I see various ones on the web (such at this one), but not being a project manager, I can't really tell which ones are good. I'm looking for a checklist of things to do and important terms; specifically for someone who is new at project management.

  • Hi, I'm not sure it's clear what is being asked here. Can you please edit your question and add more information, such as the specific problem that you are facing and what you're looking for. I'm not sure this is a great question in it's current format as it's pretty vague. I'm tempted to close it as not a real question, but I think the question could be improved.
    – jmort253
    Apr 29, 2011 at 5:39

3 Answers 3


This is one I carry around with me all the time: The Project Breathalyzer.

So I beg to disagree that it is only useful for a beginner :-). When you're tied up in project work, it is a healthy habit to sit back at a quiet moment and reflect upon your project. A good checklist can help organise your thoughts.

I found the Breathalyzer through Glen Alleman's site, which is a treasure trove for beginners and experts. One blogpost from Glen is of particular interest for your question: A simple way to put PMBOK to work.

What I also found useful over the years is a copy of Table 3-1. Project Management Process Groups and Knowledge Areas Mapping in the PMBOK. (currently on page 43 in the Fourth Edition).


I actually forgot to mention the most important one, which is my own checklist. It is based upon the Breathalyzer, the PM methodology of the organisation I work for and personal experience. I strongly advise you to start creating your own checklist today (styarting with the examples provided here). It will be a good friend along the way.

  • 1
    +1 on Alleman! Call it a cheat sheet or checklist, it is an advisable practice. Apr 29, 2011 at 14:44
  • 2
    IMO, a "checklist" sounds mutch better than a cheat cheat, and I also advise one, and it should grow/evolve.
    – jackJoe
    May 1, 2011 at 8:51

I'm not so fond of cheat sheets, as I don't trust in recipes and prefer real thinking. But it can be a good help for a beginner, I think.

The official Project Management for Dummies cheat sheet should be a good beginning, especially if you're not familiar with project management:


Some other cheat sheets:

http://www.thepracticalpm.com/serendipity/index.php?/archives/18-PM-Cheat-Sheet.html Its step-by-step approach seems interesting and make it immediatly usable for a project.

http://www.focus.com/fyi/human-resources/managers-cheat-sheet-101-common-sense-rules-leaders/ This one has a more transverse approach, things you should know or you should think about all the time, even if I'm not ok with all the points: Is body language really so important for a PM? I'm not so sure...


I'm not fond of checklists myself. I think they lead to sloppy thinking. Better understanding the process can lead to using the right tools at the right time. If it's a memory aid for a new methodology, I like it to be a list of questions and prompts. (@david, a checklist is a list of points that need to be checked off. Anything that makes someone think, isn't a checklist). For instance.

Do you think you've completed initiation? Can you answer the following.

Do you know what you are supposed to be delivering - could you explain it in less than a minute? Who are your key stakeholders and why are they key? When is your planning session? Who will be there and why?

I hope that illustrates the idea.

  • 2
    Pilots and astronauts have used checklists for years. The concept of checklists has most recently been adopted by physicians and surgical suites doing surgery. The outcomes are measurably exhibited. A checklist is both something that is merely checked off as well as something about which you need to think/analyze. I use one in my verysimpletofly airplane; would not think about leaving earth without it. The efficacy is simply not debatable. Apr 30, 2011 at 18:42

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