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HANDy Projectmanagement

Are you about to start a new project?   As your facilitator, I will guide your multi-functional team through the kick-off of this project. During a one or two-day workshop, we identify the goal/targetof the project, the members of the team, determine the stakeholders, the possible risks and action points. And because easy reminders of things to do are always great to have around.

This is one of them: HANDy© Project Management. Here we use our hand to remind us of things-to-do when we start a project:


  1. Thumb = Target
  2. Showing finger = Stakeholders
  3. Middle finger = Members of the team
  4. Ring finger = Risks
  5. Pink finger = Plan
  6. Thumb = Target





  1. Thumb = Target

The projectteam describes at the start of the project the Target in one focussed sentence, which is also SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, en Timebound). While defining the Target, the team discusses what is in-scope and what is out-of-scope of the project. It’s my advice to take time for this, sometimes the discussion lasts for more than 2 hours before the team is completely aligned on the Target.

If the Target is well described, it’s ‘Thumbs up!’. Well done, go for it!

  1. Showing finger = Stakeholders

Who are the stakeholders that should be kept informed about progress and hick-ups in the project? Teams can ask to stakeholders for advice or for help if things don’t go the way they should. By knowing who are the stakeholders, the team is able to be in contact with those persons who have an influence on the project (for the good or for the bad!).

  1. Middle finger = Members of the team

Who are we? Who are members of the team? And what are our roles and responsibilities? Who reports to whom – what is our organization chart – and do we have all functions represented in the team that we need to complete the project? As a team you define your ways of working, how you keep track of the information in the team and how often do you meet with whom.

  1. Ring finger = Risks

You cannot hide from risks, so you better face them. Sit together with your multi-functional team and brainstorm any risks you can think of that could happen to your project. By identifying the risks the team will be able to manage them to make sure they don’t happen or to know Plan A, and Plan B.

  1. Pink = Planning

What’s it gonna be? What needs to happen? Who will do what? How long will it take? Each function in the team will describe exactly what they are going to do, who will do it and how long it will take. By putting the actions on post-its, visualizing the network on the wall, the team will see the flow of the project, and will be able to calculate how long the project will take. Is that longer than planned for? Then the team needs to re-plan with the challenge to do the project smarter, quicker, in parallel, etc.

If the project is finished, we can clap our handS, where– S stands for Summary.

6) S = Summary

The team meets one more time to summarize the project; what went well, what should be done differently in a next project? The ‘lessons learned’ are applied to next projects.


‘HANDy© Project Management’ is Copyright protected (2017). All rights reserved. None of this content may be copied, reproduced or used for commercial reasons without the written approval of the author Mrs. Nel M. Mostert. If you still want to use my text, then please add the reference: ‘Source: © 2017 – Mrs. Nel M. Mostert’


Below a selection of various Project Management workshops.

Global R&D Barry Callebaut: “All projects shall have a kick-off workshop”

At Barry Callebaut Global R&D, Belgium, Nel Mostert facilitated kick-off workshops for new projects. These multi-functional workshops identified the goal, the team, the risks, the stakeholders and the project plan. Because of the huge succes shown in better communication, commitment and delivering On Time In Full, the Head of Global R&D decided that “All projects shall have a kick-off workshop”. (2015/2016)

This type of workshop is at the core of Nel Mostert her business; she has facilitated this type of workshop over 180 times, mostly at Unilever. (1999-2016)



Unilever Oral Care Category – Licence to Operate

In Singapore (45 participants) and London (83 participants) my colleague Jan Vaessen and me facilitated 3-day workshops for the Oral Care category of Unilever during which the participants shared their best and poor practices of multi-functional Project Management. Objective of the workshop was to make sure all category members know how to do proper project management according to Unilever specific PM tools .(2015-2016)



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