Tag Archives: project management

4 tips to manage projects effectively

 

Being in charge of a project or campaign is a big responsibility. If you’ve been put in charge of one, well congratulations. You were presented this opportunity because your boss saw that you have the necessary skills to tackle this task. While you’re excited because this might be your first big project, it can be frightening at the same time. “How do I get started? How do I build a high-performance project team?”are just some of the questions that might arise.

 

Sometimes things will run smoothly and according to plan and other times you’re going to face obstacles. Creating realistic project plans, estimating time and effort, and doing things according to your capabilities are just some of the things you should be able to do as a project manager. Fortunately for you, those things can be learned. By doing a project management training course it’ll teach you all the ins and outs of being a good program manager.

 

Given the high rate of project failures, you might think companies would just want their projects over and done with. However, that’s not always the case. Despite the odds, organisations want projects to be done faster within a restricted time frame and on a cheaper budget. The only way these objectives can be met is through the use of effective project management processes and techniques.

 

Here are four tips on how to manage any project effectively.

 

Communication is key

 

You need to learn how to communicate effectively within your team. Good communication skills are key to a successful life.If you are a good communicator you can look forward to having fulfilling work and personal relationships. As a project manager, you’ll work with a team who’ll assist you on the project. And for that reason, constant communication is necessary in order to achieve success. Good project managers usually are easy-going communicators who don’t even flinch at the thought of communicating with others. You should be able to speak to your team about a variety of topics. An age old aphorism goes, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”

 

Communicating well with your team will help to eliminate misunderstandings and can encourage a healthy and peaceful work environment. If you don’t want your project to fail, then checking up on your team and communicating on a regular basis is crucial.

 

Plan ahead

 

After you know what needs to be done with your project, you can start with planning right away. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” Not knowing what you’re working towards can be stressful, especially if you’re trying to stay on track with other responsibilities. Knowing for what you’re aiming for creates the likelihood of reaching your destination. Without planning in advance and having a clear objective, you set yourself up for failure. However, with a plan in place you’ll also be able to share with management what it is you’re planning to ensure the project is a success.

 

Never assume, ask first

 

You should always ask when you don’t know something. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Many people make assumptions rather than asking questions and the results can often be disastrous. Unfortunately, your projects will fail when assumptions are made that ultimately are unfounded. Part of being a good project manager is having all the information on hand and knowing when to brief your team and when to ask questions.

 

Prepare yourself for conflict

 

Any type of conflict has a simple solution, it goes back to communication. In every team working  together towards a specific goal, conflict will arise throughout the process. Sometimes people are just difficult to work with, mostly because it’s difficult to adapt their work style. And, no two people are identical or have the exact same work ethic.There’s no way to avoid conflict, you just have to look for ways to deal with it. It can sometimes be healthy to have conflict in your team, that way you’ll know how the other person is feeling about specific situations. When conflict arises, take the person aside and listen to them over a walk and talk. Try to relax them and calm them down.Then allow them to share their thoughts with you. It’s always best to take the person outside so it’s not confrontational and in front of an audience (other team members).  It’s less about confronting the problem and more about addressing the cause of the problem.

 

When taking on a project, you have to be comfortable with it. Being a program manager and not enjoying what you’re doing won’t be a fun experience. As the leader, you need to be able to work with a team in order to achieve your project goals.

How to solve biggest project management issues

For any business to work, we need to have a proper handle on exactly how workflow operates. This requires an understanding of all aspects of particular projects. By doing so, we facilitate clear dialogue, engagement and understanding. This means we produce the best outcomes and results. This is where project management comes in – but it also, we should consider where it can fail.

Why project management?

It’s important for us to understand precisely what we mean by project management. As Investopedia notes:

”Project management involves planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event or duty toward completion. It typically involves a one-time project rather than an ongoing activity…”

With this we can see that not only do we almost always use project management, but why it must be done well. Even if we don’t call our processes leading to completion “project management”, the point is, we’re still doing it. That means we should be doing it correctly – failing to properly manage projects means we fail our business. After all, no clients will want to work with companies who can’t deliver.

The question is how can project management fail us?

Different forms of failure

The first way teams often fail is due to not communicating or having the right information. As Josh Bersin in Forbes notes, modern teams tend to engage on multiple levels with multiple teams.

“People operating in teams and small groups have to work with other teams, and they can’t do this unless goals are clear, overall financial objectives are well communicated, and people know what other people are working on.”

Project management then fails when we aren’t providing teams with the right information or how their work fits into a broader context of the business.

Second, project managers might not have the right balance of strict versus relaxed. To lead requires a proper balance of both traits. If we’re too lenient this could mean our staff’s laziness isn’t addressed and deadlines are missed. If we’re too strict our staff will be more worried about their stress, than getting the work done. Careful balance is required by project leads.

Another way projects fail, often stressed in project management training, is by having impossible time goals. We promise clients projects will be done within an estimated  time that doesn’t take into account reality, but only our hopes. This frustrates everyone: workers, clients and ourselves. Reality must lead our management, not hopes or dreams.