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Brainstorm First Time Project -- Best practices for defining a new project. (2:02)

1. Define a New Project

This video describes best practices for defining a new project.

2. Start With a Written Plan

The first step, is to create, review, share, and update a written description of the project.

The purpose is to ensure key players agree on important aspects of the project.

As a minimum we recommend including; background, business problem, solution, and goals.

3. Brainstorm the Work

When teams initially brainstorm a new project, in this example, a community playhouse project, they typically produce unconnected tasks.

It becomes apparent; that it would be helpful to organize these items into categories.

4. Move Like Items Under Column Headers 

So now do the Sesame Street game, which one is like another, move items under an appropriate column header.

You may modify or add column headers.

5. Convert Column Headers to Deliverables

Consider the column header as a deliverable, a thing.

Ask the question. what work will be required to produce the column header or deliverable?

You will usually identify work, that needs to be added.

6. Brainstorm Tasks For Each Work Package

Look closely at each work item; is it a single task, or will it require multiple tasks. 

Most items initially identified will require more than a single task, and may even need more than one person doing the work.

You now need a way to combine and assign multiple tasks; that’s the work package.

7. The Power of Three Levels

We just created three levels of project work. Three levels are the Goldilocks zone.

When you use less than three levels, work is usually missed, which increases the probability of surprises and increased time.

Using more than three levels becomes complex to understand and manage.

8. The Three Level Structure

We recommend, defining project work within these three levels.

Deliverables, work packages, and tasks.

Experienced project managers refer to this as the Work Breakdown Structure, or WBS.

9. Thank You For Watching, Project-Assistant.com

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