Project managers want to see the big picture and organize what needs to be done before going ahead with any project. For that reason, we create project overviews.
A project overview can make or break a project, so in this article, we will be introducing how to create great project overviews with ScrumGenius.
What Is A Project Overview?
A project overview should “paint a picture” of the entire project in the minds of the project managers. It should establish the framework such that the rest of the project has a frame for reference. This planning tool is not only helpful at the beginning but also throughout the project for teams struggling with the project details.
A project overview should be easily skimmable, with concise information organized into clear sections. Team members should be able to find the information they are looking for in a short timeframe. Nowadays, digital project overviews have replaced whiteboard ones, as teams are becoming increasingly dispersed globally.
With ScrumGenius, you can create simple project overview templates in under a minute and send them through your preferred chat platform for work, including Microsoft Teams, Slack and Webex Teams. Instead of manually having to remind your direct reports, ScrumGenius does that menial task for you.
Why Should You Use Project Overviews?
- Simplify large chunks of information.
- Make it easy to check the progress of current projects.
- Provide a visual representation of the project such that desired information can be easily found.
- Mean changes to project overviews can be made easily and disseminated to members.
How To Create Perfect Project Overview Templates
#1. Understand the scope of your project.
Your project overview should answer these questions and educate your team and clients on the project logistics, and other related information.
This includes your:
- Major deliverables
- Project status
- Project timelines
- Major deadlines
- Project team members and respective roles
- How and when should feedback be given on deliverables, etc.
#2. Conduct extensive research on the unknowns.
Know all your facts before crafting your project overview. Look into all related documents, understand the minute details, and ask questions before committing to the project. At this stage, you should possess a thorough understanding of:
- Project goals
- Clients' needs and expectations
- Client's team and decision-making processes
#3. Clarify doubts with clients.
Set aside time with your client to clarify doubts and difficult questions regarding their processes, organizational politics, risks, and finances involved, etc. Being transparent will foster a more positive relationship with the client.
Moreover, clarifying the difficult questions at the beginning conveys the message that your team can handle difficult personalities or situations. Also, it shows that you care very much about the success of the project from the start.
Some general doubts to clarify if the situation applies include:
- Who is the owner of the project?
- Are there any additional stakeholder interests that we need to consider? (Eg: A president of another company, investor, etc.)
- Will there be any instances where you'll need us to present the project status to the main personnel involved? (Eg: Board meetings, Inter-company meetings, etc.)
- Is there a preferred mode of communication?
#4. Embark on your project overview.
With the answers to your recent questions, relate them back to your project goals. Think of the tasks outlined in the project scope and come up with a project outline draft. You do not need to be too detailed in this first outline, but it should include:
- Deliverables and related tasks
- List of assumptions made when drafting the plan
- Possible resources needed to accomplish the tasks
- Timeframes associated with the major tasks
- Work breakdown structure
#5. Communicate with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Share the first drafted outline with your team and seek their feedback and thoughts. This allows you to review your project outline and evaluate its feasibility. Run ideas through the team and be open to various opinions. This gets everyone to think about the project together and builds trust.
#6. Schedule the full project outline
Once you have all the information ready, it's time to put together your full project schedule with ScrumGenius! Ensure that your project overview template is as simple as can be. It should be straightforward and easy to read.
Here are some features your full project outline should have:
- All basic project information: Client name, project name, delivery date, etc.
- Major deliverables split into sections, subsequent tasks with the corresponding team responsible for it.
- Project dependencies.
With ScrumGenius, individuals can be assigned to different report types and give the status of each project task. This eliminates the confusion amongst teams on who is responsible for what task.
#7. Execute, publish, and share your plan with the team.
ScrumGenius gives you the ability to easily connect with other popular project management tools like Asana, Github, etc. that your teams may already be using. Therefore, creating your project outline is very convenient.
Get a team member to review your project outline before sending it over to your clients. Look out for minor errors such as incorrect dates, or resource allocations. The final check will give you peace of mind before the outline handover.
Explain the project outline in your team meetings and ensure that everyone has read through it. This helps to put everyone on the same page and is clear of the project requirements before embarking on the project.
It would also be great to review the full project outline with the client such that they understand the process and assure you that nothing has been left out. Again, this shows that you care to establish good project planning standards.
How else can you use ScrumGenius with your project overview templates?
ScrumGenius offers many tools to complement your project overview process and project management in general:
ScrumGenius has effectively helped many companies with conducting project overviews and improving workflow efficiency.
Here are some examples:
The problem Waikato Council had was the lack of central meeting space that made communication among members difficult. Members were left with uneven knowledge bases as not everyone could attend the same meetings. Meetings were lengthy and usually side-tracked with the previous day's tasks.
ScrumGenius acted as the centralized platform for employees to share and record information, allowing for easier communication between people situated in different places. As such, meeting times have been reduced by 300%, and with 90% less email clutter, employees can now connect better.
The issue TrueBlue had was the inefficiency in their communication processes within the different teams. This includes off-site teams around the world where time zone differences are a major contributor to wasted time during the workday. The manager in charge had to manually collect everyone's stand-ups and send them to the director daily, which was time-consuming and inefficient.
ScrumGenius allowed the manager in charge to review her team's reports before their daily stand-up meetings, so less time is wasted and meetings can be more discussion- and action-oriented. No one needs to take notes or set up meetings anymore. These were major project management improvements that allowed them to make the organization's work processes more efficient.
For the offshore teams, they simply report their blockers and weekly accomplishments in their own time zones, saving her tons of time. Members are also given weekly records to review, allowing them to identify patterns or problems that get in the way of productivity, creating a much more efficient workflow.
Accountability was the main issue for the fellowship team at MaxGala as they have both paid staff and volunteers. The manager had to send hundreds of emails to follow up with his staff, and he felt as if he was micromanaging his team.
ScrumGenius removed the need to verbally “catch up” on the previous day's tasks, allowing them to discuss the things that matter most. As ScrumGenius is compatible with platforms such as Slack and Notion, the team's transition felt seamless.
Now, stand-up meeting times have been drastically reduced, and with a digital record of completed tasks and future projects, the team is clearer about what needs to be done. Hence, the need for follow-up emailing has also been reduced.
Try ScrumGenius today!
ScrumGenius has effectively helped many companies with conducting their project overviews. How about jumping on the bandwagon today?
ScrumGenius offers a centralized platform for stand-up and information collection. Information can easily be displayed to multiple teams at the same time, ensuring everyone is kept updated. Hence, instead of having to say everything, action items can be discussed immediately to facilitate more effective meetings.