Make the Most of Your Day With These 8 Project Management Tips
Project management may sound like a daunting task – and it can be if you aren’t adequately prepared to meet the challenges of managing a team. At its core, successful project management involves ensuring that a group of individuals work together to complete a project within a pre-defined set of guidelines. Those guidelines may vary in detail and complexity, from nothing more than the expected end result to assorted time-sensitive milestones and goals to help make sure your day goes off without a hitch. When you’re in the role of project manager, keep these eight tips in mind:
- While you may have the end goal in mind, it is important that you also define project milestones. These waypoints let you know if your project is progressing as it should be in terms of a variety of benchmarks relating to deadlines, budget, completion expectations, and more. Milestones are also beneficial because they grant you small measures of success as you move along the path toward completion.
- In any industry, it is never a good thing if your left hand doesn’t know what your right hand is doing, so it’s essential to keep communication lines open. You should establish a plan for communication among all members of your team and, as the project manager, monitor those communication lines regularly to ensure that they remain clear, open, honest, and consistent.
- When you are laying the groundwork for goals you wish to achieve for the project, it’s vital that you set priorities and separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. You don’t want critical team members working on minor tasks with loose deadlines when a major undertaking remains untouched on a shelf as its deadline approaches.
- Facilitate project tracking with workflow forms software like PerfectForms, which can make the process easier and more automated. By automating a portion of your project tracking and analytics, you can take some of the workload off your own shoulders and free yourself up for other project management duties.
- Give team members clearly defined roles and make sure they are fully cognizant of what your expectations are for their performance. The last thing you want is for your project to meet with failure or delays because someone didn’t completely understand his or her role.
- Regardless of whether you’re defining milestones, setting priorities, preparing a budget, or performing other project-related planning and management functions, you always want to be realistic in terms of what you expect to accomplish and how you plan to achieve your goals. It’s perfectly fine to reach for the stars, but make sure you’ve got your feet firmly on the ground, too.
- While you’d prefer to avoid it, the unexpected can and does occur, so make sure you have a contingency plan (a “Plan B”) to fall back on if your primary objectives fall through. You can always hope for the best, but by preparing for the worst you know you’ll be ready to quickly and easily overcome challenges that appear on the horizon.
- Throughout the “life” of your project, you should hold regular meetings with your project team to discuss progress, issues and solutions, and to analyze where you are with regard to completing priority lists and reaching project milestones. These meetings also provide an excellent way to keep the lines of communication open.
Don’t be intimidated by the responsibilities of project management! Use these tips and other available resources to support your role as project manager and you’ll be ready to meet and conquer any obstacles that come your way.
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