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:
- What objectives does this project support? Context is important. The more you know about how this project fits into the bigger picture, the better.
- What are the objectives or results I need to achieve? In other words, how will I know I have completed the project.
- 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?
- What resources are available to me—training, people, etc.?
- 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.
- Is there an escalation process in place I need to use if there are problems?
- Who else needs to know I am working on this project, such as stakeholders or other organizations?
- 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.