Project Management Fundamentals

Project management is simple. Not easy, but simple. You only need to remember three things and captured in this single sentence:

Who does what by when

If you can answer the question at every stage of your project, it will be completed on time and within scope.

Who—The Person Responsible

Every task in a project requires ownership. What that means is someone, a person and not a team or group or company, is responsible for completing the task.

For regular projects, this is a team member. It could be you as well.

If you’re working with contractors or agencies, the “who” is the one who is responsible for the task. It could be the freelancer directly or the account manager who will then take care of assigning that task to an individual in their own team.

Does What—The Task Itself

This is the most important part that is often taken for granted.

The task itself has to be clear. By itself, the person assigned to it doesn’t need to ask more questions in order to finish it.

Finish report is a very vague task.

Send an email with summarized bullet points and attach PDF—now that’s better.

By When—The Deadline

Every task needs to have an accompanying deadline. As a rule of thumb, the maximum deadline to finish a task should be a week or 7 days.

If a task takes more than that to finish, that means the task is a “mini project” by itself and should be broken down further.

Deadlines drive behavior. Without it, nothing would get done on time.

Follow This Rule of Three

Just like a chair won’t stand on its own with just one or two legs, you need to use these three when managing projects.

If you want your projects to succeed, always have use three points.

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