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Project Management:
Getting Started With Your Lights On!

by Rick Sidorowicz


The ‘work’of business is increasingly taking the form of projects - specific, focused, time bound efforts - of review, improvement, engineering, re-engineering, introduction, start up, implementation, execution, development, and change. More and more ‘business’ involves ‘making things different’ - directing efforts to intervene in what exists today and move forward positively to a new and ideally more productive, effective, and rewarding state of affairs.

Project management skills and project membership skills are becoming increasingly valued as work involves change, new initiatives, and a series of projects to add value for internal and external customers. Here is a checklist to ‘sharpen the saw’ for effective project management.

Getting started with your lights on!


What strategic issues will this effort address?

What key opportunities for differentiation and competitive advantage will this project contribute to?


The important benefits this initiative is expected to achieve.

The key processes and activities that this effort will address.

The important process drivers and cost drivers that need to be examined.

The gaps in organization capabilities and in alignment with organization goals.

The ‘enablers’ and opportunities for greatest leverage.


Alignment of the project with the strategic and business objectives.

Organization change and growth through the development of new capabilities.

Deliverables including cycle time and efficiency objectives.

The opportunities for individuals in participation and/or alignment with the effort.


Reward systems.

Performance management systems.

Accounting systems.

HR strategies.


Systems development capability.

Project management skills.

Internal communications processes.

Logistics capabilities.


Identify issues, obstacles, gaps, blockages, opportunities ... such as ...

Pricing policies
Assortment strategy
Decision rules
New product introduction
Seasonality/event based activities
Customer focus
Integrity of information
Cycle times
Labour relations
HR impact
Resource allocation
Employee involvement
Environmental issues
Management structure
Decision making cycle time

Prepare a plan of action ...

Time based
Data requirements
Data sources
Decision points
Client approvals
Performance criteria

So what's next?

Execute confidently and quickly ... and then ...

Identify! Illuminate! Elaborate! Align! Strengthen! Plan! and … execute faster!


The Author


Rick Sidorowicz is the Publisher and Editor of The CEO Refresher and
the Minister of Culture of High Performance Retail.

Many more articles in Project Management in The CEO Refresher Archives
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