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Project Manager Question List
By Bill Gutches

Every project has topics that are relevant to its success and are rarely talked about. Why is this? What are these topics?

Here is an ever growing and refining list of questions that should be discussed by every Project Manager and their Project Team Members!

  1. What are the Business Objectives for this project?
  2. What results / deliverables from this project are directly aligned with and can support / deliver the Business Objectives for each project?

  3. What are the financial, operational, marketing, and/or compliance benefits that are expected to be derived from the results of this project?

  4. What levels of security and permissions are necessary for the users in order to use and operate the results of this project?

  5. What Risks are always present in managing each project?

  6. Who is responsible for deciding on the fate of Change Requests (Accept and incorporate, Accept and schedule for later, Delay until further notice, Reject) once the project is underway?

  7. How will Issues be tracked and resolved during the execution of this project?

  8. What is the list of anticipated participating individuals, groups or departments, companies (vendors, integration partners, support services, etc.) that must be involved in the project?

  9. Who is responsible for documenting the Business Objectives as well as all other project related documentation?

  10. Who are the main business stakeholders and sponsors for this project?

    • If these folks change positions during the execution of a project, who replaces their sponsorship?
  1. Who is responsible for assuring that the right resources, funds, equipment and support are always available to this project?
  2. Who is responsible to decide if and when this project should be stopped, cancelled, delayed, reduced in priority, etc.?

  3. Who will determine the interim and final deliverable(s) / project schedule?

  4. How much contingency is available in the project budget?

  5. What are the consequences if the project is not completed successfully?

  6. What volume and structures of data must be migrated into the results of this project?

  7. How long will a parallel operation of the existing solution and the results of this project need to be run?

  8. How will the contents / results of the operational solutions (pre-existing and new) be reconciled and accepted?

  9. What level of outstanding known errors are acceptable for implementation of the results of this project?

  10. Who is responsible to test and accept all deliverables produced by this project?

  11. Who will accept the final and all interim deliverables from the project?

  12. Which Vendors are accountable for the accuracy, stability, and completeness of their products / services in order to successfully deliver the results of this project?

  13. Are there easy-to-implement options that can accomplish one or more of the Project Objectives?

  14. Are there disadvantages of successfully delivering this project?

  15. Are there other projects that this project is dependent on?

  16. What are the Critical Success Factors that will prove that the Project Objectives have been met and that the project has been successfully completed?

  17. What new products, equipment, resources will be needed for this project to successfully complete?

  18. Will this project require staff changes for either the Project Team, the Business Users, Sponsors or any combination of these and other groups?

  19. Will existing staff need new training for either the performance of the project or the use of the results of the project?

Bill Gutches has been involved in Project Management for a significant portion of his career. He first learned how to manage projects back in 1977 when he was promoted to a Project Manager position for a $1B manufacturer and has been doing some form of this work ever since. You can read more from Bill on his blog about project management.

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