Initiating a Project – 3 Common Mistakes that PMs Make Before a Project Even Gets Started – EPM Live Can Help!

Skipping important steps during the initiation phase can cause detrimental problems during the intermediate and final phases of a project. EPM Live provides true end-to-end solutions and tools for managing the project from the initial idea to the approval and final delivery. For example, the planning tools, project discussions, collaboration features, and document management capabilities in EPM Live provide the perfect platform for the initiation activities essential to project success.

Following are three common mistakes made by project managers during initiation.

  1. Neglecting to share the Project Charter Document with the entire project team.Giving all resources insight into the purpose and goals of the project gets everyone on the same page and improves the project’s likelihood to stay within scope and on budget. 

    A Project Charter Document outlines the project goals and objectives, sets the stage for what the project is intended to accomplish, and identifies what success will look like at the end. Keeping this document close at hand, posting it in a central location, and referring to it frequently during meetings will keep the project on track and remind the team about the priorities and the ultimate end goal. 

    How EPM Live helps with the Project Charter?

    I post the Project Charter in EPM Live and refer to it on the Project Home Page and in Discussions to ensure it is always available and visible to everyone involved.  EPM Live offers version control and check in and check out features to ensure continuity.

  2. Ignoring the need for a well-documented Communication Management Plan. You can never assume that everyone knows their role or how to best communicate with stakeholders. To avoid duplication of work, frustrated team members, stepping on toes, or poor communication due to misunderstandings about who’s doing what, it’s important to document, share, and perform communications planning up front before the project kicks off.

    A Communication Management Plan outlines information about meeting cadence, communication channels, contact information for all internal and external stakeholders and resources, and an escalation plan when issues arise. It’s important to make sure that the team reviews it and all stakeholders have signed off on it.

    How EPM Live helps with my Communications Planning?

    I also post the Communication Management Plan in EPM Live so it is stored in a central location and easily accessible to everyone.  I use the Project Home Page to post information about upcoming meetings, roles, and contact information. Finally, I love how easy it is to set up meetings and create contacts with details about their contact information and role right from within EPM Live!

  3. Skipping the formal Kick-Off Meeting. When rushing to begin a new project especially when timelines are tight, it can be tempting to save precious time and skip the kick-off meeting. Kick-off meetings set expectations, ensure everyone involved is on the same page from the get go, and lays the foundation for a well-executed project.  Some PMs may mistakenly opt to send a simple kick-off email instead, or worse swiftly dive into tasks and deliverables. You can never assume that everyone reads their email or knows where to go to get the latest information.

    How EPM Live helps with my Kick-off Meetings?

    In my kick-off meetings, I refer to the Project Charter and Communication Management Plan which I have posted in Documents on my EPM Live site. I also post the Kick-off Document so the team can review it before the meeting and refer to it throughout the project. I can set up the meeting directly from the Project Home Page, and make an announcement about it as well. I also explain during the meeting how the EPM Live project site works.

Ultimately, communicating with key resources early on ensures that the project plan will be something that everyone can stick to and that ongoing communication will be appropriate and effective throughout the project lifecycle. EPM Live is a powerful tool that helps PMs be effective and communicate during the ever-so-important initiation phase.

A perfect balance of scheduling options, project management best practices, collaboration tools and reporting provides a simple, yet powerful solution. EPM Live is available online and on-premise, and seamlessly integrates with other business productivity tools such as Microsoft Project, Outlook, and Excel.