Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives. It involves 5 processes – Initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing the project. Project management is emerging as a distinct profession in the present century because it brings unique focus by the goals, resources and schedule of each project.
The job of a project manager is to guide the process of completion of a project from the initial stage to the end within the specified time as well as the given budget. There are various internal as well as external factors that could act as obstacles for the project completion. With strategic planning and efficient execution, these factors could be reduced as much as possible.
Well begun is half done -Aristotle
Referring to Aristotle’s words, proper planning and groundwork will help a project manager get to the project completion smoothly and also be in a position to handle any disruptions swiftly.
Gather all details relevant to the project
It is important to make sure you get all the details about the project even before the start . This includes important deadlines, project scope, intermediate stages, budget figures and approval from various authorities. Getting all these details documented will serve as a good base to kick-start the project.
Finishing a project on time can be possible when the expectations are realistic. A responsible project manager sets realistic expectations and also makes sure the client is aware of the limitations of the team in terms of the number of work hours as well as the capabilities of the team. Setting very high targets that are not feasible for the team within the deadlines will only lead to a failure.
Monitor the progress of the project
Having checkpoints at every significant stage of the project will help you ensure that the project is on the right track and also indicate any deviations from the initial framework. Also making changes according to clients needs should be done as the project progress and should not be saved to the fag end of the project. That can lead to a lot of re-work when the project is almost complete.
Be the Leader
When you have been giving the responsibility of leading a project, take it up completely and make sure you are the one responsible for anything related to this project. There may be instances where you may have to prevent others from dominating over your role. As a good leader, you need to take up multiple roles- a mentor, motivator, guide, coach to your team. Team building activities can help bring the team together. You will also be a negotiator and liaison with the management as well as the client in terms of deadlines, budgets. Leading the team with a calm head always drives the project in the right direction.
Select the team members wisely
This action is going to be the direct factor that determines the success of the project. Based on the project requirements, put together a team with the expected skills. Choosing a wrong person for the wrong task at the initial stage could lead to a major disaster.
These are just a few tips that project managers need to keep in mind when they take up any project. If you have more tips, do share and let us know! 🙂