To me, project management is super exciting! It covers everything related to making a project a success – from planning, assigning time and workload, monitoring the progress of the project and the people, to reviewing the project after it’s finished.
But what makes it so important? It all lies in the overview; someone looking at the big picture to see how things are going, why they are going well or not, and what needs to be done to ensure an end success.
For example, at LevelUp, we treat all of our clients’ recruitment as a project. There is a fixed time frame where we build out their teams. Project management (specifically Agile and Lean methods) helps us deliver results consistently, be adaptable to changing requirements, and ensure our team and the client are collaborating well together. Not to mention, it makes recruitment a lot more fun!
There are definitely ups and downsides to project management. It requires quite some structure and forward-thinking, which is not everyone’s strong suit. But it does make life easier as you always know what and when the end goal is. However, projects should always start with a plan; planning of the tasks, timelines, and team.
6 key steps to planning
Planning is one of the most important aspects of a project as it tells everyone who should be doing what, when and how. There are 6 key aspects to planning which you need to identify beforehand and here are some questions which can help you define them:
Define the main objective of the project – So, what is the end goal? This could be building up the Backend Development team from 5 people to 12.
What is the scope? – What tasks or responsibilities does this project cover? In my example, this could mean we’ll be doing vacancy writing, screening, and candidate communication but we won’t do interviews or offer management.
What are the milestones? – Milestones are specific anchor points in the project that are key achievements. For us, that could be the kick-off meeting or the mid-way point.
What are the main deliverables? – The main products or services which you need to deliver in the project? This could be a new career website or 3 people in the last interview round for each role.
What is your schedule? Do you have 3 or 6 months for the project, are you going to work full-time or only 12 hours per week?
What people resources will you need? For example, you might need 1 full-time recruiter and 1 part-time sourcer.
Think about project management as a big puzzle. Everything fits together and the picture only comes clearer towards the end. Project planning is the border of the puzzle.
Without planning, the puzzle has no boundaries and the inner pieces are just floating. It will create a structure for the project, define what is included and what is not and it creates a framework for everything else to fit in successfully.