Project management for regular folks


You may or may not be a certified, titled, or universally recognized “project manager.” However, chances are that you manage projects from time to time.  A project is an initiative designed to achieve particular goals for designated stakeholders. Because of the scope of most professional projects, accomplishing them will require you to do more than simply add a few more tasks to your to-do list.

Below are some tips for non-“project-manager”-project-managers to, well, manage projects.


Clarify the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved.  Projects typically have the following cast of characters:

  • Project manager – the person (you?) who will organize all aspects of the project including meetings, deliverables, dates, and resources
  • Stakeholders – the people who have a vested interest in the outcome of your project
  • Project sponsor – a manager or executive who oversees the major deliverables, supports the project, and generally puts his/her clout behind the project if it faces obstacles
  • Project team – colleagues who will work with you to achieve project goals


Get organized – really organized.  There are some tools you may need in order to get all your characters pointed in the same direction:

  • Project Scope Document – a document (3 – 4 pages) that identifies what the project will address, the timeline, budget, people involved, and most importantly, will explain why the project is important to see through to completion.  I have a template I’m happy to share with you…just shoot me an email to request it.
  • A Massive Task List – this may be in spreadsheet format and identifies specific project-related tasks that need to be completed, by whom, with start/end dates
  • Electronic collaboration platform – most projects need a centralized place for team members to save and share electronic documents

Great strides in innovation and growth are achieved through effective management of projects – even from the regular folks.

Need help managing projects, tasks, and work in general?  I’m only an email away.  The initial assessment is at no cost to you.


This article originally appeared on workWELL, presented by Unum.

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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


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