In this lesson, we'll review the tools you need to keep you on track: the CI Project Checklist and Project Plan.
Download the CI Project Checklist to keep you on track with each step in your project. Consider printing out the checklist and posting in in a visible location on your desk or in a team area. Review the checklist on a daily or weekly basis to stay focused.
The Checklist includes action items for tollgate meetings. A tollgate is a project review meeting, or control point, with your sponsor. These tollgates should occur at critical steps in your CI project to ensure you are on track to meet your deliverables. The idea is for you to stop at the "tollgate" and get approval before moving on.
Go ahead and schedule these now. Schedule at least one a month. This gives you an opportunity to review your decisions or project challenges with your sponsor, get her feedback and keep her engaged. If your project is running smoothly, this meeting can be a brief 10-minutes. If the project team needs more guidance, schedule a longer meeting. Remember - you can always cancel or shorten meetings if needed!
The Checklist also includes a brief agenda for each meeting to guide your conversation.
Your project plan keeps the team on track, on time and on scope. It will include all of the steps required to complete your CI project.
You have many great options for project management tools. Use the Excel-based Project Plan template provided here or use the tool that has been adopted by your organization. While Excel lacks features of other advanced project management software, it's easy to use and can be shared easily within project teams.
Whichever tool you choose, be sure that your project plan includes:
- A list of tasks or action items
- Due date for each task
- Status – either a percent complete or a status like "not started", "in progress" or "complete"
- Name of the person responsible for completing the task
It's critical that the task is assigned to a single person, not a group of people. Tasks assigned to a group often fail to get completed! So avoid the "well, I thought that so-and-so was going to do it" and assign the task to an individual. That person can always reach out to others for help.
Store your project plan in a location where your team can access it or print it in a larger format and place it in a common area.
The project plan should be updated daily, or at a minimum, weekly. Continue to add new tasks as you progress through this roadmap and your project.
Download the Project Checklist and Project Plan to keep your project on track.
Action Items for this Course