Guide

Project management

Project management checklist

Checklists are useful tools for building consistency in work practices. A project management checklist can help you whether you are starting your project from scratch, or taking over one that’s already underway.

Quick project management checklist

This checklist focuses on top-line items grouped under a number of main headings. You will need to consider all of these, ideally before you start your project, to ensure that you can deliver it successfully.

Preliminary planning

  • consider all stakeholders
  • consider mandate, brief and business case
  • check the 'lessons learned' from previous projects
  • consider cost, resources and budget

Project brief

  • draw up project scope and objectives
  • agree outputs or outcomes with all parties
  • define a project approach
  • identify project weaknesses, constraints and risks

Project organisation

  • build a project team, project group or a steering group
  • consider appointing a project manager
  • identify and assign clear roles and responsibilities to all involved
  • consider staff training and management support
  • agree milestones
  • create a resource allocation plan

Project plan and execution

  • set down a clear project plan
  • identify key tasks and activities
  • factor in time and effort needed to achieve these tasks, and create a timeline
  • consider scheduling, task co-dependencies and critical path of the project
  • monitor progress against milestones, schedules, cost, resources available
  • respond to change and revise plan according to the changing needs
  • use tools to help you present and keep track of the plan, eg charts and calendars
  • log, monitor and report expenditure against budget
  • assess against risks and plan how you will mitigate/minimise impact
  • consider the need to document or audit trail the project
  • devise the project document library, if needed, and assign responsibility to manage it

Project closure

  • hand over work, responsibilities and deliverables, if appropriate
  • identify relevant people and tell them 'what, when and how' they will inherit
  • carry out a project review or 'lessons learned' exercise

To find out more on how to manage the different stages of a project, see five stages of project management.