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Top Tips for Successful Project Management
‘A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it’ – Scott Allen
The Project Management Institute Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) defines a project as:
“A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a defined product, service or result.”
Typically, something is considered a project if it has the following characteristics:
• A specific, clearly definable objective
• A finite duration (non-repeating); i.e. a clear start and finish
• Limited resources allocated to it
• Interdependent activities associated with it
• Uncertainty and risk attached to it
Projects can only be managed by people…not processes or software – even if you are told otherwise! The person who coordinates a project is known as the Project Manager. Project Management involves managing people in relation to a specific task; taking a collaborative approach, managing timelines and budgets and improving productivity.
Project management centres on the planning and control of everything involved in delivering the end result – and it’s a process that every person on a project team needs to embrace, understand and execute, no matter the experience level.
‘Project Managers are the most creative pros in the world; we have to figure out everything that could go wrong, before it does’ – Fredrick Haren
Project Managers often don’t have direct responsibility for the people in their team, and face pressure from numerous stakeholders to deliver a project. Balancing the needs of everyone involved and delivering results on time and on budget can be difficult. The Project Manager must therefore be a persuader and motivator of people above, alongside and below them in the normal line structure.
So how can you be the most successful Project Manager in such a high-pressured environment?
Why not follow our 10 top tips…
1. Don’t rush the planning stage. No project will ever get far unless it has been planned very carefully beforehand.
2. Involve as many people as possible in the planning stage to make sure you have considered of everything.
3. Make a formal project plan and keep it visible.
4. Make sure that everybody affected by the project is kept completely in the loop about what is happening. This includes team members and stakeholders.
5. Make sure the team keep communicating – formally and informally.
6. Remember that priorities can change at any time and don’t be afraid to adjust a project because of this. Good project management will involve re-prioritisation.
7. Keeping the momentum going is an important part of completing a project successfully. If you start to let deadlines slip or relax, staff motivation will fall.
8. Delegation is a key skill for any Project Manager. You must to be willing to allocate both responsibility and authority to get tasks completed.
9. Be decisive. Listen to the advice of the team but make clear decisions yourself. Remember that as the Project Manager you are accountable for the outcome.
10. Stay focused on the ‘big picture’ and let your team handle the details. Otherwise you jeopardise the project by becoming a bottleneck.
‘Being a Project Manager is like being an artist. You have the different coloured process streams combining into a work of art’ – Greg Cimmarrusti PMP
Looking for more tips? Why not view our full session outline on Managing Projects, including extra business development areas to brush up on your skills.