When making final delivery of work done, summarize the work or change done in an email or for excel, a summary worksheet.
To figure out how to organize and drive a project to completion, it helps to start from the end and work backwards to figure out what is needed:
- Sponsor – your jungle guide to navigate the organization. Partner with the sponsor to create a long term strategic plan as well as working on tactics to drive the project forward.
- Stakeholders – people that are in position to make decision, help you move the project along
- Noisemakers – people who are not in a position to decide but who can make a lot of noise and derail your efforts. Need to placate the noisemakers where possible.
- Develop stakeholder matrix
- Systems (and the people you need to access them)
- Kickoff meeting
- Status Update
- Create a calendar of important dates to keep sponsor informed about the short term tactical maneuvers.
- PowerPoint slides to talk through meeting
Be specific, drill down:
Instead of writing to ask someone to review a list of step in a process to see if it is complete and current, better to be specific about exactly what is mean by complete and current.
For instance, is the process missing steps, has obsolete steps, has revised steps, etc.
There are two ways I deal with non-response:
- default position which allow you to continue.
- meeting with a goal (default position)
This is because there are two main reasons they don’t respond.
Fear and lack of understanding.
Fear of commitment or more fear of making the wrong choice … Especially if their job is hanging in the balance, they will put it off as long as possible… Giving a default which is to continue forces them to focus and move on.
Lack of understanding … Most people aren’t developers, they can’t imagine the end result … So you have to help them through it.
Addition: Default position that allows you to continue
When ever you hand over a “please make a decision” document, you phase it more like:
“Here is the list of options (A, B, C), we are heading down path B, please let us know by Friday if this is incorrect”.
You can justify this by saying something like “in order to keep on the critical path we are going to make this assumption …”