Managing business projects: Our top tips for success
Project management is not always as straightforward as it sounds, but with a few key steps, you can ensure that your project stays on track.
Effective project management is critical to business success but, all too often, the management of important projects is far from effective, with many being completed past the deadline, coming in over budget, and failing to achieve the original objectives that were set.
To help you avoid falling into this trap, we’ve put together some of our top tips that will help you to achieve project management success.
Get a detailed brief
The key to successful project management is to create a detailed brief from the outset. This should encompass the full scope of the project and include elements such as key deliverables, project milestones, and resourcing and budgeting requirements. Agreeing these elements with the client from the very beginning of the project will enable you to plan effectively. ‘Kick-off’ meetings, where all parties get together, are a great opportunity to set expectations, assign roles and responsibilities, and create a workable roadmap.
Select the right team
A successful project requires a good team behind it, so it’s important to ensure you have the right mix of people working on your project. To do this, choose people whose skills and experience are a good match for the requirements of the project – and try to keep your team to a manageable size. When it comes to project management, the old adage of ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ holds true – a smaller, leaner team tends to be more effective and business experts recommend limiting the size of your team to a maximum of six to ten people.
Set clear roles and responsibilities
Once you have a project team in place it’s important to define each team member’s roles and responsibilities. Every team member has a specific role to play in the overall project delivery, and it is your job to ensure that each person understands their role and how their work contributes to the wider project. However, try to avoid micro-managing – give your team some breathing room so that they feel trusted and empowered to do their best work.
Hold regular catch ups
Holding regular catch ups with the project team and the client is key to ensuring that projects stay on track. They offer an opportunity to check on the status of the project, check progress against agreed milestones and objectives, and spot any potential issues at an early stage, allowing you to identify and implement effective solutions before these issues get out of hand. These meetings can be held in person, or via conference-calling or Skype – whatever works best for your team – just try to avoid getting bogged down in too much detail and instead concentrate on presenting the most relevant information.
These days there is a plethora of technology out there designed specifically to help with project management, so don’t be afraid to harness this technology to improve the efficiency and efficacy of your project. A good digital project management software will provide a streamlined platform that lets the team manage all aspects of the project and access key project information in one place, while resource management tools are a great option for helping ensure that you make best use of the resources available to you.
When it comes to project management, our best tip is to prepare for every eventuality. Things sometimes happen in business, but if you’ve planned thoroughly, you’ll be able to roll with the punches and deliver a successful project that meets its goals.