When a business is clear about its purpose, it is more likely to succeed because it can concentrate all its efforts into fulfilling that purpose. It’s the same way with project management. When your plans align with business goals, objectives, values, and priorities, you’ll have a better chance at achieving project success.
Things to Consider Before Creating Your Project Plans
Before you make your project plans, understand what your client is trying to achieve. Here are the things you’ll want to grasp before you start mapping out your tactics and strategies.
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A company’s mission defines how that business wants to establish itself in the world. It indicates its purpose, the community it serves, and the lasting impact that it’s aiming for. Examples of companies with strong and clear mission statements are the following:
- Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
- TED Talks: “Spread ideas.”
- LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
- Asana: “To help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly.”
As you can see, these statements don’t precisely indicate their product and service offerings, as those can change and evolve. What will stay constant, however, is the company mission. Checking this will help you identify what the company wants its efforts to build up to. This will help you position your project in such a way that it aligns with the company overall.
Visions and missions are usually long-term and general. To achieve them, a company needs to establish SMART goals.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Making goals that have these attributes will make them actionable for everyone involved. Here are examples of goals that are SMART and goals that aren’t:
SMART Goals Examples
|Improve the company website||Decrease the company website’s bounce rate by 2% this quarter by doing weekly content and engagement reviews.|
|Increase sales||Increase Q2 revenue by 5% by re-engaging the current customer base through events and partnering with one new community.|
|Hire better people||Hire applicants who score 45/50 or higher in assessment exams and have 3/5 or higher recommendation ratings from their prospective superiors.|
|Reduce operational costs||Reduce annual operational costs by 5% this year by reviewing costs, optimizing processes, and evaluating current suppliers.|
These short-term and tangible goals indicate the approach that the company is taking to realize its vision. They’ll also provide you with the concrete contributions you can provide through your project.
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Relevant External Factors
No business exists in a bubble. It’s affected by several factors in its micro environment and macro environment.
Micro environment factors are ones that directly influence business results and operations. These include customers, competitors, suppliers, distributors, and others.
Macro environment factors, on the other hand, are broader things that affect a business. The COVID-19 pandemic is one such example. Environmental forces such as natural disasters and industry-affecting legislation are relevant examples, too. Studying external elements that can affect business decisions helps you pre-empt possible issues and objectives for your project.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Looking into a company’s external capabilities can help you maximize resources and anticipate bottlenecks. Check their organizational structure, leadership, skills, portfolio, processes, and employees. Are they working well for the company? Are there points of friction? Compile your findings by conducting a SWOT analysis.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. List internal capabilities under strengths or weaknesses, and external factors under opportunities and threats. Using this tool will help you make better decisions, estimates, and resource allocations. You’ll also get to identify areas where your team will need more support when the project commences.
Company Culture And Values
Culture and values highly influence a company’s priorities. If a company already has a list of core values, pore into them and grasp what they mean. To investigate this further, conduct interviews with some of their leaders, managers, and employees. Knowing what they value as individuals and as an organization can help you gain insight into what the company will find most significant in your project.
How to Make a Goal-Aligned Project Plan
To make a good project plan that aligns with a company’s vision, you need to do your homework.
|Company Vision and Mission||Understand what the company is working towards and what causes your project should contribute to.|
|Company Goals||Set concrete outcomes that the company wants to achieve and ensure your project contributes to them.|
|Micro and Macro Factors||Anticipate possible issues and create systems and contingencies to manage them.|
|Strengths and Weaknesses||Maximize available strengths and resources and formulate plans to mitigate known weaknesses.|
|Company Culture and Values||Empathize with your stakeholders and strategize on the best way you can work with them.|
Understand your client’s needs, values, and available resources. Once you have a good grasp of what you’re working with, you’ll be in a better position to craft project plans that will align with their expectations.
Recommended Project Management Software
If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:
Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.
Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.
monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.