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Too many IT projects start with a solution in mind and then reverse-engineer from there. But, the most impactful projects happen when that script is flipped. You should start at the beginning by identifying an existing problem and then brainstorming all the potential fixes before landing on the best one. Use this IT project poster template to dig deep into your problem space, challenge your assumptions, validate potential solutions, and select your best course of action.
How to use the IT project poster template
Step 1. Note who’s involved
Not everybody needs to be included in your planning sessions, and “too many cooks in the kitchen” can be a drag on getting things done. Use the top table of the template to cover the basics, such as who’s leading the project and the other team members who will be contributing. Make sure to @mention them so they’re in the loop. This table also has a space for you to identify the priority of this project and set the status, so you can easily monitor progress.
Step 2. Pinpoint your problem
Even though this template looks short at first glance, you won’t fill it all out in one swoop. You should use several sessions with your team to make sure that you’re exploring everything in-depth. In your first session, focus specifically on the problem space. What problem are you trying to solve? Why is it important that you find a solution? What would happen if you didn’t do anything? Explore questions like these and note your answers in the top line of the Define the problem table of the template.
Step 3. Brainstorm potential solutions
Your goal isn’t just to identify a problem – you want to fix it. During that first session with your team, dedicate about 20 minutes to outlining solutions that come to mind just to stretch your creative muscles. However, you’ll want another separate session to sink your teeth into the specific fix you land on. Do you have any data or information that supports this solution? How will you measure the success of your solution? What open questions do you still need to answer? All of this should get noted in the second line of the Define the problem table of the template. Remember, this is a living document, so you can continue to add information here as you dig in deeper.
Step 4. Understand your impacts
Nobody works in a vacuum. And, while you hope that your solution brings nothing but positives for everybody, you’ll want to understand who could be affected when you implement this fix. In the last line of the Define the problem table, explore the impacts of your solution. What teams will you need help from? Who will be impacted? What changes will they need to make in order for you to deliver on this project? Answering those questions before you start any work will help you be proactive with your approach and keep the lines of communication open.
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