In late 1999, as part of an upcoming project for one of my clients, I began to plan out details of the work I was going to do using Microsoft Project. As great as the software was at that time, I realized it was sadly lacking in two features. First, it was highly focused on managing projects for large teams of people. As a team of one, the functionality for me was overkill. Second, Project was great at handling complex tasks on a project for which I already had a clear vision, but it provided nothing to actually help me develop the project documentation.
Noting some of these deficiencies, I began to design a few concepts on how a project plan should be built, starting with an idea, and ending with a finished project. Over the next three years, as I fulfilled several project management roles with three different companies, the requirements for project planning became more refined, and easier to reproduce. By late 2002, I’d developed the SMART Project Management System: a series of templates and standards used to guide people through the project management process. As I developed it, I also used it as a training process for management teams and individuals who needed to understand the process, but couldn’t take on full time project management roles.
This system, now a proprietary product that I use with my clients, provides a set of ten core templates that will help you to build a project plan, get approval for development and funding, learn how to track and manage your project’s progress and status, and how to use the results of what you learn to develop new projects and plans.
The following infographic provides an overview of the SMART process.
For more information on the SMART Project Management system or to learn how the system can work for you, please contact me.