Project management is an interesting career choice; it offers challenging roles and hence it offers interesting career options. For example, as a project manager, one has to deal with spectrum of stakeholders. Project stakeholders have different aspirations, expectation, behavior, skills, experience, involvement in job, etc. And when one has to deal with different set of people and still get the things done, it is certainly a challenging profession. Let’s find out what are those specific things project project manager must know in order to succeed.
1. Project Scope, Goals and Objectives
One of the major reasons for project failure is lack of clarity in terms of why, what needs to be done and also what should not be done. To bring in such clarity, project managers have to be clear in terms of project goals, project objectives and project scope. Project manager should be judicious in accepting change request and avoid scope creep.
Image 1: Clearly Know Project Scope, Objectives
2. Type of Stakeholders and Right Frequency of Communication
Before taking up a project, project manager should know who are the stakeholders of the project, he should also do a stakeholder analysis and decide how they should be communicated, contacted, informed, apprised, etc. There will be stakeholders will be responsive, accommodative whereas some of them could be difficult to deal with; accordingly project manager will have to decide the communication strategy, communication frequency keeping in mind the best interests of project.
3. Support Of Senior Management Is Important
Support of senior and executive management is important for success of the project. If management is convinced about your project, they will support it, even when project has set backs. As I mentioned earlier, the stakeholder analysis will help you in assessing how far, the members of senior management are influential as well decisive. Senior management will tend to be accommodative if project manager saves them from bad surprises, hence one should be informing them about major developments, set backs on a regular basis.
4. Project Planning is The Key, Involve Subject Matter Experts
Traditional still believes that the level of project planning decides project success. If one wants to make realistic project planning, the input for estimations should come from subject matter experts and project manager should deduce those numbers while declaring a final project plan before kick off meeting. Experience project managers know things can go wrong, even with detailed project plan with all possible considerations; hence they make a provision for reasonable buffer time.
5. Follow Up Is Unfortunate, But We Are Dealing with Humans After all
One of the main reason, project manager is not popular among team members is Follow Up. And that’s how it is known for “Follow Up Guy”. But one thing team members forget is, if project manager has required information to share with customers or senior managers, he doesn’t have to chase project team or others. Because it is human nature to procrastinate things, and project manager has to answer someone, he has to follow up.
6. Use Of Technology For Project Monitoring and Collaboration
Image 2: Project Management Software
You don’t have to be a techie to understand the benefits of using technology. A good project manager well well understands the power of web based project management tool, collaboration tools to streamline project management process and improve productivity.
Transparency instills responsibility and accountability among project stakeholders. This is exactly why web based project management system can immensely help organizations in better project planning, monitoring and delivery.