The art of Project Management takes several years to master. It involves a set of skills that combine together to help you take a project to its successful conclusion. Unfortunately, a majority of projects are not completed in an efficient manner.
Frequent delays in meeting milestones ensure that projects take longer to complete than planned. It's important for Project Managers to work out of the box to ensure successful project completion. This article takes you through 8 tips that will serve as a foundation for your growth as a Project Manager.
1. Learn about the project's genesis
Every newly bagged project has a history. Some projects are won after months of intense lobbying. Why did the client choose your company over the services offered by competitors?
Getting to know the background behind a project provides you with a new perspective on handling it. You will understand how much importance the client attaches to the project. You will also understand the primary reason why the client seeks your company’s expertise.
2. Take control over the project – highlight your authority
Let’s assume you are in charge of the project. Show your authority by leading from the front. Start preparations for extracting client requirements and prepare a project plan. Be enthusiastic and ensure you get the right team members for your project. This is important since your team should only feature members you are comfortable working with.
3. Create the perfect project plan
Not many people focus seriously on project plans. Yes, they do have a plan in place but they begin ignoring it after realizing things aren't going smoothly. A project plan should be followed religiously and setbacks should be incorporated in the plan – this allows you to accommodate newer milestones after receiving the approval of the client.
Here is what you will have to include in your project plan:
- The project scope (describe the project in detail along with its goals)
- A detailed list of client requirements (don't miss anything out or you'll have to repent later!)
- Describe individual tasks
- Team members and the role they will play in the project
- A detailed list of milestones and their deadlines
- Risks (anything you anticipate will raise a block in the project's progress)
- Financial costs
4. Specify communication channels
Clients often cite inefficient communication with the vendor as one of the reasons for project failure.
How do you plan to communicate with the client? Make sure you have this clearly specified before the launch of the project. The client should be able to share his/her concerns during any stage of the project. You should be in a position to accommodate his concerns and resolve them swiftly. Make changes to the project plan if required and inform the client.
Display total transparency while working with the client – it helps to mask any deficiencies your team may display.
5. Engage with each member in your team
Make every member in your team feel special. Give everybody the chance to share their thoughts and make them comfortable enough to work completely for your brand. Learn their strengths and channel it towards the project’s success.
Be firm and weed out underperformers. Replace them with new members you feel will contribute better to the project.
6. Test important deliverables at regular intervals
The milestones mentioned in the plan should be delivered on target. Make sure you perform regular tests of the solution to understand its weaknesses. Fine-tune the solution to make sure there are no hiccups while submitting deliverables to the client.
7. Prepare for project closure
Make sure you are prepared for project completion. This is possible only if milestones have been achieved. The final solution should surpass expectations – both yours and the client’s.
Is the final solution the perfect remedy for the client’s requirements? Are you falling short of his/her expectations? Make last-minute updates to the solution to make sure it satisfies the client thoroughly.
8. Monitor performance of the team
How well did the project go? Were you able to deliver on time without major hiccups? Monitor your performance as a leader and analyze how well the team performed together. You may come across several deficiencies – make a note of them and ensure they are avoided in the next project.
Use each project as a learning experience – there is so much you can learn by working with unique clients! Acquire a treasure chest of project management expertise and become an expert people will look up to for advice.
How did you find this article? I have kept the tips simple so that they can be deployed in your project with ease. Share your thoughts on them in the comment box below!