Project managers have their task cut out as they are given the responsibility of completing projects within budget and on schedule. However, there are many factors that can derail a project and managers need to ensure their project progresses smoothly and overcomes any disruptions that may come in the way. A quality project management software solution can help managers in a big way. These applications are widely used and the global online project management software market is expected to post revenue of more than $1 billion by the year 2020.
You can select a suitable system by analyzing content from top B2B software marketplaces. After choosing the right platform for your project management needs, you should plan and prepare before the project begins to minimize interruptions and obstacles. This can help you to deal with any unexpected events quickly and efficiently. Read on for more such useful tips on effective project management.
Get all the project details at the start
Start your project work by getting approval from the concerned parties and preparing a detailed work scope. The scope should include a sufficient budget, detailed timeline, and interim milestones. Build a strong foundation by getting all the requirements in writing before you begin. You can expect changes as the project progresses and you should take care to raise concerns if it starts to deviate from the original plan. This may occur if your client repeatedly requests for extra additions which can add up over time and change the scope of the entire project.
Be realistic about expectations
Ensure that the client as well as your team members understand all the project limitations. If their expectations are realistic if would be easier to complete the project successfully within budget and on time. However, if the client has far-fetched expectations and asks for miracles, the project is doomed for failure. Don’t start your project in this state of mind. Inform your client and take them on board about the project scope and limitations.
Track project progress via milestones
Set up milestones along the way to know if the project is progressing smoothly. These interim milestones are especially important for lengthy projects and can help you determine if the project is on the right track or moving away from original goals. Establish both client and internal checkpoints. Incorporate the client’s feedback immediately because if you leave it for the later stages, they make ask you to re-work substantial parts which will delay project completion.
Keep up the spirits of your team members by celebrating with them when they reach a milestone. Give them a reward for the good work and recognize their efforts. This will make your team members enjoy their work and motivate them to continue to give their best.
Assign tasks to the right team members
Managing human resources effectively is an important part of project execution. Make sure your team member have the required skill-sets for their roles. If you delegate tasks to the wrong employee, you may end up harming the project work.
Ensure that your team members have a clear understanding of their roles, deadlines, and project goals. Motivate them to get their doubts clarified and encourage them to approach you for assistance if they face hindrances or obstacles in their work. Thus, it is essential to establish open and clear communication for effective collaboration.
Be an inspiring leader
As the project manager, you should exert your leadership and goodwill without hesitation and not let other team members assert dominance. You should be able to inspire your colleagues to perform their best by acting as their motivator, mentor, and coach. Encourage your team members who may be from diverse backgrounds to mingle freely and makes use of team-building exercises to maintain camaraderie. Plus, you are the contact person for the client, so communicate accurately to them to help them track project progress. Act as a calm and strong leader if the project meets turbulence. Your team will need your assistance the most in difficult times, so act as a reliable go-to person who can resolve their issues quickly and put their work back on track.
Do not breathe down too heavily on your team members but allow them to perform at their own pace as long as they meet deadlines. Have regular meetings to track each member’s tasks. Create a balanced and healthy work environment and empower your colleagues to give their best to the project.
Handle project risks with certainty
Prepare a list of likely risks that can affect the project before your start work. This will enable you to use contingency plans for certain events. If you expect a risk to arise, avoid it with preventive action or take corrective steps to resolve the issue. If the situation becomes unacceptable, do not hesitate to stop the project. This is a better strategy than continuing with the difficult situation because the project is doomed for failure if the threat is unmanageable.
Use a good quality project management software solution
Email is an outdated communication system for project management because you can end up spending a lot of time searching for the messages you need. Instead, invest in a good project management software application that stores all project communication and information in a single place and can be easily accessed by you and your team members anytime in the office or field. You can read user reviews to guide your decision. This is especially useful if your client and team members are based in other locations. In short, project management software helps to save time, and boosts collaboration and productivity.
Hold regular meetings to track project status
Keep these meetings short, relevant, and productive. Regular communication with your team members and client is a great way to track project status and progress. This becomes more important if you have virtual team members. Communicate frequently and openly with them to know their work status and to find out if they are experiencing any difficulties that need help.
Do a project post-mortem
After you complete the project successfully, prepare a post-mortem account of it for internal use. In this report, you can identify the plus points and drawbacks of the project execution, and learn what you could have done differently. Plus, you can establish best practices that can be utilized in future projects.
We hope this article helps you to manage your projects more effectively in the future. Keep track of the latest trends in the project management field to stay updated. If you are using any other useful project management strategies, feel free to share the details with us.
Alex Hillsberg is chief editor for Financesonline.com reviews. He is an expert in the area of B2B and SaaS related products. He has worked for several B2B startups in the past and gathered a lot of first hand knowledge about the industry during that time.