The Dos and Don’ts of Project Management

The Dos and Don’ts of Project Management

The do's and don'ts of Project Management

Project managers are the backbone of the day-to-day running of many businesses. From controlling resources to checking procedures, the project manager must plan and organise every aspect of the project, while also motivating everyone involved. In the end, effective project management means successful projects.

Project management can be stressful, and you mightn’t even realise that there are ways to make the process more effective. In fact, these issues that you haven’t noticed could be costing your business time and money.

To ensure that you and your team are able to work efficiently, here are some dos and don’ts for project management:

Don’t:

1. Choose the wrong person to manage a project

It is a common mistake for project managers to be picked because they are available rather than because they have a suitable skillset for that particular job. While it is still possible for the task to be completed regardless of who is picked to manage it, assigning jobs to the right project managers will improve efficiency.

2. Start too many projects at the same time

Having to focus on several different things at once can be overwhelming. Crucial errors can be overlooked, causing more issues to arise later. Instead of starting several projects at once, try to reduce the work in progress projects so that you can pay more attention to priority projects.

3. Forget to specify the scope

What is the goal of your project, and what resources are at your disposal to achieve this goal? If your team doesn’t know this, or if you frequently change the scope of your project, priorities will keep changing and this may negatively affect the success of your project. In line with changes, a project must always have a system for approving and tracking any changes.

4. Lack support

It is important for every project to be backed by the entire team. This includes clarifying everyone’s role, describing what they can gain by successfully completing a project, informing everyone of how their work will be evaluated, and most importantly, providing a sense of urgency in the project.

5. Micromanage

Focusing on every little aspect of the project not only drains the project manager’s energy but having to provide constant updates can be a huge waste of time for the team. It is better to encourage regular detailed progress reports that outline all the updates and potential problems instead.

6. Have an unrealistic timeline

Closer deadlines may make clients happy, but if you constantly fail to meet these deadlines, your clients will lose faith in your ability to deliver timely results. This will also cause unnecessary stress on you and your team. Make sure that you create a timeline that is realistic and achievable for your team.

7. Communicate poorly

Regular communication will promote teamwork and interconnectedness. Being able to have face-to-face meetings and progress reports will keep everyone on the same wavelength, and ensure that your team is on track.

8. Lack flexibility

You don’t need to follow your original plan to a tee. There are many variables that may mean that you need to change the timeline or reassign jobs. Project completion is an ongoing process that requires evaluation and taking steps to combat any issues that are encountered.

9. Forget parameters for success

If your project has no means of defining success, you and your team won’t have a clear goal. Having metrics will assist in showing the team what their work is leading towards, as well as helping you make sure that everyone is on track.

Do:

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1. Use proper planning documentation

A furnished document stating the project definition allows everyone involved to understand all the aspects of the project from the getgo. This is something everyone in the project can refer back to while working on the project. The project definition should discuss the following:

  • The overview of the project
  • Its objectives
  • The scope
  • Assumptions and risks
  • The approach
  • The significant roles in the project
  • Costs and duration estimates

In addition, the approval of the sponsor and key stakeholders must also be included.

2. Monitor the schedule and budget

Always have a transparent means of finding out how well your project is progressing in terms of time and money. Projects rarely ever stick to the original plan, but staying as close as possible to the schedule and budget is important. Before the project veers too far away from the original plan, it’s best to discuss this with the team so that necessary adjustments can be made.

3. Get scope-change approval from sponsors

Sponsors are in charge of the funds for the projects, so it is very important that they approve of any changes.

4. Identify warning signs and risks

Project managers must always keep an eye out for scope creep or sudden necessary changes in order to change the process and avoid any potential problems. Warning signs give you clues about things that may not be working as planned. So once you’ve spotted the root of the problem, it’s imperative that you work to resolve these issues as soon as possible.

Summary

It can be tough for a project manager to juggle so many balls at once, but keeping these tips in mind should be very helpful in creating a good work environment for the team, as well as improving the efficiency of the job.

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