Project Initiation Weekly Initiation Daily Management Weekly Closure Project Closure Post-Project Management Identify the high-level decision maker(s) A1 Understand and distribute the hats A2 Select tools and create a project repository A3 Create a common understanding A4 Have Project Initiation peer-reviewed A5 Make a go/no-go decision A6 Conduct a focused communication A7 Revise and refine the common understanding C1 Have the Weekly Initiation peer-reviewed C2 Make a go/no-go decision C3 Conduct a focused communication C4 Manage follow-up items D1 Close completed deliverables D2 Measure and report performance E1 Evaluate stakeholder satisfaction E2 Capture lessons and plan for improvements E3 Consider swapping hats for the week E4 Double-check and hand over the final output F1 Evaluate stakeholder satisfaction F2 Have the Project Closure peer-reviewed F3 Consider swapping hats for Post-Project Management F4 Archive the project documents F5 Celebrate! F6 Conduct a focused communication F7 Evaluate the benefits G1 Generate new ideas G2 Conduct a focused communication G3

A4 - Create a common understanding

The person wearing the Project Manager hat helps all the team members to collaborate and reach a common understanding of the project. This understanding will serve as the foundation of future efforts and as a high-level plan that guides the way.

Investor Hat

What's the reason for doing this project?

What are the benefits and disbenefits of the project?

Approximately how much money do we need to finish the project?

What are the investment risks?

User Hat

What are the expected results from the project's output?

What are the customer and end-user needs and expectations?

What are the risks related to users and the customer?

Creator Hat

What will the project's output look like behind the scenes?

Approximately how much time do we need to create the project's output?

What are the production risks?

Project Manager Hat

Who can impact the project (stakeholders)?

What are the risks related to how we work?

Have all the hat-wearers been involved in creating a common understanding?

A digital or physical Integrated Project Board should be created to record the information, with status columns such as “queued”, “on-hold”, “in-progress”, “to-review”, and “closed” for the deliverables and follow-up items (risks, issues, etc.). In addition to the said status columns, there should be a “project description” column with the following meta-cards:

Project Description Deliverables and Follow-Up Items Queued In-Progress On-Hold To-Review Closed Why this project? Requirements Targets and forecasts Stakeholders

You should identify all the high-level and medium-level deliverables at this point to create a better understanding of the project. However, if the project is exploratory, it’s better to limit this activity to key, high-level deliverables and break them down later.

In complicated micro-projects, you can use a Deliverables Map to facilitate the identification of deliverables. To do so, you can use a mind map to break down the final output of the project into its major deliverables, then each of those into smaller ones, and so on for a few levels deeper until you reach an appropriate level of detail for your project.

There’s another important concern as well:

Project Manager Hat

Are the documents clear and easy to understand?

Downloadable manual in PDF
Standard slide deck for trainers
Activity List (+)

Thanks for sharing your opinion with us. Please note the following:

  • Please write it briefly and clearly.
  • Feel free to write in any language you prefer.
  • If you have multiple suggestions, please submit them separately.

If your suggestions inspire a positive improvement, we’d be happy to credit you as a contributor (if you provide us with your name and email address in this form).

To distinguish you from random bots on the Web, please enter the number of activity groups below.

If you like, you can share your name and email address with us, in case we need to talk to you about your comment, or give you credit as a contributor: is non-proprietary, open, and free for everyone. is designed for micro projects with 1 to 7 team members. For other projects, it’s best to use the regular