By Janelle Benuska
Ask any Project Manager what are the key elements to successfully managing a client’s peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising event, and they will likely respond with these three words: scope, budget, timeline. As the number of plates to spin on a project can vary, focusing on these elements is critical in ensuring your project stays on track.
In managing the scope (or contract), it is important to ensure the key players are owning their respective pieces of the puzzle. At times, team members can veer outside of their lane or take on additional work beyond what has been agreed upon in the contract, or a client may create new requests which need to be evaluated against the scope. This happens for a few reasons: 1) misunderstanding of which tasks are theirs; 2) enthusiasm for other aspects of the project; 3) desire to overperform and an unwillingness to say no. While #2 and #3 are not necessarily negative, keeping the project team members―both internally and on the client-side―focused on what their deliverables are and how they impact the project is crucial in managing the scope and keeping the project on track.
The project budget is another priority. As estimates from vendors are received, ensure you are tracking to what was approved by the client in the original budget. If an expense is anticipated to exceed the budget line, we highly advise 1) receiving competitive quotes from multiple vendors; 2) looking at the goods and services to assess if any changes could help dial down costs; 3) reviewing the budget holistically to see if other areas will come in under budget to help address the overage. As a best practice, costs over budget should be communicated to the client and other stakeholders before they are committed, and then decisions can be made about the value of the extra expense.
Finally, sticking to the project’s timeline is imperative to moving it forward to a successful end. Utilizing a digital project management service such as Basecamp, Slack or Asana is valuable in keeping the team on task and prioritizing deliverables. These platforms can also assist with team communication and collaboration, by allowing those assigned to the project the opportunity to connect outside of weekly meetings and communicate in a forum that keeps everything in one place.
By giving attention to the three essential elements of project management―scope, budget, and timeline―your client’s project will remain productive, your team will remain engaged, and your outcome should be a great success!
Janelle brings passion for client satisfaction to the Account Management team with a keen attention to project timelines and dedication to ensuring successful events. She currently works on the Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the Ride for AIDS Chicago for TPAN, as well as the Disabled American Veteran’s 5K Race series.