Don’t Assume; Ask These 8 Basic Questions When Given A Project

by | Nov 30, 2019

As humans, we make a lot of assumptions. However, when assigned a new project, the clearer we are on “what” we need to do, the “how” to do it is much easier to plan and execute.  We need to reduce assumptions and replace them with facts and clear direction.

Understanding Your Assignment

Beginning with these eight fundamental questions, you will obtain a clearer understanding of the parameters of your project:

  1. What objectives does this project support? Context is important. The more you know about how this project fits into the bigger picture, the better.
  2. What are the objectives or results I need to achieve? In other words, how will I know I have completed the project.
  3. What are the measurements I need to use to know I am on track? How will I know if I am at 50%, 60%, etc.? What is the evidence?
  4. What resources are available to me—training, people, etc.?
  5. What is my level of authority? I have the responsibility to complete this project, but I also need the ability to make and enforce decisions to get the job done.
  6. Is there an escalation process in place I need to use if there are problems?
  7. Who else needs to know I am working on this project, such as stakeholders or other organizations?
  8. How will I communicate my progress—emails, texts, face to face, etc. and how often?

When Delegating Work

If you are a leader, answering these questions when delegating work to a team member helps you define the framework for how this work will get done.  Based on answering the questions above, you can then determine who the best person is to handle this work.

Thinking through these basic questions provide the basis for a strong support structure for clear, concise communication, consistency, and increased certainty for success.

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About Chris Sier

Over the course of her career, Chris Sier has been a leader, business development manager, process consultant, and corporate coach. Having been an executive/leadership/career coach with a Fortune 200 company; and since 2009, as a business owner, Chris has worked with VPs, directors, team leaders, and high potentials globally, working with clients to maintain their competitive edge, manage complexity, drive growth and operational efficiency, and inspire and engage multi-generational teams. She also works with clients on their brand and career management. She has authored numerous booklets and articles, and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Development with a minor in Psychology from Central Michigan University.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Very helpful Chirs -Thanks!

    • Chris Sier

      Thank you. Answering these questions takes the uncertainty out of a project.

She helped me grow and succeed

Christine was my Executive Life Coach for about a year at EDS. I have worked with a number of Coaches, Counselors and Mentors during my career and none came close to having the impact Christine had on my life and career. I was working in an extremely stressful position during an extremely difficult project of migrating over 300 applications from 47 separate support vendors around the globe to an EDS support team. I had complete responsibility for the client relationship, the financials, and the technical aspects of the transition while also maintaining EDS' existing business with the client. Christine taught me a number of simple yet highly effective techniques for dealing with the stress. Her personal, sincere, and upbeat approach helped me get through a real death march. At the same time, she also helped me do some extremely important career planning for what would come after this project. She is truly outstanding at what she does and helped me grow and succeed during a period when I could easily have been crushed.

Kurt Toelken
Global Client Delivery Executive, Detroit, MI
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