Successful Project Managers continuously develop their skills in various areas such as goal setting, communication, and leadership. The job comes with an immense responsibility of making the project successful; it is simultaneously a very rewarding profession as well. The Project Manager learns the ability to look through a complex project from the start and make it a success till it ends. Being an expert in Project Management helps the person to boost their career and add value to their organization. There is no definitive answer of who is a successful Project Manager. Any professional who can deliver the project on time, stay on track with the objectives of the project and provide value and tackle the obstacles faced during the project could be considered as a successful Project Manager. Handling other project objectives such as project scope, schedule, budget, efficient resource use, quality, outcomes, and value are some of the other roles of a Project Manager. The definition of success of a project would be determined by the team, the client, and the stakeholders as the project evolve. In this article, we see a few Project Management tips and tricks that will help your next project to become a great success.
Tips for Successful Project Management
1. Establish the expectations of the organization
Laying a foundation in the organization about how any project would process is one of the essential tasks that a Project Manager is supposed to do. Before taking up any major project, it is always great to lay realistic expectations such that the team completes the project within the budget and time. This helps the company gain an advantage over their competition and assists them in planning a long-term strategy for their company’s success. But in practice, how do we know the reality-based expectation for a project? This is where your Project Management skills would come in handy. You can follow these tasks and find out the realistic expectation for your project.
- Hiring and retaining the right talent who can effectively contribute to the project with their appropriate skills.
- Taking the aid of technological solutions
- Experimenting with benefits realization management
- Using Agile methods such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, SAFe, etc
- Linking the management execution with strategy preparation.
If you are in a designation of your company where you can recommend project tools, Enterprise Project Management or EPMO is one of the finest tools which reduces the gap between enterprise and strategy. This tool helps the business to utilize a diverse array of support mechanisms for corporate governance and project portfolio management.
2. Identify your project requirements
Whenever you begin a major project, it is always great to first understand what the key requirements of the project are. The team may have understood the concept or the idea of the project, but they also have to know the key requirements of the project that they have to work on. This helps them decide their tools and techniques to achieve the goals and requirements of the project. The Project Manager has to make it clear about what they want to achieve from the project and why. This implies all the projects that a company takes, which may be developing a new product in your organization or increasing the output from the marketing campaign. Also before starting the project, you have to acknowledge and list out all the relevant clients and stakeholders. This helps the team to create a clear list of requirements and expectations and a better project vision and goal could be pictured. Other requirements such as budget, time, tools, etc also should be identified before the project begins. Most often, this point is neglected by many Project Managers as they want to begin the project as soon as possible and deliver it before the deadline. But identifying and understanding the project goals and requirements lays the foundation for the project success and plays a crucial part in the team process smoothly.
3. Choosing the correct people
No matter how advanced technology or upgraded software you use to complete the project, it is mainly the people that contribute to the success of the project. Hence, when you are planning a project always choose the people with appropriate skills who can add value to the project. When you are planning a project, ask yourself what skills and experience are required for this project to become successful. You do not have to recruit all of the people before the project begins. You could hire recruits as the project progresses based on the requirements. Outsourcing some tasks to a freelancer is also one of the ways you could save money on the project and have the same outcome. Everyone involved in the project should know the goals of the organization and have sufficient knowledge about the company. This would help them deliver the highest value to the company and the project and facilitate the organization’s success.
4. Pick the right technology and avoid software bloat
Choosing the correct technology also plays an essential role in the Project Management process. Cloud-based Project Management tools such as teamwork are one of the best technologies which you could use for your project to run smoothly. The teamwork app can also integrate your other business tools and helps the team to access the data they need and reduce the effort and time taken to run the process. Other apps such as Podio, which is a Project Management tool from Citrix that also connects to PieSync; Trello, which gives a Kanban view of projects and an easy method of dragging and dropping tasks between stages; And collaborative platforms such as Microsoft teams and G suite. As you get involved in integrating tools into your project, you should also be careful that you do not add unnecessary tools and make the process complicated. Software bloating is a serious problem that could get in the way of success. Make sure that everyone is using the same software so that most of the integrations and syncs could easily occur. When choosing a tool for the project, be careful about the value the tools add to the project. Remember that less is more and use only those tools which are necessary for the project.
5. Know the strength and weaknesses of your team
Your team is the backbone of the entire project and the Project Manager has to know everything about the team’s performance. Businesses survive and thrive depending on the strength of the employees. Everyone has some strengths and weaknesses which the Project Manager has to find out to use according to the needs of the project. When the Project Manager delegates the work, they can think about the right person for the job and hand out the work. Before the project begins, the manager has to determine who excels at what skills and distribute the tasks accordingly. When you get to know the weakness of the team member, you can help them work on them and become a better employee. This creates a positive environment in the workplace and encourages the team to embrace their weaknesses and work on them in a better manner. This weakness may be communicating effectively, or not understanding how to use software, or procrastinating any tasks. All of which could be worked upon by the team members.
6. Communicate! Communicate! And Communicate!
This tip cannot be stressed enough as it forms the basis of Project Management success. Communication is a professional skill that many people lack in this present competitive world. This communication refers to conveying messages between all the parties that are involved: the client, the stakeholders, the team members, and the Project Manager. In Scrum, there are various events organized especially for specific communication which helps the project run smoothly and the Scrum Master to identify any obstacles on the way. It also helps the Product Manager to anticipate the work and communicate the same to the customers. When you do not communicate effectively, conflict may arise between the team members or the clients which would lead to a bigger problem and ultimately to project failure.
Here are a few tips to ensure communication properly in the Project Management process.
- Whenever a project status report is written, everyone on the team should be kept in mind and should be informed about any new development or changes in the project.
- General communication meetings should be held at the start or end of the workweek to plan or sum up the activities done for the week.
- Always allow everyone to speak and raise questions or concerns about the project. It should be an open-door policy where everyone has the freedom to express their concerns about the project.
- Display the tasks assigned on a board or a place where everyone could see such that the work distribution is transparent and people know how much more effort they have to put in to complete the tasks on time.
7. Risk Management is Crucial
Any Project Management process should always have a risk management strategy as nobody can see any unforeseen delays. Every project has a degree of inherent risk that needs to be addressed before the project commences. For example, if you take a project which requires migrating apps to the data cloud, the Project Manager has to account for the security risks which come along with it. Other risks such as potential threats which can creep without any warning can also put a stop or slow down the project. Insufficient funding or employees taking leave due to being unwell could also be few reasons for a project delay. Hence while dealing with risks you have always ask these questions:
- What would be the worst-case scenario or risks for this project?
- What can be done to avoid risk?
- How will the team mitigate the unwanted outcomes?
- Who has the valuable perspective and expertise which will help you achieve the goals?
Answering these questions would give you an idea about how you will deal with risks as you encounter them during the Project Management process.
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These are a few Project Management tips for beginners and experts which have proven to be effective for any type of project. The primary role in the process is played by the Project Manager who is the center of the project. They have to manage the budget, recruit people, manage deadlines, communicate with everyone, use the best tools for the project, and perform many more tasks which determine the project's success. Although the tasks of the manager seem daunting, it is a very rewarding profession as you can see how effectively your vision turns into reality. By using this Project Management advice, you could make your process smoother and complete all your tasks and responsibilities within the deadline.