quantifiable variables eliminate the grey areas and focus both stakeholders and project team members on the critical results factors throughout both the planning and execution phases.

Define the features and benefits to be included during the early stages of the project. If it’s desired, aim for additional features and benefits to be added later in subsequent project phases.

The importance of defining your destination can’t be overstated. It helps everyone find the most efficient path to get where you want to go.

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