What you need to ask yourself and answer for yourself when managing a team project.

April 4, 2010 M. D. Moore

There is that moment of reflection used by most successful managers before putting the specific details and assignment’s into a final plan.  I call in the Moment of Insight and it is ever so important.  This insight is based on factors that every manager has available:

  • Experience with both the subject matter and the people on the team.
  • The goals and objectives and timetables at hand.
  • The tools, equipment and resources needed as well as available.

Once you have the Project overview sketched out and a good idea about people…skills…abilities and attitudes…you need to give yourself the time and space for a quality Moment of Insight.  Do not under estimate the power of this or take anything for granted.  In the end, the success of the project and you ability to execute and get thing done rests with you.

The Power of Your Insights

You would not have been chosen for a project of importance to you business of the company if people did not value your abilities.  Whether you are a new manager or seasoned executive, you are the one in charge.  Your insights are a key component of successful execution.  Trust yourself….really, trust your instincts and the insights that will develop.

The Dynamics of a Simple Process to Produce Your moment of Insight

Here are your simple actionable questions to focus your insights on aspects that, while often over-looked, are indispensable to improving your Project Management success.

Take out 5 pieces of notebook paper and label each as follows:

  1. Project Goal
  2. People on this Project
  3. Obstacles
  4. Interdependency’s
  5. Milestones

Start with Sheet 1.  Write down the specific goal or objective for this project under the Heading.  Now ask your self the following questions and write down Your Insights to each.

  • What specifically do you expect to be True and of Value as a result of this project?
  • How will the business or company benefit by the successful completion of this project?
  • How will your customers and/or employees benefit from this project?
  • How will you benefit personally/professionally from the successful execution of this assignment?

Sheet 2: List all the people or at least all the key people you are assigning to this Project in a Column on the left side of the sheet.  What are Your Insights  to each question:

  • What skill(s) or specific knowledge does this person bring?
  • What motivates each person?
  • How is this person viewed by the others on the team?
  • What unique added value could each add to the project?
  • What issues might you encounter with each, if any?

Now at the bottom of the sheet or on the back, answer the following: From the answers to each question for each member of the team, what are the five most important insights that you need to take into account when finalizing the Project Plan and how you will manage it?

Sheet 3: Obstacles.  Every project or assignment of importance and involving a team of people will run into obstacles and roadblocks long the way.  You can’t know everything but what do Your Insights tell you about the following:

  • Knowing what you know, what obstacles are you thinking may occur?
  • For each, what would you do to overcome them?
  • What back-up plan do you need to have ready?
  • What people reserves do you have if any that might be called upon to jump in and resolve any roadblocks?

Sheet 4: Interdependency’s. Thinking about the specific action steps and time lines for your project…What Are Your Insights?

  • List each step or people-assignments that are really dependent of the actions and steps of all the others?
  • What needs to be done first to allow a subsequent step to be completed?
  • What team work can really make others successful in their individual assignments?

Sheet 5: Milestones. Most projects will be better executed and delivered on schedule if you will identify one or more “Milestones”.  A Milestone is a specific point along the project timeline that represents a key point of accomplishment and opens the way for the next steps to move forward.  What do Your Insights tell you about the following:

  • What key points of project accomplisment along the timeline would clearly show all that the project is coming together and ready to move to the next level?
  • By what date should the team expect to have reached the Milestone(s)?
  • What recognition and rewards could you utilize to focus people on the tasks and motivate achievement and particularly teamwork.

Once you have allowed yourself to walk through a Moment of Insight about these important considerations and trust your judgements and insights, you have at hand the  project intelligence that the most successful managers apply to developing and executing team assignments.

Integrate all your conclusions into your final detailed Plan of Action.  You will be amazed, rewarded and evolve to an Insightful manager who trusts his or her instincts and insights and build a reputation for really getting things done through others.


Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

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