Project management involves applying different skills, processes, methods, and experiences to achieve specific project outcomes. Leading projects to successful execution and completion is no easy task. Project managers wear multiple hats, juggling several tasks, from creating a feasible workflow to managing team communication. The fact that project managers work in a space with minimal tolerance for mistakes can make project management frustrating sometimes. Here are a few tips to help your business achieve project management success.
1. Enlist a Qualified Project Manager
Project management has a defined life cycle, initiation, planning, execution, and closure. It’s tempting to think this life cycle makes project management a straightforward activity and can be managed by everyone. But several twists and turns often erupt in between these stages, demanding enough discipline and tactful decisions to keep the project on course.
For instance, your project’s scope can creep at any point with unexpected changes. These changes can affect your budget, human input, vendor support, and almost all areas of your project management.
That’s why you need qualified and certified project managers. Certified project managers are trained to anticipate such issues and develop measures to mitigate the associated risks. Your project will also need an effective manager for several other reasons. Generally, a project manager’s job is to supervise a project’s direction and guarantee its deliverables. It’s safe to say, enlisting a qualified project manager does a significant portion of moving the project to its successful end.
2. Know The Project Inside Out
Project management is a knowledge-based activity, and every action requires clarity. The less you know about a project before its execution, the more you open yourself to numerous avoidable challenges.
For this reason, expert project managers recommend nurturing the project through the initiation and planning stages before execution. Project initiation begins the project management lifecycle with a thorough review of the project idea. You can bring in consultants and subject area experts to help you deconstruct the problem underlying your project.
Suppose your project is tied to crime in a specific neighborhood. You’ll need to get a criminology degree graduate to help you understand why the crime rate is increasing in your area and what the factors are.
Conducting a thorough project initiation can help you garner significant buy-in from your project stakeholders, which is a crucial element of successful projects. Knowing more about your project helps draw the curtain down on your specific goals, success indicators, etc., making the project planning easier.
3. Optimize Your Project Management Team
After getting a qualified project manager, remember project management is a team sport. Assembling the right set of people for a project can be a defining factor for its success. The number of team members you’ll need for your project depends on the scope and budget. However, you’ll need an optimized team for your project regardless of its size.
An optimized project team feeds on each others’ strengths and offsets weaknesses. Therefore, analyzing each team member’s skill set can be a great first step in onboarding your project management team.
Apart from project-related skills, consider adding team members with soft skills like collaboration. The project manager may assign tasks based on team members’ strengths. If team members perform these tasks in silos, synergizing outputs can be delayed and frustrate project progress. Team members working along coordinated and integrated lines is a better approach to achieving project success through maximized productivity and efficiency.
4. Organize Frequent Standups
Good communication can take many forms. The form of communication you subscribe to in dealing with your project team members can affect the team’s success. For instance, team members may feel left out of the project if communication constantly exists between managers and a specific set of team members.
For this reason, experts recommend open and transparent communication as an enabler of project success. It puts everyone on the same page regarding project progress, outstanding tasks, and current issues.
No doubt, clear decision-making is a mainstay of project management. Members working on different tasks and with different ideas need to communicate it across the board to help make decisions. But how can project managers achieve this level of success through communication? The answer is daily standup meetings. This is a great way to disseminate project information regularly. These meetings are brief and precise and can be held daily, building up to your project’s completion.
5. Set Milestones
Project goals and objectives can be hard to track in their broad senses. You’d have an easier process executing your project goals if they were in small actionable bits. Project managers can deconstruct their project objectives into milestones using several approaches. The most commonly used method is to have a milestone for each stage in the life cycle.
Bulky projects with tangible deliverables can use significant stops as project milestones. For instance, you can use a building project’s foundation, roof levels, etc., as milestones. These milestones can be captured in your project management brief, acting as specific indicators that underpin your project’s progress.
6. Leverage Technology
A huge part of a project manager’s job includes creating an enabling environment for team members to thrive. Your team members having the right project management skills isn’t enough to guarantee success. They’ll need the right tools to make the expected impact in less time and with less effort.
Project managers can leverage technology and the internet to make their work easier. There are endless project management tools available today. You can talk of kanban software solutions to visualize workflows making it easier to differentiate between completed and outstanding tasks.
Collaborative tools can be a good addition to your team, especially if you have remote members. Such tools enable document sharing and live editing features, ensuring that multiple members can simultaneously work on the same deliverable.
These tools increase productivity and enhance efficiency. Many of them have a single dashboard from which project managers can view all workflows and provide consistent feedback on work in progress.
7. Minimize Distractions
Distractions don’t only hinder team members’ progress; these delays can also trickle down, affecting your budget and forcing you to spend on unexpected expenses. As a project manager, you need to keep distractions at the barest minimum. Sensitizing project team members to adopt lean and deep working methodologies can be a great way to deal with distractions internally and externally.
8. Evaluate Project Based On Milestones
Success in project management is incremental. Until the project’s closure, every chain of action can be subject to continuous improvement. Evaluation is what you’ll need to unlock insights needed to determine your project’s success and identify further development.
Generally, achieving project success can be manageable with these eight tips, irrespective of the size or scope of your project.