First Project Assessment Checklist

While it’s tempting to immediately tackle that big, complex transformation initiative your organization has been trying to drive for the past many years, be careful: organizations frequently mistake a new tool or platform as an immediate panacea for an evergreen problem, but this leads to overly ambitious goals, a never ending project, and frustration. Instead, be sure to set your first project up for success, learn quickly, build credibility and then you’ll be ready to tackle the bigger initiatives. 

Look for a first project that has a clear value proposition, aligns well with platform capabilities and has high potential for rapid scaling. It’s an opportunity to prove success. Use the checklist below to help guide the direction of your first project:

✓ Digitize Workflows – projects that reduce the use of paper documents, email, phone, and spreadsheets will generate quick savings.

✓ Strengthen End-To-End Control – consistent work quality, accurate forecasting, and status visibility are hallmarks for strong projects.

✓ Streamline Multiple Decision Steps – these projects accelerate workflows and reduce mistakes by facilitating handoffs and embedding instructions within work items.

✓ Enable Greater Mobility – these projects enhance users’ ability to get work done “any time, anywhere.”

✓ Start Small And Simple – projects with a single Process Owner (or a small central team) enables quick decision making on scope and budget, and should manifest in a six to eight week delivery timeline. 

✓ Allow For Easy Measurement Of Results – not everything that is valuable can be measured, but your first projects should tie to KPIs in order to quantify project success.

✓ Fix Existing Ad-Hoc Processes – these are often easy to modify and improve for quick wins.

✓ Link To Corporate Or Group Objectives – this increases the likelihood of senior sponsorship and will help secure buy-in by senior management and power users for future projects.

✓ Create A Short Runway To Launch – the project can be appropriately scoped in order for the first benefits to manifest in roughly six to eight weeks.

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