The ultimate goal of project management is to be able to deliver projects on time and on budget. Without proper planning and strategy, you can easily jeopardize your projects and cause damage to all key stakeholders. Feeling the pressure? Here are five secrets for staying on top of it all:
Secret #1. Get to know your project. It’s all about the details.
Before you begin your project, you need to know as many details as possible, such as deadline, budget, and scope of work. Make sure you have a full understanding of the project’s foundation, expectations, and the role all key stakeholders will play in determining whether or not the project is successful.
Secret #2. Be a leader. Motivate your team.
The project leader is the key to success. You are the captain of your ship. You need to inspire your team to follow you through the challenging times, as well as the calm times. It is your responsibility to motivate your team, and create positive team dynamics in order to meet your project goals. So stay positive, even in challenging situations.
Secret #3. Two-way communication. Keep communication lines open.
One of the most critical elements in the project management process is ensuring that communication lines are open. As a project manager, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page, and has all the necessary information to make decisions and perform their job well. One way you can do this is by creating a status update report and distributing it to team members and key stakeholders. This will keep everyone informed and minimize frustrations from unrealistic expectations.
Secret #4. Minimize risk. Have a plan B.
Risk can occur at any time during the project. You need to see the big picture and prepare for possible risks that might occur throughout the process. For example, a key team member may become ill or necessary equipment may malfunction. Think strategically about how you and your team can overcome possible obstacles before they become actual problems or get out of control. Pre-emptive risk management is essential to project success.
Secret #5. Evaluate the project. How did we do?
Every project is a valuable learning tool. After completion, you should review and evaluate each project as a whole, as well as analyze each individual component. What was key to the project’s success? How could it have been better? Use the lessons that you learn from each project to help you minimize failure and maximize success in the future.
Think strategically and be consistent in improving your project management process. Use limited resources wisely to maximize the outcome. Stay positive, and have fun managing your projects!