Everyone's goal is to deliver projects that align with the planned Scope, Schedule and Budget, but we sometimes forget the most important thing is to understand how to produce value for the end-users.   

Utilization of processes and established guidelines is the key mechanism to provide the assurance that the investments are being effectively managed. Don't re-invent the wheel, use checklists to verify you are on the right track and build those checkslists so you don't miss the easy things each time you do a project.

Checklists also should not be visited just at the project start.... on-going reviews during the entire project life cycle gives the opportunity to revisit risk triggers and any potential change to risk parameters. Bringing issues forward will assist the project team in highlighting the actions needed while there is time for pro-active adjustments. 

Project risks related to planning can be avoided with questions such as:

1 - Is the Scope Statement clear and specific?

2 - Are the expectations realistic and achievable?
3 - Are the timeframes realistic and achievable?
4 - Is the scope statement manageable?
5 - Is this an appropriate solution for the target audience?
6 - Are there complete and accurate requirements and specifications?
7 - Is there appropriate technology to support the desired solution?
8 - Are there appropriate resources available to the project (internal and external)?
9 - Are the major issues with the project identified and documented?
10 - Do any actions need to be taken to address the major issues?
11 - Is there risk of the client satisfaction level changing in the near future?
12 - Is there regular performance reporting with established feedback loops?
13 - Are the roles and responsibilities clear for all those involved?
14 - Is there commitment by all stakeholders to the project deliverables?
15 - Is it clearly understood what is the value statement (value that will be delivered and for whom)

NOTE: this is part one of a checklist, part two is to follow....