Tips to keep your project on track!
April 4, 2016
project management project manager
Its is a fact that most of the projects are usually planned well; however they fail when it comes to execution. Hence it becomes extremely important for a project manager to strategize the execution part in addition to planning. Some of the most impactful tips which will help us gain not only monetary benefits but also customer satisfaction are listed below.
- MAKE/BREAK: Leaders can make or break success. Hence be the right leader that YOU might look up to.
- SAVE EFFORT: It is a quite common practice to jump into performing tasks in any project. Ensure to skip this step so as to save re-work effort in due course of the project.
- EARLY INVESTMENT OF TIME: Put time in upfront to coordinate with all relevant stakeholders, incorporate input, consider potentials risks/dependencies and develop strong project plan.
- CLARITY OF THOUGHT: Be extremely clear on your plan, results will follow.
- CRITICAL PATH: Identify and focus on the critical path. It is easy to get deterred on all the planned tasks in the project as they all might seem important. However, most successful projects consider 80:20 ratio and ensure to focus exclusively on those tasks which might hold up the project from progressing at a desired optimal pace.
- BE REALISTIC: From Day 1, set realistic completion dates to ensure accurate forecasting.
- SET EXPECTATIONS & MILESTONES UPFRONT: Set realistic expectations with everyone from the very beginning about what their roles and jobs are for the project. Each team member should have a clear vision of how they fit in the overall success of the project, so that they understand how all the many aspects tie together.
- INTERNAL COMMUNICATION: Ensure that your team members communicate very well amongst themselves. It is quite common to assume the same, however, assumption can kill your team, work and deadlines.
- CALENDAR INVITES: Set up calendar notifications for the entire team for critical tasks completion, milestones etc. so that everyone’s mind is in the right place and right stage of the project.
- HEALTH CHECK: A constant health check (follow up with task owners) greatly helps.
- ESCALATION STRATEGY: Set up an escalation strategy (When?, What? and How? and guide the team to be accountable for whatever is possible at their level.
- SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS: Do not wait for the project to get completed to celebrate your success. Appreciate the team for their contribution, celebrate small wins all along and keep them motivated.
- PROJECT PLAN – TASK LEVEL: A project plan simplified to the tasks will help you reap success.
- MONITOR METRICS: This ideally should be an on-going activity in your project. Identify milestones, critical tasks, have interim checkpoints and constantly monitor the progress towards these milestones.This infact helps you revisit the plan if required.
- FOCUS: Even when caught up in a maze of tasks, do not take your eyes off the desired end result. Focus on those tasks/actions what will help deliver the desired output.
- CONVEY BAD NEWS: Nothing good ever comes from trying to hide a problem. Always be clear and concise when communicating issues, and get to the point quickly. Disclose the problems promptly and as honestly as possible and as earlier as possible which is always appreciated by the client/management.
- EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: Is the key to success. Have a communication protocol setup to keep product owners, team members aligned. Help the stakeholders understand how to contribute to help the project sail smoothly. Make it easy for them.