I. Six Steps to Launch a Project
Six concrete steps are involved in any project launch. The project to be launched
must be in alignment with the purpose and viable to succeed with measurable
1. To start with a solid business case must be created to ensure that the project
is in alignment with the mission of the company, the agenda of the department
and has the tacit support of the senior management team. It is good to involve
experts from finance in this endeavour. The driver the project must be identified
as early as possible. A comprehensive risk analysis must contain a list of
potential risks, their intensities as high-medium-low and, those who will manage
them. The business case must describe the background to the project, general
aims, initial risks, expected outcomes, benefits to the company, initial estimates
of cost and time. These details can also be used to create a Project charter.
2. After the preliminaries are over, the next step is to write a Project Definition
Statement to prevent project creeping away from the purpose. Once it is ready it
must be sent to the top management for comments, and subsequently finalized.
3. The project definition is helpful to do stakeholder analysis in order to create a
viable project Team. This exercise must define each stakeholder, their interest in
the project, their attitudes toward the project and the actions they need to take for
the success of the project.
4. Then the project manager must make a list of the tasks to be assigned to the
stakeholders based on their skills, talents and experience.
5. When these steps are over, the project manager must create a Milestones
Chart. Milestones are important phases or key stages of a project. They are used
to monitor the progress of the project; especially the progress of the critical
events that are on the critical path. Any delay in the completions of milestone
events will cause delay in the completion of the project and hence project
managers will try their best to see that the milestone events are completed on
time. Often resources will be moved from non-critical activities to critical activities
to ensure that milestones are met, so that the delivery will not be delayed.
6. Finally a project management report is created so that it will track the progress
of the project and head off derailment. It holds a list of the deliverables a due
date for each, a rating for each (i.e. Red Flag - off plan, Yellow - will soon be off
plan, Green - on plan or better), and action to be taken to bring the plan back on
schedule. This is a key document to the success of the project.
Project charter is the basic document of any project. It formally authorizes the
project manager and his/her team to commence the work of the project. It gives
the authority to the project manager to exercise his/her power over it. The charter
explains the vision, mission, goal (SMART) and objectives of the project. It will
state the requirements to satisfy the stockholder’s needs and expectations.
1. SMART Goals
A goal must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely or
Tangible. Specific- A specific goal has a greater chance of being accomplished
than a general one. A specific goal must answer Who is involved? What is to be
accomplished? Where: Identify a location. When: establish a timeframe.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints. Why: specific reasons for
accomplishing the goal. E.g. “Join a health club and workout 4 days a week."
Measurable – Only when a goal is measurable one can check whether one stays
on track, reach the target dates, and enjoy the excitement of achievement.
Measurable goal induces one for continued effort required to reach the goal. It will
also describe how the achiever will be when the goal is accomplished etc. can
determine the measurability of goal. Attainable – Once a goal is set, the achiever
begins to figure out ways to develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial
capacity to reach it. Goals that may be out of reach eventually move closer and
become attainable, because suitable capabilities are created to reach it. After
attaining the goal, the achiever finds him/her as worthy of the goal, and develops
the traits and personality that allow him/her possess it.
Realistic - To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which a goal
setter is both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic. A
high goal is not easier to reach, while a low one because a low goal exerts low
motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs are achievable simply because they
were a labour of love. When a goal is realistic, the goal setter will truly believe that
it can be accomplished and hence device ways and means to reach it. Timely- A
goal should be grounded within a timeframe. When not tied to a timeframe the
sense of urgency is lost. When a timeframe is set, the unconscious mind will
begin working on the goal. When goal is tangible, the goal setter has a better
chance of making it specific, measurable, and thus attainable.
Every project charter consists of at least three primary components: A. Project
Overview Section, B. Approach Section and C. Approval Section.
A. Project Overview Section
1. Identification of the project through a name as well as the names of the
primary groups that will be involved with it so that will be easier for all parties
involved, such as the project team, stakeholders, and end users to discuss and
work on the project. 2. Project Background and History will help explain how
the project came to be, its importance and its impact on the stakeholders. 3.
Project Purpose and/or Business Need explains why the project is needed. If
applicable, it also includes details of why the existing tools or products are
inadequate. 4. Project Scope and Limitations define the project scope in clear
terms with boundaries and limitations so that all parties involved are very aware of
exactly what the project includes and what it doesn't. 5. Project Goals and
Objectives should be both concise and explanatory in appropriate business
terminology. 6. Project Sponsorship and Major Stakeholders and their roles
and responsibilities should be clearly identified and defined so that there is no
confusion concerning their responsibilities later down the line. These names
should also be included in the Project Approval section. 7. Pertinent Documents
and References that are particularly crucial for understanding the project can be
included as appendices to the charter. 8. Overview of Project Terminology
provides a complete glossary that defines special terms related to the project. It
also includes the key terms, phrases, or acronyms that might prove to be
confusing to the stakeholders.
B. Project Approach Section
The Project Approach section gives a high-level overview of how and when the
project will be completed. It will have the following components. 1. Project
Deliverables are the outcome of a project in measurable terms. It must include a
list the major deliverables and the key milestones of the project and when these
should be achieved. 2. Responsibilities and Roles: This component includes a
summary of all parties that will be involved in the project with their roles and
responsibilities. It will also give a list of the needed skills and expertise that each
individual brings to the project. 3. Project Resources: In addition to the human
component, it provides a list of computer equipment, raw materials, working
space, and any other resources that might be used during the project's life cycle.
It must also explain the resources that will be used only during specific phases of
4. Risk Management Overview gives a summary of the risks that may be
encountered during the course of the project as well as how these risks may be
minimized. Risk mitigation and action steps can be listed. If there are deviations
from standard means and methodologies, it must be explained in clear terms. 5.
Project Life Cycle Overview gives the various stages that the project will go
through with their objectives for each stage and why the stage is necessary. 6.
Basic Project tools and Communication Plan explains the tools that will be
used to assist the project manager in tracking the project's progress. It also serves
as a communication device for communicating the progress of the project to the
project team, project sponsor, and project stakeholders. 7. Project Schedule
provides statement of work (SOW) and work breakdown Structure (WBS),
Organization Breakdown Structure(OBS),and Responsibility Acceptance
Matrix(RAM) should be included in this section.
C. Project Approval Section: However, simplest section, it is one of the most
critical one in terms of the eventual success of the project. It lists all of the names
and roles of the major stakeholders along with their signatures, indicating that
they are satisfied with the details included in the project charter. In case the
project requires resources from other departments, a representative from each of
these divisions should be listed in the Approval section as well. The signatures of
these individuals will signify that they accept their own responsibilities for
successful completion of the project and agree to provide needed support. A good
project charter literally keeps everyone involved in any way on the same page.
Key stages to project launch: The first stage involves identification the key
stakeholders, the project team, and other experts who are critical to the project. In
the second stage, a project launch meeting is arranged as either face to face or
a web and voice meeting. The third stage is meant for preparing agenda. The
topics covers sharing the structure of project and different roles, undertaking work
breakdown and project phasing, preparation of project plan with milestones,
critical success factors, risks and potential mitigation, development of a
communication plan, team building, skills mapping, working approaches,
stakeholder analysis, identifying needs, plans for meeting the needs, and action
The fourth stage is meant to review the meeting, and do the follow up. Here the
project team understands the bolts and nuts of the project in functional terms. It
prepares and reviews the project charter, SOW WBS, and RAM deliverables,
customer expectations, develops metrics for monitoring, and signing contracts,
setups steering committee and quality checkpoints, etc. The team also
determines, customizes and enforces processes, forms and templates, and finally
develops HR Plan and Staff Schedule to administer the project. The fifth stage
Project Charter: A model
1.0 project identification
Name of the project: A frame work for Employee Recognition
Sponsor: HR ministry of Central Govt
Project manager: HR head of the department of Labour Research Institute
Project team resources: A group of professors of the institute
2.0 Business need for project
1. Improve government’s ability to attract and recruit high quality candidates so
their productivity in public sector can be improved on par with the private sector
2. It is an essential element in the HR management plan of the public sector
3. It will convert public sector a healthy workplace
4. It will improve innovative practices among public sector employees.
3.0 project objectives
1. To create a viable workplace culture that includes regular recognition of best
performance and feedback in public sector units in general.
2. To recognize employees for their high-quality service and commitment to
3. To reinforce the integration between employee performance and department
business goals to achieve corporate goals
4.0 project scope
1. To address two components of recognition - a corporate component and a
2. It includes guidelines to govern corporate and department activities
3. It excludes mandatory requirements that are already there in labour contracts.
5.0 key project deliverables
Framework containing key components of recognised activities such as
outstanding performance in terms of productivity, completing the task before the
schedule, waste minimization, innovative ideas, etc found in the Project charter.
Tools and resources: include templates, guides, sample surveys, quotes, tips,
etc for use by departments. Communication plan includes the mode and
periodicity of communications, the number of meetings and the required
6.0 milestone dates
1. Develop framework needed for data collection
2. Complete a research summary
3. Develop guidelines both general and financial for the project
4. Consult departmental representatives of Health, tourism etc for
preparing a time schedule for the project ,
5. Networking all departments involved in the project.
6. Develop toolkit, templates, resources
7. Framework evaluation, consultations
8. Premiers award of excellence for outstanding services
7.0 project’s criteria for success (must be measurable)
1. Increase awareness and consistent practice of recognition throughout the
2. Create a healthier and more supportive working environment
3. improved job satisfaction and employee engagement
4. Increased participation in corporate recognition activities
5. Increased favourable employee perceptions of feeling valued for their
8.0 critical success factors
1. Support from senior leaders, HR community, to executives etc.
2. Effective communication
3. Effective departmental collaboration
3. Employee awareness of purpose, priorities, objectives, goals and values
4. Recognition efforts need to be: timely; meaningful; and fair.
5. Activities those are supportive of organizational values
Project sponsor: Representative of the HR ministry , Central Govt