Project Management

The Final Countdown: 5 Project Management Tips for a Successful Launch

Aside from being a song by 80s hair metal band Europe, the final countdown to a successful project launch can be a tense, yet rewarding, time for the project manager. In a blog post, Natasha Baglin describes the five techniques it takes for the champion PM to exhibit grace under pressure.

Adrenaline not Cortisol

  1. Team Priority
  2. Over Communicate
  3. Assemble a Test Lab
  4. Recognize Technical Absolutes
  5. Get Hyper-Flexible

The team is the central unit of the project, indeed its lifeblood. Therefore, team needs and limitations must be acknowledged at all costs. Honor last minute project requests if they are workable, but deny anything what would push the team over the brink.

When it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back, every straw must be counted. That means emailing and calling clients in the final hours before the project launch to ensure that everyone knows what everyone else is doing and where the project priorities lie.

Any mad genius will tell you to run experiments before releasing a finished product. That’s what interns are for! Make no mistake about it, a test lab for the population of content and proofing by employees outside of the project team is your best defense against bugs, typos, and other errors. Additionally, the technical confines of the project will warrant a thorough adherence to certain procedures (especially for legacy upgrades). For instance, web URLs need to redirect to a specified location. Move the tracking code for an existing analytics account, and be sure to optimize SEO for the final launch.

When push comes to shove, and the project deadline looms directly overhead, it never hurts to abandon formal and inflexible process structures in favor of more agile and tentative development methods. Furthermore, keep an open schedule post-launch to weed out any initial bugs that slipped through the prelaunch process. Finish by celebrating with team members – vodka optional.

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Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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