As a project manager, it’s your job to successfully guide a project through to completion within a specific time and budget. As a their leader, your team will look to you as a teacher, mentor and problem solver; you will need to be ready to help them with any questions or problems. Also, you need to communicate with the client. They will expect that you are organized and up to date with all elements of the project. Here are some tips to help you streamline your process and increase the efficiency of your team.
1. Have Clear Project Goals
Make sure you have all the details in front of you before you start. Get everything in writing so that a detailed timeline and a realistic budget can be drawn up and agreed on by stakeholders. Having this at the beginning, will make you instrumental in choosing the right team for the project. You will be able to select members whose skill-sets are right for each task. It also helps you avoid ‘scope creep’ when the client wants little things added here and there. When this happens, suddenly the project can look very different than how it started. Even though it’s likely that the project will change slightly before its completion. When you outline clear project goals at the start, you will maintain control of the project.
2. Be Dynamic
Once you have your plan in place, remain flexible. All sorts of things can happen which could change the plan slightly. But if you can anticipate these and are ready to act when they come up, you will find yourself better equipped to deal with them. Before your project starts think about potential issues that could arise, how to prevent them, and, if they arise, how you will resolve them. You need to fulfill your role as a team leader in these situations and deal with these issues confidently and calmly.
You need to ensure your team clearly communicates with one another. Make sure that everyone knows what the aims of the project are and how to achieve them. Any change to plans need to be understood by the team members and they must be able to discuss any concerns freely. Short and regular meetings keep everyone updated, instead of long and infrequent ones. In doing this, you will be able to spot any problems emerging more quickly. Therefore, having meetings frequently, you will maintain a high level of motivation and morale within the team as it helps everyone feel included and promotes a good group dynamic.
Make sure you’re communicating with the client. Keep them updated on progress or any potential problems and of course listen to their feedback. This way, you won’t run the risk of them becoming unhappy with any steps you have taken.
4. Stay on Track
One of your main tasks as project manager is to make sure that the team is working well together – that they are on the right track and sticking to the schedule. There is project management software which can help you track the progress your team is making. Online Kanban boards, even a physical one in the office, helps you visualize your workflow, facilitating efficient use of time. If everyone in the team has access to the board, they can update their progress, making status-update meetings quicker. Gantt charts also work in a similar way, helping you to visualize the tasks that need to be done against the time they are likely to take for completion.
5. Review The Project to Improve for The Next Time
To finish, when the project is over it’s imperative that you examine what you did during the project and learn from your actions. It’s important to work out exactly what worked well and what didn’t. In order to make sure your company maintains its edge over any competitors you must always seek to improve. Encourage your team members and clients to give you feedback to help with this. Stay up to date with what’s going on in your company and any new project management theories between projects. Project management is a continuous process of analyzing, prioritizing and reviewing in order to make right decisions quickly. Final tip, stay focused and organised at every stage and you will do great work.
For more tips on project success check-out this video.