Can’t Keep Up? 9 Savvy Ways to Ensure Your Project Management Success
The main issue in achieving success is how to ensure your IT projects are completed on time and on budget. Project management seems so candid – define a deadline, define a budget, choose the right people, and voila – the project will get done.
In practice, project management is not so genuine. The wrong people are often included in the team; team members don’t know what is expected of them or did not understand the demands. The project scope changes and deadlines aren’t met – different problems will appear.
Which approach can companies and project managers undertake to do to make the projects are completed on time and on budget? Many project leaders and project management experts have exposed their secrets to successful project management and some of them are listed here.
1. Make sure that you have all project details before the inception
You should always create a very detailed project plan – approved by all stakeholders. The scope should define interim milestones, with finalizing dates and a budget table, that represents all time spent. If your initial project plan has enough details, then you and your client will interact more efficiently through the production phase. Change requests are inevitable in every project, but this allows you to manage the client when something is out of scope.
2. Choose the right project management team for your project
In order to get a successful outcome from your project, you’ll need to employ the right project team in place; members whose skills and expertise will aid the project, from the top manager to the other members. You should also limit the number of team members.
Every project is unique in nature, so the effective project manager must have the ability to understand all business processes and see how their planning will accomplish the required tasks. If the project manager is with complete and broad knowledge (view), the more value he will bring to that company. So, to get maximum effect you should limit the size of your project teams, and include people whose skills overlap with the project requirements.
3. Define the outcomes and the milestones at the start
Define intermittent milestones and check in often to make sure that the project is on track. In case you set only global or high-level milestones, you won’t envision the existing problems in the project until the later stage. You should schedule multiple project benchmarks and iterative reviews to make sure that your spending invested in the project have been used efficiently and that project goals are being accomplished.
4. Assign responsibilities for the tasks and their deadlines
If you assign several team members to collaborate on the same task, your assignments, deadlines and other important tasks can get lost in the middle; to avoid this, you should decide which team members are responsible for which pieces of work, and ask for responsibility. You can apply online task management tool as a simple way to do this.
Each member of your team should understand what is expected from him. They should understand the full scope of the project and a defined timeline of when tasks need to be accomplished. Since every project is unique, it would be helpful for all of the team members to have a good understanding of how much their effort contributes to the project success. The defined milestones and checkpoints are tools for managing your expectations and to keep the teams on the schedule.
5. Don’t manage on a micro scale
You should hold regular meeting with the team members who will work on the project. On the other side, you should allow them some freedom to work without feeling to be managed constantly; you should establish a balance to ensure that the work is being done and that team members feel entrusted to do their best work.
6. Ensure that you have a good project plan, one that is useful for all stakeholders
The communication by e-mail is the most obvious choice when managing a project, but it can slower the progress. Searching through email threads for previous correspondence is a time-consuming action. You could acquire software that keeps all project information and communication in one place, thus, you will not only save time, but you’ll maintain a productive environment.
7. Motivate the team members by rewarding them when milestones are reached
When you are planning projects – you should define certain milestones. To make sure that the project is on track, acknowledge the team members whenever a milestone is met. Milestones’ ceremony can be a great way to follow the progress and to motivate the team members.
8. Hold frequent project meetings, and make them short
Regular communication with the team members, and also with the client is a great approach to make sure a project is on track. This is very significant in a virtual environment, where you cannot regularly visit the colleague’s office to check the status of the job. Another useful habit is to include regular calls in addition to the other forms of digital (e-mail) communication – so you can establish open and clear communication for all concerned.
9. Leave time for changes
In many fields / areas, projects don’t tend to follow the exact specifications. To avoid difficult moments and to save time, you should spend an extra time for specification requests and changes.