5 Tips to Manage a Project Effectively
What is common between successful projects that move on to real value creation and generate growth? It’s effective project management! Managing a project is not only about keeping deliverables in check. It is more about uniting the stakeholders, sharing the vision, and making sure everyone has their part in the success.
Let’s move ahead and talk about five proven tips that are absolute complete game-changers and allow you to effectively manage projects.
Set Expectations- Early & Clearly
When we talk about managing a project effectively, one of the primary steps is to set clear, well-defined & documented expectations with the stakeholders. Not only does it keep things crystal clear but also eliminates the scope of any unnecessary assumptions as well at both ends. Hence, managers should get in touch with clients and capture their inputs, asks, expectations, and then work towards documents such as SOW (Statement of Work), Acceptance Criteria (AC), etc.
You can also consider using a ready-to-use Stage Gate process template and effectively capture the project’s scope, objectives, goals, and acceptance criteria during team meetings and presentations. Setting the expectations clearly right from day one of the project keeps important project elements such as Costs, Timelines, Scope & Objectives transparent. Not to forget that setting clear expectations will also allow your organization to not over-commit and capture realistic promises.
Maximize Team Collaboration
One of the most important ingredients for running a project smoothly is effective team collaboration. When it comes to keeping team members, clients & other stakeholders on the same page, communication is the key. More importantly, since companies and projects are going remote, managers must ensure crisp and clear communication that directly contributes to collaboration.
As a manager, your communication lines should be approachable and open at all times such that team members can walk up to you without hesitation. Further, if the team is working remotely, the organization must consider investing in remote collaboration technologies such as Google Meet or Microsoft Teams to facilitate easy communication between the employees. Whether you’re a small agency, consultancy, or a large corporation, clear communication and effective collaboration are the only ways forward to business success.
Project Monitoring & Performance Tracking
When it comes to assessing the project progress, resource utilization, capturing accountability of stakeholders, and securing viable end-results, routine project monitoring & performance tracking is the go-to solution for managers. Further, the practice lets you answer critical project questions such as whether tasks are carried out as planned, how the team is performing, the impact of unanticipated changes/delays, or are deliverables on time.
You can track the performance and keep a check on deliverables in a variety of ways. The most common being regular status and progress reports through daily scrums. Daily team stand-up calls are important since these help managers ensure accountability for every resource, discuss granular project details, map out dependencies or mitigate arising risks. Not to forget, daily meetings keep the communication channel open for the team and boost engagement & productivity, respectively.
Handle the Risks
There is no denying that projects of all scales are prone to risks. One of the primary jobs of a manager is to identify present problems and discover potential risks before they arise. Therefore, every project journey should have risk mitigation activities mapped throughout the project’s lifecycle. One should note that unmanaged risks can easily derail a project’s progress and put endeavors in jeopardy. Thus, causing a negative impact on the operations and leading to unanticipated delays.
Managers can follow the popular risk mitigation strategies- Risk Acceptance, Risk Avoidance, Risk Reduction, Risk Mitigation & Risk Transfer. Identifying and accepting risk is the primary step. It allows managers to build frameworks that help the team avoid the risk, reduce & mitigate the possible impact, and further transfer the risk to non-vulnerable or trivial project elements.
Leverage Management Tools
Project management tools are the game-changer for any business when the goal is to efficiently quantify, objectify, segregate, and delegate the tasks. Right from the planning of the project, defining the scope, setting expectations to track performance, managing resources & ensuring successful delivery, management tools play a momentous role. The advanced software helps managers to schedule work, track individual-level progress & discover bottlenecks in the delivery pipeline.
Not just that, project management tools help you ensure smooth collaboration, keep the project’s budget in check, utilize 100% of resources and foster a healthy team workflow. Therefore, organizations can truly maximize the potential of available tools and resources at hand and further boost the execution of their development teams’ manifolds. An ideal project management flow can draw a line between a successfully closed milestone and a missed deadline.
Wrapping It Up:
Incorporating these simple yet effective steps into your project management workflow can help you and the team members sail through the project timeline and accomplish business goals. When you’ve deadlines to cater to and finite time-based resources in hand, only effective project planning can help you transition towards success.