No two projects are alike. Your project might launch with just enough clarity that energy is high and everyone seems committed to the goal. But at that point, can your team slow down enough to really think, before it starts executing?
It can be tempting to blaze forward with all of that energy, but have you really figured out what you are going to do? And what you are NOT going to do? Do you know what’s important to your client or your management team?
Have you figured out what will make this project successful? Or what might represent failure. How will you measure success?
Other projects start off in a vague, ambiguous way that leaves the team feeling confused and perhaps a bit unqualified. Picture the pharmaceutical team that has just been asked to develop a vaccine for Covid-19. Or, a project to create a new documentary on the plastics crisis. Or the marketing team that is just beginning a novel marketing campaign for a new client.
This latter scenario applies more often to the complex projects that we frequently see in the business world – where the team is trying to do something it has never done before.
How do you even define your scope when you don’t have a clue what you’re supposed to be doing?
A critical part of getting your projects off to a great start is a project charter.