Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tips and ideas for successful project management

When it comes to managing your projects, there are many challenges. A project manager has to take care of deadlines and exceed quality expectations within a predefined budget. Missed deadlines, poor quality, and increased budgets can ruin a project. However, project managers can take precautions and use time tested techniques to ensure success. In this article we are listing such helpful techniques:


(a) Get the details

It is easy to underestimate the complexity of a project. The safer bet is to nail down on details, understand the expectations, and learn what factors will constitute success. The first step in successful project management is to identify scope. There will be no way to gauge the success of a project if there are not any clearly defined targets (scope). The next task is to identify how material resources, individuals, and finance will be used. It has to be very detailed. In fact, it is a smart idea to be very diligent about on details. Small discrepancies can snowball into a huge problem. An emphasis on details is essential to creating successful plans. However, a detailed plan should have room for flexibility. It is mathematically impossible to predict everything in a complex system to absolute certainty.

(b) Identify requirements

Once a sound plan is in place, the next step is to create a team of individuals who will work together and use their combined skills set to make the project successful. The first step here is to identify individuals who have the necessary skills to be part of the project management team. The next task is to ensure the individuals are prepared to use their skills in a specific way, which suits the project management requirements the most. Thirdly, the individuals should be very clear about the objectives – what they are trying to achieve and how they are going to work.

(c) Leadership counts

Strong and inspiring leaders can sail their projects through the toughest weather and still complete it in time and exceed everyone’s specifications. The task of a project leader is to cultivate the team affiliation, improve communication, and keep the team in contact with major stakeholders. Turbulent times can derail projects mercilessly. A leader’s function is to make sure the team stays intact, prevails over challenges, and finishes the project within planned time and budget constraints.

(d) Divide the works into smaller tasks

An ancient philosopher Confucius once said the road of 1,000 miles begins with one step. Translated into the language of project management, what it essentially says is that a big project is a whole sum of smaller tasks. Successful managers focus on the successful completion of these smaller tasks, without losing the broad picture, and the whole project takes care of itself. If it is a website creation project, a leader can divide the task into content creation, design, and development and tackle these smaller tasks one at a time. It is easier to manage little tasks.

(e)  Communication is crucial

If there is one thing that matters as much as planning and time management in the success of a project, it is how accessible and open the channels of communication are. A lack of communication can doom a project. It should be a priority to make sure everyone in a team is communicating openly, consistently, and honestly. It is very easy to lose touch with other team members. There are various ways in which managers can keep communication lines open; through regular meets, group chats, and others.

(f) Use a project management software

The days of creating project details on dead wood have been long past us. This is the age of computers. Many managers have to take care of projects where individuals may not be in the same geographical location. An effective way to tackle dispersed teams and individuals and successfully complete a project is to use modern project management software. When it comes to software, web based or online project management (PM) tools have many advantages for their installable counterparts; namely lower costs and more flexibility.

(g) Dig into experience

Unless one is faced with their first project management task, the smart way is to dig into the past and look for similarities with previous management tasks. For those who are trying hands on project management for the first time, the intelligent way is to think about the lessons on project management they received in college. Considering that this is a very useful strategy, it is surprising how little use is made of it.

Conclusion

Project management is an old discipline. It is all way more important in the modern era where most projects are completed by a team instead of an individual. Project managers play crucial role in managing individuals and completing projects in time. Yet, they occasionally make avoidable mistakes. This article has listed eight precautions and ideas which project managers can utilize to deliver successful projects every time.

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