Before we begin, you shall know what a project means: a compromise with a date to start and to end, in order to create or improve a product or service. A project management system obeys quality parameters and planning (a schedule + a budget). The project manager is precisely who gathers information, and disclose it. Therefore, it’s a professional who need to be able to communicate well. The smarter way is to involve the staff, customers and suppliers, so everyone feels directly responsible for the success of the project. Moreover, a good project manager stays alert to the day-to-day events, always aware to the goal plan. See below how you can arrange from the beginning to the delivery of a project:
Set priorities. The manager must have sensibility to identify the mandatory requirements to meet the goal. You may go further and ask the client to define what he/she considers the “success” of the project. Remember that the great is the enemy of the good, because of while we pursue the “great” we distance ourselves from something we have more chance of achieving: the “good”. Defining the project’s scope is about knowing what must be done to meet the customer’s need. Be sure to document it meticulously. This document sums up what features and what resources it shall be done with, so that, before the final product, the customer cannot be “disappointed”. One of the great secrets is to protect your scope. Projects which change the scope during its execution have serious difficulties in meeting the schedule and break the bank. You may put on paper how many hours each employee takes. You need to know the cost of 1 hour and estimate the time the team will invest on the project. Don’t forget that at this stage, the project manager has involved who will carry out the tasks.
You should make a list of everything that’s happening, what needs to be completed by tomorrow and what is late. Moreover, change the priority of jobs when it is necessaire – that happens more often than we would like. Set the status of progress of each task so that you can focus on what’s important. Create reminders for yourself. What kind of customer does want to know that you are committed to his/her projects? All of them. Use a system that shows the time consumed by the team to undertake the project, and each task individually. Thus, you can identify issues and identify if the budget you have charged was equable to the efforts you are investing. Transparency and facilitation at work may not be restricted only to a process stage. It’s also essential to have a place where to get your files. Therefore, all that is relevant shall be collected and organized, no need to seek for thousands of e-mails and folders.
It’s important to form a team with skills and experience in several areas. The project leader should be a professional with great technical knowledge and leadership behavior and be a senior professional with credibility. So, if there are tasks that were not performed, he/she will seek to understand why the planning doesn’t follow the rhythm and how it impacts the delivery date. However, you don’t need to schedule a meeting to evaluate the employees’ performance – it can be monitored by a project management system.
Create and share reports, spreadsheets and charts, e.g. Gantt, describing the project progress, your most active tasks and customers. Instead of criticize an employee for a serious delay, you can use a report with objective facts – and don’t generate resentments. These documents can also be shared with whom you want, from employees to customers. When communication fails, rumors and other noises overrun the environment. The manager should avoid this practice by providing clear and reliable information about the project status. Certainly, diplomacy is essential. If there is a problem, the project manager must talk about the solution, not only communicate the problem. In the end of a project, it is necessary to formalize to make it clear to everyone involved, especially to customers. You must say the project is completed and new needs will be done on a new project. Any extension or change must be budgeted and the whole cycle starts again. The data management reports are the best argument to negotiate a new budget.
Don’t be convinced that all these steps in a project management cannot be automated. Enhancing productivity of your business and meeting all the goals needn’t to be so tough. As we have seen, there is the “good” and the “great”. Once you get the necessary, it’s time to try the “very good”. Try Runrun.it – a project management system to manage people, tasks, time and talent – for free: http://runrun.it
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