A project that is well-run is one that meets all project objectives and is completed on time and according to budget. Projects are frequently not as successful as they potentially could be. There are a number of different reasons why this may be the case. Gartner suggests that the reason why a project often fails is due to a combination of technical and organizational issues.
All of us start off having the best intentions when it comes to our client and business projects. At times we just need to make sure that we stick with our plan that was established at the beginning of the project. We have compiled a list of key tips below to help you succeed with project management. You just need to stick with them now!
1- Write out a statement of your work.
When you are getting started on a client project, this is the very first thing you will want to do. The work statement will outline the project, the rules of engagement and how it is going to be managed. It should meet both your client and organization’s objectives, and before the project starts should be agreed to and signed off with the client.
2- Identify who your key stakeholders are.
Who will you need as part of your project team in order for it to be completed to a very high standard? Which individuals have vested interests in your project? Identify which individuals need to be involved in your project and communicate with them the entire time, including during the strategy as well as set up your project.
3- Before kicking off, brief your team fully.
Your kick off meeting or call needs to have a clear agenda. It is your responsibility to ensure that each project team members knows what their job is and when it needs to be completed by. In addition, it is a good idea for everybody to be aware of what everyone else is doing. It will show how the work is being spread around equally. It is an opportunity for your project team to get together and communicate with one another – to introduce themselves and ensure everyone on the call is fully involved.
4- Get a well-communicated and well-documented project schedule set up.
Before you begin, be sure you have deadlines set up for every deliverable and make sure every individual involved is aware of it. Upload this in a format that is easy to read – like a color-coded table, into an area online (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, etc) so that all stakeholders will be able to view it. This will enable those who need a reminder or who missed a meeting to check it out on their own without needing to ask you. Get a weekly meeting or conference call set up with all stakeholders to help keep everyone up to date and allow for opinions and concerns to be expressed. This piece from Capita IT professional services is quite an inspiring read.
5- Get Calendar Reminders set up for all important milestones.
Project team members quite often have many other pulls and priorities on their time in addition to your project. Therefore, it isn’t very likely that they will always keep your deadlines in mind, even if you have painstakingly set them up at the start of your project. Email calendar reminders can be a basic, yet effective, method to get them steered in the proper direction.
6- Don’t let roadblocks discourage you.
Frequently along the way there will be things that end up not going quite as planned. Whenever you are setting up your project strategy and schedule, it’s a good idea to consider what could potentially go wrong. That way you can get a back-up plan set up. Don’t hesitate to inform your project team. It’s much better to discuss suggested courses of action rather than to hold back.
7- Establish measurable criteria for success.
How can you make sure that your project is successful if you don’t establish what you consider to be success? Get your stakeholders involved – end client, agencies, colleagues and project team – so that the KPI’s can be assessed from every side. You will need to work the statistics out that are needed to report on in order to document your success as well as the criteria used along the way to ensure your project stays on track.