In any sector and at any stage there are challenges when it comes to project management. These are our top 10 tips for driving momentum and ensuring the eventual outcome is success.
- Get to grips with the project. Be clear about who the clients and stakeholders are and where each of their interests lie. What are the goals and objectives for the project and what plan is in place to ensure that these are achieved?
- Create the right team. Once you have a plan in place you can start to identify how to resource the project. Identify a team, define roles and make sure you have all expertise requirements covered.
- Work with individual strengths and weaknesses. When you’re leading any team you will always get more from people if you focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. Tap into the strengths of every team member so that each is tasked in the area where they can contribute the most.
- Identify the milestones. In order to keep a project on track you need to have a clear pathway to success with specific milestones marked along it. What needs to happen at each stage of initiation, planning, execution and close?
- Make sure that someone is steering the project. It’s crucial to have a clear leader in project management – collaboration is important at every stage but there needs to be a project manager who will take control and responsibility where necessary.
- Ensure that channels of communication remain open. Whether it’s among team members or between stakeholders and managers, poor communication can mean negative project outcomes. It’s essential to ensure everyone remains informed and has the opportunity to ask questions where necessary.
- Use technology. In particular, project management software can make it much easier to deliver a successful outcome. It’s a great way to ensure that everyone has access to information, to facilitate collaboration and to help to make sure that momentum is maintained.
- Get familiar with the risks. The risk component in any project can be off-putting and it might be tempting to ignore it and hope it goes away. However, effective risk management is crucial to project management success. Go through the process of identifying potential risks in advance and then putting contingencies in place in case these do actually arise. The reality may be that you never have to deal with them but you’ll be ready to take action if you do.
- Test, test, test. Every time you reach a critical milestone test your deliverables. This is the clearest way to see whether the project is on track or not.
- Review the project afterwards. Whether you achieved success or not, post-project review is essential. If there have been mistakes and failures then these present a chance to learn and this is also a good opportunity to embed those actions or initiatives that worked particularly well.
Project management success depends on a number of different factors – these top 10 tips provide a great place to start.
Find out more by booking on to our Introduction to Project Management training course…