Develop an Action Plan, even a Gantt Chart with dependencies highlighted along with roles and responsibilities

"Promoting Project-wide Understanding of the Critical Path for Achieving Project Outcomes.

"The successful execution of large projects usually involves the parallel operation of multiple lines of effort, some of which depend on each other in a sequential manner for data, model simulations, or other inputs and outputs.  It is helpful to outline as early as possible the actions and resources necessary to achieve project outcomes using Gantt charts, a critical path analysis (Willis, 1985, Figure 4.1)... A sound logic model (NIFA 2015) can be a very useful tool for structuring and planning project execution.  Delays in bottleneck regions of the path can be disastrous, so all project participants should be made familiar with the critical path networks and the role they play in it, especially in terms of their responsibilities to pass data or products to other participants. It is beneficial to regularly assess progress along the critical path and update or modify plans as necessary.

"Establish Clear Expectations for Participants and Facilitate Participant Success in Meeting Them

"Although proposed page limits typically preclude listing detailed responsibilities for each anticipated project participant in very large projects, expected participant roles should be outlined in a management plan so these are clear form project inception.  A detailed project management plan that includes each key individual should be developed early during the project or prior to the award period. This plan should include:

  • expectations for interactions among team members and for participant accountability,
  • procedures for conflict resolution,
  • expectations for earning authorship, and
  • rights to intellectual property.

“The management plan should delineate:

  • project deliverables and milestones,
  • the metrics to be used to assess progress and completion,
  • specific actions,
  • reporting requirements,
  • due dates, and
  • persons responsible for each project milestone and deliverable.

“Project-wide, there will need to be an understanding that these milestones and deliverables may be modified as the project progresses.  Throughout the project, these milestones and deliverables should be kept current both to ensure participant accountability and to avoid amorphous or runaway expectations that are difficult to achieve that would otherwise lead to frustration by project leadership and participants alike.”

NIFA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (2005)  Logic model planning process.

Willis, R. J. (1985)  Critical path analysis and resource constrained project scheduling - theory and practice.  European Journal of Operations Research, 11: 149-155.

Quoted from Pages 30 and 32 in Eigenbrode, S. D., Martin, T., Wright Morton, L., Colletti, J., Goodwin, P., Gustafson, R., Hawthorne, D., Johnson, A., Klien, J. T., Pearl. S., Richard, T., and Wolcott, M. (2017) Leading large transdisciplinary projects addressing social-ecological systems:  A primer for project directors.