With Wave Two getting underway, current and new staff working on the Senate Efficiency Review projects met with Gail Davidson and Caroline Walker for some project management skills development.
There were varying levels of expertise in the room as we “mind showered” what we meant by the term “project”.
Once we had an idea of what a project consisted of, we could then debate what made a good one: clear business benefits, value for money, and a long list of other things too.
Alongside our discussions of how to proceed with Wave Two of the projects, it was useful to hear some of the lessons learned from Wave One. Sharing these comments provided valuable experience to those who have not already been part of the project and allowed us all to consider how we may feed this into the next steps of our projects.
Proceeding from these foundations, Caroline led a short session on defining scope, and within that, how to identify dependencies that will impact on your project. Having a clear scope allows for goal setting, and acts as a measure of success for the project throughout its delivery and beyond. The objectives of each project should be Specific, Measurable, Agreed (with stakeholders), Realistic and Time-constrained (SMART).
Along with defining the scope there are a number of other factors to plan for. During the afternoon session we were able to put into practice the tools we had been given to put together a draft project plan, including its objectives, deliverables (Must Haves, Should Haves, Could Haves and Won’t Have (this time)), along with our assumptions, constraints, risks and dependencies.
By the end of the day it was much clearer to us all exactly what we need to achieve in order to stay on track with our projects.