Start Strong!

When you are managing a highly innovative project with lots of unknowns and room for discovery, starting your project on the right foot is essential. At Rose-Hulman Ventures, we have decades of experience with innovative technology projects, so we know the importance of starting strong and how to do it.

Here are 3 tips for launching an innovative technology project:

  1. Tackle the biggest challenges first – but tackle them incrementally

In every project, there will be some major challenges and it’s tempting to plan to solve them all in one iteration. However, it’s better to approach these issues in manageable bites so that after each week, you can point to real progress. Trying to do too much in the first iteration often leads to failure.

  1. Schedule regular project meetings with decision-making stakeholders

On day one, set up a regular meeting schedule and stick to it. Putting off regular meetings often results in the meetings never happening. Also, ensure that the people at your meetings have decision-making authority. Few things slow down a project more than having to consult a decision maker and rehash a meeting to get their input.

  1. Establish trust

Innovative projects are hard enough, and getting off on the wrong foot with the team makes them even worse. The team leaders need to establish trust immediately so that people will share information and ideas freely. This is particularly important when third parties are involved. It takes conscious effort to quell the naturally occurring competitive feelings involved when multiple organizations work together. Those competitive feelings can keep you on your “A game,” which is good, but left unchecked they can also cause inefficiency.

At Rose-Hulman Ventures, we thrive in the “innovation space,” but we know these projects are challenging. When tackling your own innovative projects, give your team every advantage you can, including getting off to a strong start. We hope that these simple-to-implement tips will help you launch your next project successfully.