When there’s a new project to start, most of us are eager to jump right in – whether we are super excited about it or simply want to see it through.
Before you assemble the team, start assigning tasks, and expect everyone to swing into action, pause and remember – great professionals ask great questions, and a bunch of them!
In our culture, we typically believe that what’s impressive is to have answers; and that’s how we demonstrate our worth and show we are smart. The truth is, smart entrepreneurs and project managers often enable solutions by asking the right questions, not by supplying the answers.
We put together a list of 10 Questions to ask before starting a new project:
1. What are the objectives/goals of this project? What’s the importance of this project?
Don’t be afraid to ask the client and stakeholder(s) to clarify/elaborate on what they are really trying to achieve.
2. Who are the key stakeholders? Who influences, and who has the potential to be an obstacle (a rarely asked question)?
3. What defines success for the project? Knowing what success would look like can help you and your team stay focused and make important decisions throughout the duration of the project.
4. What are the key milestones? What are the timelines and most important dates?
5. What are the biggest obstacles to getting the project done? What are the implications if the project doesn’t succeed? How much risk are you willing to take to accomplish the project?
6. What are the most important decisions that need to be made within the project? What could prevent you from making those decisions?
7. What are the project’s greatest assets, and how can you best leverage them?
8. What are the most important areas within the project that you and your team should always focus on?
9. What challenges have you encountered in the past with projects, and how can you use that experience to your advantage this time?
10. Finally, what is your personal passion about the project? What will this mean to you when you succeed?
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