Important Questions All New Project Management Professionals Should Ask

Have you been handed the reins to your own project, or maybe even your own project management consulting team? Congratulations! Now listen up—the list of questions below will give you a jumpstart on the road to project management success.

1. Who makes higher-level decisions? From budget approvals to personnel changes, chances are good that someone else will have a say in how things happen. Don’t wait until the next budget or hiring cycle to find out where final approvals will come from.

2. Who’s on our project team? Understanding your resources is a vital step. Your team may consist of internal staff, external consultants, contractors, vendors, and business partners.

3. What’s our budget? Knowing your funding capacity and limitations will be necessary to spot potential problems—such as hiring expectations that don’t jive with the dollars you have available—and will help you avoid over-committing.

4. Who are our stakeholders? You need to know who expects information from you on a regular basis. Knowing your stakeholders will also give you some insight into the visibility of your project or team, and the kind of support you can expect to receive.

5. How is continuing education and ongoing project management training managed? You (and your team) will need to keep your skills sharp, so find out what resources are available, who approves new requests, and what level of continuing education is needed to maintain the certifications within your team.

6. What are our current obligations? If your PMO has signed contracts with vendors, consultants, or other external providers, it’s important that you know those details. Your ability to negotiate may be limited by existing agreements.

7. Where and how is information stored? Locating data on timelines, budgets, resources, and other project details underpins all your other efforts, so become familiar with your dataset right away.

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