Advice from previous SDP leaders is best passed on by the quotes below:
Ensure that the scope of your project will fall within both the limited funding and limited timescale. Keep things realistic, or the project isn't small!
Have your organisation on board
Have REAL sign-up from senior management so you can do the work without whinges about spending time on other things.
Build a good team
Make sure that you have a good team, especially for this kind of collaborative project - not just good ideas people, and people who enjoy the delivery, but also people who enjoy the follow through and the follow up work.
Have a proper project plan
Have a thorough project plan with real activities and milestones - not just a clever Gantt chart from MS Project.
Have open relationships with project partners
Get times, milestones and roles sorted out at the start, with clarity about what we will actually aim to get to at the end.
Allow lots of time to change methods if some don't seem to be working.
I would also advise a programme of regular work on the project e.g. a dedicated day each week to keep momentum going.
Ask for advice
Some people are quite intimidated by bid-writing process or report writing. Do people need training? No, they need mentoring.
Learn from the past
It is helpful to look through earlier projects and make contact with an earlier project leader.
Think about the impact
Successful projects lead to tangible outcomes that go beyond the initial investment and need buy-in from the leadership at their institution.
Remember it's worth it
It's demanding work, on top of your day job, but very stimulating and enriching. It enhances your own growth and professional development, knowledge and networks.
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