1. SET GOALS UPFRONT
The first thing to do before the commencement of any project is to set milestones to ensure the project stays on track. It is advisable you set short-term goals to keep the project on track. Without these milestones, it may take a long time for managers to recognize and deal with problems facing the project.
Also, managers should ensure that everyone on the project team understands the scope of the project from the beginning. When everyone knows what to expect from the beginning, there is no ambiguity to the project .
2. GET THE FULL PROJECT DETAILS BEFORE STARTING
Having a detailed project scope approved by all stakeholders is important to the successful completion of the project. The scope should include interim milestones, deliverable dates and a budget worksheet which represents the time involved. If the initial project write-up has enough detail the better the project management team and their client would interact through its production. Getting the project details and the vision ready for the project will help you manage changes which may occur in course of the project and if something is out of scope you can tell too .
3. BE CLEAR ON WHO HANDLES WHAT- AND THE DEADLINES
As with most projects, several persons are involved in their execution and it’s possible for important details to get lost in the course of the project. To avoid confusion, determine which team members are responsible for which aspects of the project up front, and enforce accountability. An online task management program can be set up to help each team member know who is in charge of what. This includes the full scope of the project and the precise time when each task is to be completed. Also, a knowledge of the precise time each project is to be completed gives all of the key players a clear understanding of how their efforts contribute to the project as a whole. Project milestones and benchmarks are great for managing these expectations and staying on track with deadlines .
4. AVOID MICROMANAGING
Micromanaging employees during any project undermines their talent and their effectiveness in performing their duties. Micromanaging also shows a lack of trust, which demoralizes and disengages project team members. It is important that as the head of a project management team you meet regularly with team members working on the project. However, you should leave room for them to work without feeling micromanaged. Creating this balance is key to ensuring that work is being done and the team members feel empowered to do their best on the project .
5. GET THE RIGHT (AND RIGHT-SIZED) PROJECT MANAGEMENT TEAM IN PLACE
For a project to be successful, you need to have the right team in place, persons whose skills and experience can benefit the project, from the project manager down to the administrative staff. It’s also important that you work with no more than the needed number of people. For example, Amazon.com uses the pizza team method whereby each team comprises of no more than 6-10 persons where each team is made up of the minimum amount of persons required to get the job done. Each person on the team is matched with her respective skills .
6. ENSURE YOU HAVE A GOOD PROJECT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN PLACE
Email seems like the most obvious form of communication when handling projects, but the truth is it can hinder progress as trawling through email threads for previous correspondence can be a time waster. Using software which keeps all project information and communication in one place not only saves time but maintains a productive workspace . Project management applications like Asana and Trello allow project members to collaborate on tasks, set due dates, assign responsibility and attached project files. Some project management teams comprise of members from across the world and smooth communication and sharing of information across geographic locations and time zones is imperative to project success.
7. HOLD REGULAR PROJECT STATUS MEETINGS AND KEEP THEM SHORT
Regular communication with all members of the team as well as the client is the best way to ensure a project is on track. This is especially important in a virtual environment where you are not able to just walk into a colleague’s office to check the status of a task. Scheduling regular calls in addition to all other forms of digital communication ensures there’s an open and clear communication line.
While staying on top of the project is important for the team leader, there needs to be a way for him to communicate with the members of the team without getting bogged down by details as this will make for a more effective project execution. Status meetings should also be short and direct to give team members time to focus on the most relevant details about the past week of work .
8. KEEP TEAM MEMBERS MOTIVATED BY REWARDING THEM WHEN MILESTONES ARE REACHED
It is important to set milestones to keep project members on track. You should also reward team members when they meet each milestone. Celebrating milestones is a great way to track progress while keeping team members motivated.
9. BUILD IN TIME FOR CHANGES
Projects rarely stay completely within the original scope, so it is important to include time for unplanned changes .
10. INSTILL A SENSE OF URGENCY
Project team members may not automatically place as much emphasis on the importance of meeting deadlines as the leader of a project. The project manager should instill this sense of urgency within the team when the team members lose focus. Keeping a project team on task can be so challenging that it is often referred to as “herding cats.” Managers can use regular meetings, calls and persistent follow-up to ensure they keep their team members on the right track. They should also ensure team members understand that the resources, budget and timelines are in place not to make their lives difficult but to ensure project success.
However, there is a big difference between instilling a sense of urgency and creating a state of panic. Although it may seem like a fine line, impressing the importance of maintaining work ethic and diligence is not the same thing as inducing a climate of chaos .
There is a lot more required to successfully execute a project. The list above just provides managers with insight into the most important elements of successful project management. Though there are additional best practices and certifications required to successfully manage a project, the skills above provide a solid foundation for any project manager to work with.
Project Management Institute. Retrieved from- https://www.pmi.org/
Jennifer Lonoff Schiff. (2014). 9 secrets to project management success. Retrieved from- https://www.cio.com/article/2599794/project-management/project-management-9-secrets-to-project-management-success.html
Shehan Kumar. (2017). Top 10 keys to project management success. Retrieved from- https://cammsproject.com/2017/07/20/top-10-keys-to-project-management-success/
Bisk Education. (2018). Five Secrets to Project Management Success. Retrieved from- https://www.villanovau.com/resources/project-management/5-secrets-project-management/#.WuYxQIgvzIU