Project Management can be a bit intimidating… Scope Statements, Work Breakdown Structures, Risk Management, Resource Management. What’s it all for? And do you need it all? Well, it depends.

The beauty of Project Management is that it can be scaled to fit the needs of the organization and project. Not every component may be necessary, and that’s ok. A good Project Manager can access a project and the organizational requirements to determine the necessary pieces.

If you are just getting started with Project Management, or want to formalize your practices, there are a few things you’ll want to consider at a minimum. For example, most projects should have a defined Scope Statement. A Scope Statement basically contains the important elements of a projects. It could be thought of as a starting point or agreement between the person requesting the project, the people impacted by the project, and the project team completing the work. It’s a great place to get everything in writing in one place. Typically a Scope Statement would include an overview of the project, deliverables, constraints, assumptions, and acceptance criteria. If you’re thinking that’s too much and want to start off as simply as possible, another important element is the Project Schedule. A Project Schedule should be used in almost every project. It include the tasks required to complete the project, time estimates, tasks dependencies and sequencing, and resource assignments. This important document is more detailed than the Scope Statement, but absolutely necessary for tracking and managing the project progress. And this is where Microsoft Project and Project Online can really help.

Starting in January, we’ll discuss each of the documents that are typically found in Project Management practices. Some, you may find interesting and want to implement right away, while others may not be a good fit for your project and organization. And that’s ok. The key is to use what will bring value to the project and organization, and that varies for everyone.