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Mobilization

The Mobilization phase is where the basic work breakdown structure (WBS) developed in the Planning phase is translated into more specific budgets, resources, and schedules. Accordingly, the critical steps in this phase are to:

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Assemble the team

Set the schedule 

Develop a budget

Assemble team

First determine the skills needed on the team. Use the work breakdown structure (WBS) to determine skills required on the team. Then recruit people that have those skills, or determine which skills you cannot recruit and find a way to obtain them (e.g., through training, contracting).

Have a kick-off meeting to review the project’s big-picture goals, go over the objectives in detail, and discuss roles and responsibilities. Consider developing a team charter that sets forth the ground rules for how the team will work together.

Set a schedule

Starting with your work breakdown structure, assign a deliverable to each activity. Use the deliverables as the basis for setting milestones and due dates.

It may be useful to identify critical deadline dates for important milestones or deliverables and then working backwards from there. For example, if you would like to present a forecast at a budget hearing, you may know that materials for the meeting must be submitted two weeks prior to the meeting and that you will need a week to review the presentation materials with the CEO before submitting them, and so on.  

Identify barriers that could delay the schedule - for example, getting historical data out of system that is hard to access. Then find ways to overcome the barrier or build extra time into the schedule to compensate.

Establish control and communications mechanisms for updating and revising the schedule. This might include a shared electronic file in Microsoft Project and weekly status meetings. Use these mechanisms to keep everyone involved and informed of the project’s progress and any schedule modification.

A Gantt chart can help visualize the schedule. A Gantt chart shows the estimated duration of the project and tasks and task sequences.

Develop a Budget

Cost estimates must be developed for items such as personnel, training, supplies, etc. Pay careful attention to training costs for both the project team and for other staff who may need to learn to use the results of the project (such as in the case of a new piece of software). Also, consider any ongoing costs that may be needed to maintain the results of the project once it is completed.

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