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How to be Strategic about your first Project by Neelima Mangal





That great day has finally come. Whether you're straight out of college or have been in the workforce for 20 years, entering into a new work environment can make you feel as if you've stepped foot on another planet.



You have just been put in charge of an important new project.


And while you are excited, this is your first time being responsible for an entire project.

“The culture has changed and people no longer stay at one firm for the entirety of their career,”


Getting started for the first time is challenging. However, there are ways to help you get your feet wet.


It’s a natural impulse to feel tempted into taking the project no one else wants.


When I think about picking my first project, I think about taking on something that's maybe technically challenging, highly visible.


Always consider taking on the one that's the hardest, that will give you the most experience, to showcase your skills and knowledge in the best possible light.


The first project should be a statement that will allow you future choices on the kinds of work you'll do.


Selecting the first project sets the stage for how you develop the rest of your career..

Few things are more thrilling than doing a project for the very first time.

But you don’t want this inexperience to be an excuse for failure.


You want to hit the ground running and show your team that they can trust you to perform.

To that end, I’ve assembled a few tips that can help you make SUCCEED -

1. Do your Research and/or Homework

Whether it’s a new career or as you enter into the corporate world.

Try to spend as much time as possible reading up on your new environment and studying any technical skills that you’re unfamiliar with.

You’re not going to be an expert after a few days of cramming, but you should at least accumulate a decent amount of knowledge so that you can keep up with your customers and team members.

You should also familiarize yourself with your organizational structure, the key internal and external players, company policies, and any processes or methodologies used by your team. This will help you transition smoothly into your new role.

2. Clarify Project roles and get to know your Team

Now that you know more about the project environment, you have to find out who’s involved and what roles they play.

This is for the entire team’s benefit as much as it is yours.

The members of your team are the force which drives the whole project forward.

Not only will you get a good idea of which resources to tap at any point in the project, but you’ll also be able to clarify murky roles on your team’s behalf. If you ask your team, “who handles x?” and they don’t know, it’ll get cleared up before the project gains momentum.

3. Align with your goals and have clear vision and objectives

Ensure you are aligned with the scope, mission and Vision of the project.

Be able to know why we do what we do?

Does your content strategy have clear objectives?

Are they SMART goals?

Once you have your goals, decompose into tasks and come up with expectations to successfully complete the goal.

4. Ensure Good Communication and be collaborative

It is fundamental that there is good communication between everyone: yourself, the team, and between team members.

Good communication between team members prevents potential problems during the project. Be a positive mindset with roll u sleeves attitude and be collaborative. Ensure good collaboration between team members throughout the project.


5. Be Flexible

Sometimes the plan you’ve outlined simply does not carry out the way you would have liked. If this happens, maintain a positive attitude and work out a solution with your team members. If some parts of the initial plan do not work, you can adopt an alternative solution.


A flexible and open attitude will help you effectively handle obstacles.


6. Always Have a Plan B

A back up plan in case the initial one does not work is necessary to successfully finish a project. Accept the possibility that the plan you adopted at the start of the project might not work. So, make sure you have the right solution in case there is a need for it.


Successfully completing your very first project will improve your chances for future work.


After all, you only get one chance to make a good first start. The rest is execution.

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