The first day on any new project is always something that gets the nerves jangling. There are lots of exciting possibilities in front of you. Will it be a total success or a complete failure?
The overall success of your project clearly won’t be decided by what happens on the very first day. Yet, it will have an effect on what happens from now on. So, how can you use the PRINCE2 methodology to get off to a flying start?
Don’t Dive In
If you have used a project methodology like Agile before then you may be used to getting started quickly. However, PRINCE2 is all about careful planning at the start so that you get a clear way ahead laid out.
This means that your first day will be about starting to plan for the future. There is no need to rush in and start trying to complete your milestones right away. Naturally, you won’t expect to get a fully-formed plan churned in just a few hours either.
This first day is more about getting some sort of idea of what the plan will be like. What are the overall goals and when should be completed by? Can you start to see how it will all fall into place and how realistic the timescales are? Be sure to keep an open mind about the way ahead.
Ask the Obvious Questions
This is the ideal moment to ask the obvious questions that you might be too embarrassed to ask later on. Is there an acronym you don’t understand or a person mentioned in the documents that you have never heard of?
There is no shame in having to ask for some doubts to be cleared up. However, you might feel increasingly reluctant to do this as time passes and you are considered an expert in the subject matter.
The simplest way to do this is to open up a new Word document and start listing all of your questions on it. You should then look to tick them all off one by one as you get the answers that you need. You may meet the main stakeholders today, which is a good chance to ask the right questions.
Get to Know Your Team
Unless it is an extremely small project, you will have a team to help you out. Getting them up to speed and working well together as quickly as possible should be one of your key goals in the very early stages of the project.
This can be made more complicated if everyone is new and working together for the first time. In this case, you might want to organise some sort of relaxed team building events where everyone gets the chance to get to know each other well.
Another issue to consider is what training is needed for everyone. Do some team members need their PRINCE2 training London or are there technical skills that they need to pick up in order to contribute fully to the work?
Start to Understand the Project
You can’t hope to fully understand a new project on the first day that you are given it. However, you can start to get a feel for it even in the early stages.
This means taking your time to read the documents and get to grips with it. You might start by taking some notes and noting down anything that you aren’t completely clear on. In this way, you should gradually start to see the project take shape.
Using PRINCE2 principles from day one will give you a solid starting point on any project. No matter what the subject is, you can start to see how everything is going to fall into place as you proceed.