Overview: It should go without saying that management approval of the project plan is essential. More than mere approval, commitment must eventually be gained. That said, this task focuses on approval. Management approval (and eventually commitment) allows the project team to move forward with the project plan. The concept of “get management approval” is listed in this section because the Business Farmer will either be a candidate for approving the initiative, or will want to know what approval has been given.
Considerations: Consult or inform all management potentially affected by the project plan. This requires good communication and written approval of at least one executive to release funds. For small initiatives, a common pitfall is to fail to document agreement and approval for a project. This can be done by using the five “Os” listed in this section for farmer: Opportunity, Obligation, Objectives, Outcome, and Order. Draft a formal memo, or an email (at a minimum) with these five headings. Provide the sponsor with an overview of these five categories. Provide a place for the sponsor to sign-off (literally) on the initiative, or use the formal process that is in-place at the organization. Who is needed to be visible as the sponsor? Who needs to sign-off on projected costs as they are incurred?
- Identify all management involved or affected by project.
- Use the five “Os” listed in this section (Opportunity, Obligation, Objectives, Outcome, and Order) to communicate the project to executive management.
- Conduct a meeting with management. Present project objectives, project and communication plan, cost/benefit analysis, and change tasks.
- Make adjustments as necessary.
- Offer management a final revised copy of the documents.
- Obtain formal approval to move forward.