On the relative term, the preconceived notion of every Project Manager is to at the end of the day achieve the desired result a project is designed for. Often times do we see Companies, NGO, Individuals amongst others invest a whole lot of resources to get sets of vision accomplished. Despite this, some at the end of the day gets under satisfied. As a Project Manager working with an international non profit organization in my institution (eksu.edu.ng), I have been opportuned to initiate, launch and supervise several community developmental projects; an experience that gave me quite an understanding of the criteria that makes a project thrive and at the end brings forth intended result.

Briefly, here are the five things that sets your project on the right track:

1. Be SPECIFIC: Williams M.  Marsden said “Realize what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and puts you to work digging gold”. Clarity about what you want to do gives you a focal point. It gives you a clear picture by seeing the end from the beginning. For example, a journey to quench my hunger will prompt me to design a project to end that hunger alone as that is what I want to achieve. Hence, I’m focused on that. Similarly, being specific fosters efficient and effective use of resources.

2. Project MEASURABLE outcomes: Here is another factor of importance you need to consider in getting your project in the right track. John Elkington in the mid 1990’s proposed an accounting framework called the triple bottom line (3 P’s … People, Profit and Planet), a theory I personally find interesting. For an entrepreneur, your project should carry a defined and measurable baselines for quantifying your profit; a reward for an entrepreneur. And if you are a social worker eg partners of SI4DEV, the level of impact in the society must be quantifiable with respect to setting milestones.

3. Act on ACHIEVABLE projects: This point I believe is self explanatory. The simple message is that, while creating project schedules; set goals, make plans and take actions that are achievable.  For example, the project designed to eradicate waste in Lagos within the space of an hour is not achievable. Always note that, you should base your plans on the level of resources you have at your disposal although there is no limit to what you can achieve, which brings me to the next point.

4. Be REALISTIC: Your first responsibility as a Project Manager is to define reality when beginning your project journey. Actions always have consequences, being realistic helps you determine what those consequences can be. When setting goals, ask yourself these questions; Is it possible? Does this include everyone or just a few? Have I identified and articulated the areas that will make this project difficult to achieve?

5. Be TIME bounded: My definition of project is “a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”. And it is temporary in that it has defined beginning and end in time. Bear in mind that a project is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal.

With these afore-listed factors, if considered critically will make you develop a SMART project that wins you your desired result.

(Feel free to check through my profile at SI4DEV initiatives or you can contact me directly on +2348160350557 or send a message to ataoheedolanrewaju@gmail.com)

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