There are many parts to juggle in a single project. At any given time, project managers are posed with difficult challenges that can delay or derail the success of a project. But when each part is moving together and working in harmony, projects can be delivered on time, within budget, and up to expectations.
Manage Projects Like a Champ
While there is not a magic trick that can completely ensure the success of a project, there are numerous ways project managers can work smarter, not necessarily harder, to lead their team to victory. Fine-tune processes and deliver remarkable results by following Resource Hero's top recommendations to improve project management.
1. Know the Project Inside and Out
The project manager serves as the ring leader of the project for their team. They need to serve as the expert when it comes to understand the project as a whole. What are the goals of the project? When are the due dates and deadlines? What are the team's benchmarks? Who is involved and what are their roles? Make sure to ask clients and stakeholders appropriate questions needed to be able to answer these questions for your team.
Without structure and clear direction from the ring leader, the entire project becomes a circus. Provide your team the framework they need to execute their individual roles well and contribute to the overall success of the project.
2. Identify the Project Requirements
What skill sets and how many resources are needed to complete the project? What additional resources will contribute to the success of the project? How much time and budget is required to see the project through? The answers to all these questions are critical to determine before the kickoff of the project.
As the liaison between the stakeholders and internal resources, the project manager needs to set clear expectations around what will be delivered, by when, and at what cost. If there are any discrepancies, projects become unmanageable and unprofitable. After evaluating all information, project managers must determine how resources will be used to execute the project. Create detailed task plans to serve as a road map for success. The more organization there is at the start of the project, the easier it will be to stay focused and hold team members accountable throughout the entirety of the project.
3. Communicate Effectively
If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times, but we will remind you once more—communication is key! Communication is never perfected, but rather a skill that can always be improved. Project managers must understand what to communicate, to whom, at what time, and through which platform. Throughout the duration of the project, effective communication could be the difference between missing and meeting a deadline. Projects are constantly evolving and it's imperative to keep everyone on the same page.
Communication also goes well beyond just talking at people. It is just as important to actively listen to others and create an environment where team members and stakeholders are comfortable enough to voice their thoughts. As the project goes on, some team members might have new and improved ideas which should be shared and encouraged.
4. Remain Flexible
Uncertainty is a fact of life. When you have multiple human resources working on a project, there is a level of unpredictability that must be factored into the project. Team members get sick, go on vacation, or simply have an off day and it all can contribute to the outcome of the project. Structure is a necessity but teams must remain agile to recover from any unexpected shifts in a project's scope or demand.
Always look for potential threats at the start of a project and prepare for them. Give your team some flexibility or build in “buffer time” for each deadline in order to help improve the quality of the final product as well as ensure a timely delivery.
5. Accountability and Time Management
“You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” If one of your team members drops the ball or falls behind, the whole project can shift. Empowering each team member to hold themselves accountable for their part in the project is the best way to ensure project completion and quality assurance.
Time management is essential in the workplace. Understanding how to organize and make the best use of your time on a daily basis helps to boost efficiency and productivity across the entire team. Implementing a time tracking system in your organization produces data that allows project managers to better forecast resources for projects and empowers team members to make best use of their time.
6. Use a Resource Management Tool
Technology makes life easier. Platforms, like Resource Hero, simplify tasks and automate processes. There's an endless amount of software to choose from so finding the best solution for your team should be a top priority.
As a project manager, you juggle multiple responsibilities on any given day. Resource management tools allow you to optimize workflows with ease and evaluate the progression of the project. The status of a project is no longer a guessing game. Software, like Resource Hero, offers easy-to-use solutions which integrate all key aspects of project and resource management into one platform in order to take your business to the next level.
With a strong project management process in place, your team will be able to grow and scale like never before. Take a look at all aspects of the project manager role and identify areas of improvement—each play an important role. If you take the time to implement any of these tips effectively, you are well on your way to creating something powerful.