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14. Priorities must be well understood.

Project plans should accurately comprehend project priorities, and these priorities should be central to any re-planning activities necessary after the project is kicked off.  The most important priorities are those associated with determining project success; i.e., key product technical/quality requirements, delivery schedules, and budgets.  Delineating the priority levels between these key project objectives enables the appropriate trade-off decisions to be arrived at when the project plan is in need of being re-balanced due to realized issues.  This scenario is most prevalent in the more complex and risky projects, and especially those where you are attempting to “do more with less.”  Project managers are wise to push for priorities at the out-set of a project to avoid conflicts, potential misunderstandings and delays later on during project execution.