How to plan a project (Steps):

(The WHY)

  • Problem statement
  • How do we know this problem to be true?
    • Back the problem statement through data (qualitative or quantitative)

(The WHAT)

  • Solution/milestone/ MVP to tackle the problem
    • What were the other alternatives we considered?
    • How did we arrive at this to be the best option?
  • Milestone details with a timeline
    • Can we break the milestones further?
  • Success metrics
    • How will we know if the project was successful?
    • What data will we collect?
    • What research tools we will use to gather feedback from our users?
  • Based on customer feedback and data gathered, what will be the potential next steps?

(The HOW)

  • Tech and Design specs with Implementation details
  • Acceptance criteria
  • Scenario planning
  • Roll out plan

Most beginner PMs jump to the HOW directly without spending effort on the WHY and freezing the WHAT. When their CEO has second thoughts about the ROI of the project and gets it killed, these PMs crib about organizational politics.

Your job as a PM is to Focus on all 3. Don’t pick up a new project just because your CEO asked you to. First be convinced yourself. If you are just running after developers doing what your CEO is asking you to do, you are just a glorified project manager. Sorry.

Please do your homework.