When starting a project

Key things to focus on at the beginning of a new project:

1. People:

  • Identify all the key players, get their contact info (email, phone, IM) and their physical location/time zone too
  • Get their schedules of availability for this project, including days they telecommute (WAH)
  • Identify the official decision-makers and approvers: technical, business, design (tech = engineering + QA leads)
  • Identify the role of other people involved (contributor, informed, etc.) and who to expect might pop-up down the road
  • As the project evolves and scope is re-defined (which always happens!), more or different people will enter/exit as needed, adjust as necessary

2. Process:

  • Decide the working style and process
  • Decide whether to do in-person, phone conf, web conf, etc.
  • Decide level of day-to-day involvement
  • Make sure all in agreement, with room for adjustments down the road

3. Deliverables:

  • Decide what the final deliverables will be and how success will be measured/identified
  • Decide what the working/interim deliverables will be and how they will be reviewed (see Process above)
  • Make sure all in agreement, with room for adjustments down the road

4. Schedule:

  • What are the deadlines and milestones? What is expected at those points in time?
  • Make sure all in agreement, with room for adjustments down the road

5. Materials:

  • Gather the latest version of critical documents as fodder/material for analysis and discussion
  • MRD, PRD, ERD: all technical and business requirements
  • User Research: all personas, scenarios, use cases, taskflows, architecture or concept maps that have been done already even in preliminary form
  • Prototypes, if any
  • Screenshots, specs if any, and photoshop files
  • Latest builds, if any

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