Management Strategies for Project Managers
There are a myriad of projects being conducted on a daily basis within most organisations which carry their own inherent risks and issues when it comes down to successful delivery. How, as project managers, are strategies implemented to ensure that the best management approach is achieved to ensure the goal is reached. That is completed on schedule, remain within the predefined budget, and show little to no disparity between the actual and calculated quality of work. Needless to say, projects are an extensive undertaking.
So what are the best strategies to manage projects? , One of the fundamental reasons why a project falters relates to resources. The people involved who understand the project scope and as a team are able to gel. Choosing the right resource means the best option for each particular task or sub-task that allows delivery of sub-goals and main objectives in less time, cost, and better quality. Resource options should be evaluated and pick the people who are able to reduce the time taken to complete tasks, are less expensive, and deliver the standard of work that is expected.
Achievements should be celebrated, regardless of how small, motivating team members and keeping them high spirited through the project is very important. During the course of a project there are milestones to achieve before completion, their identification is important, and this is where the project manager needs to do their part. So once the milestone has been achieved then it should be celebrated, this allows the team members and the workers involved to blow off some steam as well as rejuvenate themselves. Projects can be long and tedious, positive reinforcements in between keep teams enthusiastic and passionate for the duration.
Thorough planning is required, pinpoint all the necessary details and get them in writing. This will allow good accurate record keeping for safekeeping as well as a line of reference before the initiation of the project. Having items written down also offers a solid position to look back, in the event an issue arises which deviates from the actual pathway, this will easily redirect the project and team back onto the right track.
Settle on the methodology which will be used for the project, popular methodologies for project management include Agile, Lean, Kanban, Scrum, Six Sigma, and Waterfall. Each methodology focuses on different aspects of a project, undertakings, and apply various approaches to get things done in an orderly manner.
Definition of roles, outlining each team member’s role and responsibilities, by using a RACI, overcomes possible confusion and keeps the team in-line with their duties. Team members should be held accountable and responsible for the different tasks they have been assigned. Also defining roles helps set the hierarchy and the line of command within the team. This means irrelevant communications and wastage of time in being idol can be avoided. Roles should be clearly defined so that they relay important information for every member and worker who is taking part in the project.
Milestones, must be tracked, as validation is required on how far the team has come since the beginning of the project. It offers reassurance when following the right track and keeping up with the predefined schedule for the project’s sub-tasks and main tasks. It also assists to increase the intensity of efforts when lagging behind. This will dictate when to work hard and when to give the team some time to recharge energies, knowing the difference between the two matters to keep things functioning in proper order.
When measuring team’s performance, it is best to create a criteria to compare efforts. Monitoring and controlling the team’s input and output allows an understanding of the day to day operations. This provides an overview of various strengths and weaknesses.
The big one in any project, one which is scrutinised the most is project budget against the scope. The budget allows for catering of financial needs and requirements for completing the project. In contrast, the project scope defines the parameters and boundaries. This can include various tasks that need to be completed which can be combined. Not only does the project manager have to keep in line with the predefined budget, but also make sure that initially planned project’s scope remains unaffected.
Managing the stakeholders, not many projects get momentum if the stakeholder is not thoroughly engaged. The stakeholder has certain expectation of the project and if directions are taken from the stakeholder ensure they are extensive and detailed. The more information received, the less disparity there will be at the end when the project is completed. If this approach is followed make sure that the stakeholder’s expectations is gratified.
Finally there must be a step to analyse and evaluate the projects performance via Project Implementation Review (PIR). This should be an essential step, as the outcome from lessons learnt from a recently completed project will definitely assist with the next similar project. Which should include risk, financial, and PERT amongst other items. During the PIR include if possible evaluations, apply the Internal Rate of Return, Net Present Value, Payback Method, and Profitability Index apart from various other techniques.
It’s never easy managing projects, especially when there are many moving parts, thus not making every manager necessarily a good project manager, it takes a special person to take up this mantle. At times a lot of financial investment and risk are involved in projects, which is why it normally takes a professionally mature individual who has a proven track record, to be asked to undertake this huge responsibility. Stakeholders can be difficult to work with if the project does not deliver according to their expectations and fails to meet their requirements. It would be good to find out your perspective on strategies, and possibly other strategies not mentioned here which make your projects successful.