10 Effective Ways to Improve Project Management
Project managers do not simply accept a job and expect a positive outcome without proper planning, organization, and execution. So, how do project managers ensure that they manage their projects well? If you are a project manager, here are ten ways in which you can improve project management.
Improve Project Management in 10 Ways
Today, many businesses outsource dedicated project managers to help oversee and facilitate their business projects. However, there are still entrepreneurs and working professionals who often perform project management roles themselves in their business, specifically those small businesses that are still new to the industry. Because these business owners also need to perform other tasks outside of project management, not everyone immediately gets the hang of it. As such, here are ten ways that you can improve your project management skills.
ONE: Make Sure to Have a Project
When we talk about projects, they have a start date, an end date, and a set of deliverables that measure their success. A great example of a project is building and launching a business website. First, you have to set a day to start the project and then determine when you finish it. Then, as mentioned above, you have to have a final output or a set of deliverables that signify that you have completed the project.
TWO: Create a Discovery Period
The discovery period is the time when you brainstorm on everything about the project. These would include what your project requires, what it can contribute to your operations, and what it means for the future of your business. As such, you will have to determine the resources needed for the implementation of the project. It would be best to research the latest trends and technologies that can further enhance the project in your mind during this stage.
THREE: Set the Scope of your Project
It is also vital for project managers to set the scope of their project. By determining the scope of your project and having it signed by all the stakeholders involved in its creation, you will have a clear set of guidelines on what you will need to produce the final output. Without this, anyone can make changes to the project at any time throughout its implementation. As a result, you may not achieve the product you have previously envisioned for your business.
FOUR: Call for a Kickoff Meeting
The next step is to call for a kickoff meeting. This should involve all the team members and stakeholders involved in the project. The kickoff meeting will serve as the official start of the implementation of the project. Through this meeting, you can further define the scope of your project, identify the roles of each team member, determine your milestones, and identify your project deliverables. In this meeting, it would be best to open the floor for questions and clarifications.
FIVE: Design the Project Timeline
We have established earlier how a project has a start date and an end date. But what happens in between? The time in between is where project managers should identify the project’s milestones and their respective deadlines and deliverables. If you use a project management timeline, you can spread out the entire project and plot every team member’s steps to achieve the final output. In this way, you implement the project step after every step.
SIX: Set Communication Lines Open
As with anything, communication is key to implementing a successful project. Project managers should establish a clear communication line (through email, phone, chats, etc.) among team members and between their clients or stakeholders. Doing so prevents conflict. They should also schedule meetings and check-ins with their clients throughout the entire project. This way, team members can meet client expectations, thereby ensuring customer satisfaction.
SEVEN: Schedule Meetings Efficiently
Another thing to keep in mind to improve project management is to schedule meetings efficiently. Make sure that, when you set a schedule for a meeting, everyone vital in the project implementation can attend. This may be quite the challenge, mainly if your client works on the opposite side of the globe or at a different time zone. Do not forget to prepare an agenda that everyone can follow. Start your meetings on time and finish them as early as possible.
EIGHT: Prepare for Risks and Problems
Even with an efficiently thought-out plan of action, anything can still happen when implementing your project. As such, it would be best to prepare for potential risks or problems that could arise along the way. In case your primary solution does not work, prepare for a backup solution. Also, regularly check in on your team members. Ask them if they have any concerns and help resolve them as quickly as possible to return to the task at hand.
NINE: Work to Improve Operations
When you encounter problems in implementing your projects, you should remember to keep a positive attitude towards them. No plan is foolproof. Blaming each other will not help in resolving the matter. As such, you should work proactively with your team members in finding solutions that can bring you all back on track. Responding negatively to problems that your team shares will only make it difficult for them to be open with you.
TEN: Employ Project Management Tools
Lastly, you can improve project management with the use of project management tools available online. These tools allow you to collaborate with your team and clients in real-time. With project management software, everyone can keep track of the project timeline, including their respective tasks and deadlines, ensuring the timely delivery of outputs. Here are popular project management software that you can use: Airtable, Asana, Basecamp, TeamGantt, Teamwork, Trello, Wrike, and Zoho Projects.
Improve Project Management!
Note these ten tips to improve project management and guarantee that you work at your best and achieve even better results. However, if you think you need help managing your projects, it would be best to hire a dedicated project manager to do the job for you!