Project management proficiency is the cornerstone of any successful business. Those that cannot efficiently bring projects to completion will eventually be overtaken by those that can. No matter how many talented people you hire or what kinds of software you employ, if you do not have sound project management strategies, these assets will not amount to much.
3 Successful Project Management Strategies
If your company is struggling with projects, you may simply be missing the right strategies. The following three project management strategies are proven to work and can quickly revamp your approach.
1. Begin with a Project Defining Document
The urgency with which most projects are treated often means that teams simply “jump right in” and get started.
However, before doing so, set aside time to come up with a plan. Time spent on the planning process will save you time and money on the entire project. Donot consider your planning process complete until you have a document that defines:
- Project Scope – A statement that clarifies why the project is important and what its objectives are.
- Project Definition – A list of the major deliverables broken down to granular levels so tasks can be assigned from them.
- Estimated Duration – A firm grasp on how long the project will take. Once again, break this number down so you have the estimated duration of every schedulable task.
- Assignments – Make it clear who is responsible for what.
It is a good idea to document your planning for each project. This will give you references for similar projects in the future.
2. Monitor the Project’s Progress
With a detailed plan in place, it may seem like success is inevitable.However, even small delays here and there can produce a snowball effect, which is why you need to monitor the progress of your projectfrom the beginning.
This means establishing milestones for the end of each task and assigning someone to check on them the moment they are supposed to be completed. Any delay must be addressed immediately.
While you should always be able to trust your team members, it is best to manually check on their progress.
3. Guard Against Scope Creep
Scope creep is poison to any project and should be treated as such.Once you have your plan in place, get the client and any other stakeholders to sign off on it.
If anyone tries to add to the project, this is your shield to defend against such changes.The only times you should accept scope creep are when:
- The changes are extremely minor and refuting them would affect your relationship with the client
- You do so in exchange for a caveat (e.g. an extended timeline)
If you let scope creep occur too often, your team will eventually ignore the plans from step 1 because they will know things are going to change anyway.
Implementing These Strategies
Do not put off implementation. While these strategies may disrupt the way your team is used to doing things, the results will be worth any momentary friction.
You can even treat implementation like a project and use the three above strategies to show your team how they work in action and – of course – reach a successful completion.