Projects Need Stories
Here’s a problem I see.  You start a project, and the only thing that’s established is what the project is going to be.  There is nothing there to get your people excited.  There is nothing in place that will give your people a reason the project should happen in the first place.

This is where starting with a story is important.  If you have a good story, you have a method for getting people excited and will allow those involved to know the why behind the project.

What kind of story do you need?

The story for your project needs to have four parts.  Those are what are you trying to accomplish, why is this important, who is going to be involved and how are you going to get the project accomplished.

When explaining the project, you want to make sure your story has been fleshed out and it’s easy for those involved to understand the answers to the four questions.

Start with what.

You want to be clear about what it is that you want to create.  The project has to have a purpose.  The more clear you can be about the purpose, the better chance you’ll get your team to buy in.

You might be crystal clear in your mind about what you want.  I’m going to bet that too often that clarity never gets passed to those on your team.  They walk away from a planning meeting confused as to what it is your trying to accomplish.

Don’t be muddled in what you want.  The more clarity you have, the easier it is for your team to understand what they’re supposed to do.

Move to why.

I think this is always the most important piece.  If your team isn’t clear on why this is important, there’s a good chance your project will permanently sit on the back burner.

I’ve seen projects where the project owner isn’t even clear about why they want to move in a particular direction.  Instead of having a muddled decision and implementation process make sure you’re clear about why with yourself and then be clear with those who are working on the project.

Who is going to be involved in the project?

You want to make sure you have the right people on the team.  Never put people in a project for political reasons.  Everyone on your team should have a purpose, and everyone should know what their purpose is.

Let your team members who will be involved in the project know why they’re on the team.  This way they can help you decide whether they’re the right person.  If not, then be gracious and let them out of the commitment.

The last step, how are you going to get there.

This is the last step for a reason.  You might start with this as the second step.  If you did, that would be a big mistake.  You need to first know what, why and who before you and your team start to figure out why.

I’ve seen too many projects fall off the rails because the project has kicked off before there is clarity around what it’s supposed to accomplish and why this is important.  Do yourself a favor, plan your projects in this order and you’ll have a higher success rate than you ever thought possible

Does this sound like something you might be interested in?  If so, why don’t you leave a comment below?

Here are some links you might find interesting:

WHY IS THE PROJECT-BASED APPROACH BETTER?  via The Power of Projects (to get more done and save money)

Here areI get this question a lot, “What is the Difference Between Project Controls and Project Management?”. I believe there are 3 key differences between Project Management and Project Controls: via Project Controls vs. Project Management





Topics: project stories, project planning, Business Strategies, project management

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