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Four questions every Project Manager should ask before starting a new project

So, it’s your first solo project or you have just been placed on a project mid-project and you are the lead manager. Where do you start?

With questions of course!

Four key questions every project manager should ask:

1) What is this project all about?
2) What does my project sponsor/client want me to do?
3) What are the implied tasks I am being asked to achieve?
4) What are the limits/boundaries of my authority?

You need to ask these questions so that you:

  • Are given an idea of the project and organisational context.
  • Can find out what result the client really wants.
  • Can find out if you are being given full responsibility and authority.
  • Know exactly what power/authority you will have throughout the duration of the project, especially when it comes to decision-making.

After asking these questions, you should know:

  • What your sponsor/ client is really after in regards to the project.
  • What you are allowed to do and say.
  • What authority you have for the duration of the project.

By asking these four key questions at the beginning of the project, you are also building a foundation of trust between yourself and your client/sponsor, which is absolutely critical!

The takeaway…

Ask many questions – from the answers, ask follow up questions to make sure that you fully understand what is required. Confirm in writing with the sponsor/client – the written word is a marvellous tool to clarify requirements and eliminate confusion.

At Plenty Training, we are obsessed with developing and educating quality Project Managers so that you deliver better project results and (hopefully) increase your income over time! Through articles such as these, I will be providing you with insights into what’s new and trending in the Project Management world as well as introducing you to tools and techniques that you can utilise in your projects, in order for you to deliver better projects and achieve better results.

If you have any tips or PM stories/examples, we would love to hear from you! Email to [email protected] and let’s share.

Happy Projecting!

Phil Wagner

Phil Wagner

Plenty Training RTO number 32371