Monthly Archives: August 2015

project tool

Branding Your Project

Branding is a more sophisticated form of marketing communication. The purpose of branding a project is to associate an emotion or a feeling with your project. This is exactly what marketing people try to do when they brand a product. For instance, The Coca-Cola Company hopes that you feel good about its products and that you will choose its products from a crowded store shelf because you like the image and emotion associated with it. Maybe it works.

The purpose of branding a project is to associate a positive image and emotion with your work. This is not something most projects need to be concerned about. However, ask yourself some questions regarding the impact your project will have on the organization.

  • Does it impact a large number of people or maybe the entire company?
  • Will it require a culture change or a change in the way people do their job?
  • Will your project make people nervous or afraid? For instance, will it result in efficiencies so that less people are required to do the same function?

These are the types of projects that would be candidates for branding.

All large projects get branded. If you don’t do anything, this branding is generally negative. It is just the nature of people that they seem to think that change is bad. Positive branding communication helps you proactively build the image you want to portray rather than getting stuck with one.

When considering a branding strategy, ask whether it is important for people to have a positive feeling about your project. For example, when people hear of your project, do you want them to think of the benefits your project is bringing or do you want them to think about how bad the project is? Should they think of the company responding to competitive challenges or should they be wondering if the project will cost them their job? Do you want them to have positive thoughts or negative ones?

There are activities that a project can perform to help with the branding campaign.  Examples of activities include establishing a positive project name, distributing banded materials, publicizing project successes, etc.

Why the fuss?

You might be wondering why this all matters. Does this sound like just a bunch of fluff and unnecessary work? It is not. It matters because it is much more difficult for your project to be successful if the people that have to change are negative. It is much easier for you if they are positive about the change – or at least neutral. That is where the value-add comes in.

Meetings

Kickoff Meeting

Start Your Project with a Kickoff Meeting

The purpose of the kickoff meeting is to formally notify all stakeholders that the project has begun and make sure everyone has a common understanding of the project and his role. Like all formal meetings, there should be an agenda. There are a number of specific things you want to cover at this meeting:

    • Introduce the people at the meeting.
    • Recap the information in the Project Charter, including the purpose of the project, scope, major deliverables, risks, assumptions, etc.
    • Discuss the important roles and responsibilities of the project team, clients and stakeholders. If there is confusion about the role of any person or organization, it should be discussed and clarified now.
  • Go over the general approach and timeline of the project. This gives people a sense for how the project will unfold. In particular, you will want to ensure that people understand what they need to be doing in the short-term to support the project.
  • Answer any outstanding questions. The purpose of the discussion is not to rehash the purpose of the project, but to allow people to voice specific questions or concerns they have as the project begins.
  • Confirm that the project is now underway. If the project has not started yet, it should now be ready to start immediately.

In general, the project team, sponsor and major stakeholders should be in attendance. If this results in too many people for comfort, you can consider having only the major players attend. You can then meet with others in subsequent mini-kickoff meetings or you can send the relevant meeting information to the people who could not attend.

Although most kickoff meetings can be conducted in an hour or two, others might require a day or two. The longer kickoff meetings are especially important if the project is very complex or controversial.

It is said you never have a second chance to make a good first impression. This is true with the kickoff meeting. You are using the meeting to help set expectations for the project. If the meeting is unorganized, chaotic or a waste of time, the participants will probably carry those perceptions into the project as well. The project manager needs to make sure that he has prepared well for this meeting and that it goes smoothly.

Project Template

Using Project Templates

By using project templates when you are planning your next business opportunity, you will bring speed and consistency to the process. This is what this project management tool can provide for you and your organization when you are in search of that next great revenue stream.

The modern project templates are in a digital format. This allows for them to be repeatedly used without any wear and tear on them. It also permits them to be changed or customized to fit the particular needs of your organization. This is not a tool where one is a fit all situations for organizations. This is why to begin with, there are 52 different templates in most project management office programs that are available to use.

There are nine different project templates that are specifically designed to assist the project manager in the documentation of the necessary process of a modern day project. Each one was created with all of the required components needed to succeed in the global environment. They are also formulated in the correct and most logical order for the data to be placed in. This allows for the document to be easy to use and review, either on the production floor or in the office of your clients.

Another advantage of using the project templates for your documentation creation process is that they will bring a consistency to this formal procedure. Consistency is one of the ways you can prove to your prospective clients you are organized and a professional organization. This is important in the global market place. By establishing this level of credibility, your word will carry more weight in the negotiations of the purchase of your products.

The use of project templates reaches beyond the project process. Today, there are 43 of them that are used in the supporting documents which are necessary for executing a project for the global market place. This brings even a larger level of consistency, and speed, in the creation of the required paper work when you are searching for that elusive revenue stream. The more professional our organization appears to be, the greater amount of revenue it will create.