Project Management

8 Key Questions to Stay Focused on Project Goals

PMI Portugal Chapter

Alexandre Costa is a software engineer in Vila Franca do Rosário, Portugal.

Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the true purpose of a project. We start to do activities automatically without considering whether they are being done the best way, or by the most suitable person—or even if the deliverables bring value to the project's client. This is often more evident with inexperienced project managers, but can happen with anyone who gets “lost” with their convictions.

In order to maintain focus on your project's purpose and add real value, it's important to do a regular introspective exercise. Regularly answering these eight questions will better equip you to solve everyday problems—and become energized and focused to develop an outcome in line with stakeholder expectations:

  1. Why are we doing the project?
  2. Do I really know what I’m doing?
  3. Do the stakeholders really care?
  4. Who is doing what? Why? And when?
  5. Should I really get involved in all activities?
  6. Have I improved?
  7. Am I trying to deliver at any cost/risk?
  8. Is this bringing value to the stakeholders or project owner? 

Answering these questions will help you find out if you are focused on the project—or if you need to change behaviors to best realize the real purpose of the project.

This is a very personal exercise, and after some practice, it can be adapted to the personality of each PM that uses it. However, I …

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