Here is a detailed checklist project managers can use to make sure they consider each of the important project kick-off activities.
These steps are described in much more detail in the next sections of the project managment category.
Detailed Project Start-up Checklist (Microsoft Word)
Negotiate and Definitize the Contract
- Ensure that the organization’s appropriate contracts management is in concert with the technical management team (including higher management as appropriate) on all negotiation issues.
- Document and retain all negotiation resolutions.
- Ensure that the project and the customer have identical copies of the results of all negotiated items.
- Ensure that the contract, where applicable, has been updated to reflect negotiated items.
- In some situations, and only with management approval, work is started before a contract is awarded. In order to expend funds, a formal pre-contract funds authorization is required (pre-award).
Conduct Evaluation and Planning
- Thoroughly review the entire contract with any negotiated items to ensure that the approach to be taken is consistent.
- Where discrepancies are found, document them, track to closure, and communicate all intended changes to management for review and approval.
- If appropriate, meet with the cognizant Your company business development or sales executive to review: the status and outcomes of past discussions with the customer; our understanding of the customer’s issues, needs, and environment; and any assumptions made in developing the project proposal.
Update PM Planning
- Conduct a project review to establish team understanding and commitment.
- Understand the system’s development environment.
- Understand specific contract requirements specifying:
- Configuration management and control
- System/software/hardware quality.
- Understand approaches proposed to achieve the project’s objectives.
- Review, update and finalize all plans.
Initiate Applicable Staffing / Resources
- Contact, where applicable, any functional organizations to ensure that intended personnel are available and provide a “start date” for each person. If no functional organization exists, develop and implement a recruiting plan.
- Document staffing issues that may arise, coordinate their resolution, and affect designated resolutions.
- Capture and track to closure all identified issues.
- dentification/mitigation program.
- Develop and conduct training on the project requirements and plans.
Finalize Subcontractor(s) Relationship(s)
- Include into all subcontractor contractual documents all applicable (i.e., to the subcontractor) results of negotiations to the Your company contract.
- Review your company contract and the intended subcontract vehicles to assure that all applicable and appropriate “flow downs” have been affected; i.e., update where necessary.
- Have all subcontract changes approved by management and contracts management personnel prior to actual implementation. Ensure that the statement of work (SOW and Ts&Cs (contract acronym for terms and conditions) for the subcontract are in agreement with the needed requirements of the contract.
- Cause the negotiation and contract “signing” process between you and the subcontractor to take place. Ensure that the appropriate management personnel approve the intended negotiations prior to actual implementation.
- Communicate all applicable subcontracted SOW and Ts&Cs items to the project personnel responsible for tracking the subcontractor performance.
- Ensure that the results of the “definitization” of the subcontract are properly reflected into the project’s planning as a whole.
- Ensure that all affected parties on the project are provided with the updated, if applicable, planning for the project.
- Ensure security requirements are flowed down.
Implement Project Progress Tracking Mechanics
- Solidify the actual progress metrics to be collected, analyzed, and used for process enhancements; ensure that all organizational requirements as well as those specified by the contract are included.
- Document all progress metrics and communicate to all project personnel.
- Establish the mechanics (e.g., via “web page,” automated, manual, etc.) whereby the metrics are provided by the implementers with appropriate “feedback” included.
- Ensure that the defined collection/feedback mechanics are viable; i.e., will the mechanics actually work?
- Communicate such mechanics to all project personnel.
- Set up/solidify the means by which all project personnel may be informed of all aspects of the project’s implementation affecting them in a timely manner.
- Allow for the identification and resolution visibility for any/all issues that project personnel may detect.
- Verify that the means defined will actually work.
- Explain the project communications approach/methods to all project personnel.
– Mike Lisagor