The Ides of March Approaches…Get Goals Aligned

A few years back I ran across a study and set of resulting statistics that I now reference all the time in regards to project management. An analysis of 3000 projects done throughout the US government showed that if you are behind schedule early in a project or an initiative that there is an 88 percent chance that the project will come in late, over budget or less than scoped.

So how early can you tell? When you are 15 percent of the way till the projected end date. So that means that mid March marks 15 percent of the year is through.

This is a great time to review progress on your talent goals that were set in 4th quarter for 2010. Are you tracking okay?Are you 15 percent through the goals you set to your teams? If you are not, now is the time to readjust. Here are a few ways you can get started:

1 charter the goals and iniatives that you set for 2010. You can download a strong charter template from the Project Management Institute or on multiple websites but you should get one. Declare your goals, budget, resources and milestones you need to hit. Bring those to the sponsor of the program. By the way…you are not the sponsor. You may be the champion. Get approval and get your teams briefed before the end of the month.

2 Run an analysis on leadership and feasibility. You have to identify all the stakeholders and also make sure you have identified who needs buy in and approval. Is leadership really on board? Did you ask? Did your goals get approved yet? As for feasibility you need to ask yourself about 30 questions around feasibility (if you want them let me know) but they include questions around technology, if work like this has been done before, and what is the failure rate of projects like this. If the feasibility is poor, get awareness to it now, and get approval for the additional resources you need.

3 Confirm the Big 4 – Scope Budget Quality and Duration
All are in the charter template you find online (assumming it uses PMI standards) but this a really quick way to make sure you are target. If you have not declared the size of the goal, the money required, the quality of the delivery with approval from the customer, and how long it’s going to take to get it done, you are way behind already.

Take your goals, go to your directs and supervisor and take an hour to go over the big 4. If those are set, move into leadrship and feasibility and get those charters moving.

Perform these activities by the end of March and see how quickly your goals get advanced.

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