Project management

Project management checklist

Guide

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 several 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 the 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.