Project Management Essentials
A Crash Course. Because there’s no time
to read a novel and definitely no time to
fumble through your next project!
Why Many Projects Fail
• It’s not clear or agreed upon
what should and shouldn’t
be accomplished as part of
• Poor Communication
• Poor Organization
• Project Charter
• Project Plan + Issues List
• Project Plan, Budget,
What Should & Shouldn’t Be Done?
• Project Charter Captures Answers to this
• Meet with Team Before Starting Project
• Include anyone that can Make or Break the
• Discuss These Topics & Document Results:
– What are the key obstacles, issues, or
problems that we want to overcome by
executing this project?
– In a positive sense, What are the Objectives
of executing this project
– Are there a few critical variables that could
make or break the success of this project?
– What will be done as part of the project?
What won’t be done?
– Who needs to be involved?
– Are there measures/metrics that should be
used to empirically gauge the success of the
• Click the graphic for a free 1-page Excel-
based Project Charter template.
Draft the Project Plan
• Work with Team to Brainstorm & then
Analyze what work needs to be Done
• Use the Project Charter as an aid to keep you
on-task & within Scope.
• Generate a list of all work to be done
– Break tasks into approx. 30min. Chunks of
– Use Common Sense to clearly define
beginning & end of each task.
– 30 min. is a guideline, not a hard rule
• CRITICAL STEP: Assign Responsibility & Due
Dates to EVERY task!
– Only 1 person can be Responsible for each
– Work with Assignee to determine reasonable
deadlines & workload
• This document is your Project Plan
• An Excel Project Plan template is included
with the EeloSoft Project Management
Toolkit (purchase link at end of presentation)
Create Budget & Schedule
• Many Simple Projects Don’t Need a formal
Budget or Schedule
• If you are using a Formal Budget, break it
– Review Project Plan for product/service
– Estimate or look for quotes on all items
– Add 10% contingency for normal projects
– Add more contingency for risky projects with
a lot of unknowns
• Schedule will follow the Project Plan
deadlines & Dependencies
– Document key Milestones for Management
– A Gantt Chart can be used as a graphical aid
for presenting Schedule & Dependencies
– A Gantt Chart Template is included with the
EeloSoft Project Management Toolkit
• Time to put the Rubber to the Road
• Meet with Individual Team Members at Agreed Upon
– Discuss Assignments & Any Questions
– Explain that you will follow-up a few days before due dates for
– Maintain open communication channels & be there to help, if
• Pay Special Attention to Critical Path Tasks & Critical
• Give Everyone ‘Read’ access, at minimum, to the Project
Plan & other documents
• Remember to celebrate successes!
• I just gave you the bare essentials to
successfully manage projects
• Volumes have been written on the topic.
– Read more if you have time
– Email me if something doesn’t make sense or you
want to share a success story!
• The EeloSoft Project Management Toolkit is an
absolute bargain! The tools included will get
you up & running quickly:
– Project Management Guidebook
– Project Charter Template
– Project Plan Template
– Budget Template
– Schedule Template
– Free upgrades for life!
• My contact Info & useful links are on the next
• A Glossary of Terms follows that
EeloSoft – Making Work so Easy it’s
• Project Management Primer
• Free Project Charter
• EeloSoft Project
Eelo’s Contact Info
• Erik Lomas
• EeloSoft Blog
• Assignee – Person to which a particular task or group of tasks is given Responsibility for completion
• Budget – A plan that outlines which items/services will be purchased, and the amount to be spent on each. Tracks
Actual vs. Planned Spend
• Charter – Single Page Project Summary Document. Includes Objectives, Scope of Work, Team Members etc.
• Contingency – Adding Schedule time, Budget money, or redundant tasks as a method to manage uncertainty
• Critical Path – Sequence of tasks that define the minimum project Schedule
• Critical Success Factors – The few considerations & events that must go well in order for the Project to succeed
• Deadline – The latest time by which a task should be completed
• EeloSoft Project Management Toolkit – A suite of guidebooks, templates, & other tools to aid new & veterna
• Gantt Chart – Visual tool that demonstrates planned and actual work dates as horizontal bars on a calendar grid
with dates as columns
• Milestone – Action or Event that marks significant progress within the project
• Project Plan – A checklist of project tasks, due dates, assignees, & other task-specific information
• Responsible – Assignee that is held accountable for completion of a task. Others may complete all or a portion of
the task, but only one person can be Responsible. Shared Responsibility often fails…
• Schedule – Planned dates & durations for completing project tasks
• Scope of Work – Definition of what will and will not be completed as part of a project. A boundary of work to be
• Workload – The amount of work that is expected to be done by a team member or other resource