Timing really is everything. A well-timed project launch increases the chances for a project’s success, while launching at the wrong time can derail a project before it really gets going. Here are several factors you need to consider when deciding the timing of your project:
- Money: There will be certain times of the year when the operating funds you need for your project are more readily available. Determine when there will be adequate funding available for your project to start and wait until then. Trying to make do and fund your project on a shoestring diminishes its chances for success.
- People: Figure out who you need to work on your project and find out when they are available. If they are currently working on another high-priority project, wait until they finish that before launching yours. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid launching projects during the holiday season when teams are usually stretched thin.
- Strategic Goals: Chances are your project aligns with one of your organization’s strategic initiatives. For example, if you’re doing a project that involves new IT regulations, you want to make sure you’re starting it far enough in advance to ensure it’s complete by the time the new regulations take effect. Also remember to determine if there are other projects that have a dependency on your project, or if other projects need to be completed before yours can begin.
- Materials and Infrastructure: Make sure you have all the necessary tools, equipment and resources in place before your project begins, so you don’t waste valuable time waiting for things to arrive once the project is already underway. For example, if your project involves new servers that are shipping from overseas, factor the shipping time into your planning process.
- Readiness of the Organization: Your project’s ultimate success depends on the organization adopting the outcome successfully. If you’ve just undergone a change in structure or leadership, let the dust settle before requiring people to get on board with more change.
Numerous factors impact the timing of a project, which ultimately impacts the project’s overall success. Taking extra time and energy on the frontend to remove potential timeline roadblocks will help the processes flow much more smoothly and lead to greater buy-in.