Everyone should know that for an initiative to be considered a project it must have an actual start and end date. Additionally, the project must needs a scope statement, budget, and resources.
The work in a project is considered to be unique. There may be similarities to previous projects, but no two projects are exactly the same because you will always be dealing with different circumstances and resources.
There are many different ways to manage projects and organize the work. We want to manage projects in an organized fashion using a methodology that has either been tested by others, or created for our own environment.
Step I use to manage a project are:
1. Define the Work (Concept Documents, Business Case, Charter)
2. Create the Plan (WBS, MS Work, Project, Excel)
3. Manage to the Plan (Earned Value)
4. Manage Issues
5. Manage the Scope (from the Scope Statement)
6. Manage Communications (Status Reports, Meetings)
7. Manage Risks (Risk Management Plan)
8. Manage Documentation (Document Management, Intranet/Internet)
9. Manage Quality (Quality Plan)
10. Manage Metrics (Status Reports, Earned Value)
It is important to remember as the complexity of your projects increases you will need to delve deeper and deeper into the Ten steps listed above. An excellent resource that explains how to use the above process steps is http://www.tenstep.com.