We all know how hard it is to run a project smoothly. Sometimes, it even seems impossible to pull it off. But don’t you worry, encountering problems while managing a project is not unusual. In fact, it is even better if these problems arise early on. It will help you understand the project more and have a better view of what will happen in the future.
Running a project from the very start to its end can be very challenging. The result of its completion will of course reflect on you and the people you worked with. It will show your work ethic as a team and as an individual.
Clearly, just like any other project, a great project manager is important. The role demands good leadership and communication skills. It also requires active listening and good time-management abilities.
However, we all know that a manager alone cannot launch a project. One needs a team behind him. But how can you really assure a good turnout for the project? Well, here are some tips that you might want to consider.
1. Embrace your role as a leader
As the captain of the project, you have to know your roles and responsibilities. It is your duty to assign tasks and take note of whatever happens as you do the project. You also have to make sure to create a balanced and healthy environment for your members. Cultivating a good relationship within the team will inspire success.
2. Know the basic project management process
Managing a project is not that simple. However, all projects actually just follow the same process. And as a leader, you would have to be familiar with the system, as it will be the skeleton of your future projects. You can also establish the steps your team will take according to it. But what exactly are the steps of this process?
Concept and Initiation
You must settle your project idea. In this stage, you must ask yourself what you have to do. You can jot down major ideas and find connections between them.
Definition and Planning
In this stage, you will encounter a lot of questions. Remember that the Whos, Whats, Wheres, Whens, and Hows will pop out a lot. This is essential for you to plan your project well. Planning involves your budget, schedule, and resources. In the end, successful planning leads to successful projects.
Execution and Delivery
Since the project has been planned, you now have to put it to act. You have to gather all your resources and maximize them. You also have to manage the team. Open better communication lines, set timelines, and look out for the risks.
Monitoring and Control
Monitoring the project will let you know if everything is working fine. In this stage, you will have to run tests and trials to ensure that everything is up to par.
Testing poses huge importance in project delivery. If a problem arises during these trials, then you must keep them in control and fix them. This is the reason why you cannot submit a project without having it tested.
For Projects Involving Software
Now, there are some projects that include software development. For such projects, it requires different monitoring and testing methods.
For example, automation testing is usually a go-to if you want to ensure the quality of your project’s software. There are a lot of free test automation platforms that you can use online. You can also automate task allocations and schedule them if that suits you.
Of course, unit testing can be done manually but it is more efficient if you automate it. Automated testing can provide quality results in such a small time. Of course, this is with the help of software tools.
Automation can mimic a manual process of validating and reviewing the end product. It can also expose you to the risks your project might encounter.
End and Evaluation
At the end of the project, you will have to grade your performance. The project delivery and execution are important. Evaluating your project will help you see where you can improve. There are a lot of tools that could help in measuring your performance like the KPI index.
3. Set the project’s scope
The project’s scope will let you know what you want to achieve. You must set your objectives and major points in this stage. As the manager of the project, you must make sure that it is built on a solid foundation. It must be supported by studies and research.
You must also specify the role of each team member. You must let them know of their responsibilities and your expectations. It is also important that their goals are aligned with the project.
4. Set a realistic expectation
Setting realistic expectations involves everything and everyone in the project. Your milestones and timelines must be set in a doable manner. However, you must find the best balance so that you won’t stray far away from the project goals.
5. Have people you want to work with
Again, a project manager does not work alone. You have to be around people that share the same vision and goals as you. During the project, you will heavily rely on each other. You must make sure that your team is competent and reliable. By ensuring this, you will have one less thing to worry about. Team members that get things done are vital.
6. Delegate tasks accordingly
Your task must be distributed to your members accordingly. You must also set the deadlines for these tasks. Doing so will let you keep track of the team’s schedule. It will also give you an easier time to monitor the project and control it.
7. Communicate with the team
Communication with your team members is essential. You must have scheduled team meetings for clarification and progress presentation. You must also have an open mind for suggestions. Hearing your subordinate’s concerns will create a healthy working environment within the team.
8. Document the process
You have to keep every record of the project noted. This will be useful when you have to make adjustments or add a new requirement. The history of a project is important if a problem arises. It will also be helpful in reviewing the final project output.
9. Observe the project’s progress
You have to constantly monitor the project’s progress. The tasks and deliverables must be intact with the team’s schedule to avoid conflicts. You can also compare the actual result to your end goal.
10. Controlling the risks
Successful risk management is a part of a successful project. Identifying the risks early on will let you know which changes you must make. You have to work around the risks to have a better output.
11. Give your finished project an evaluation
As mentioned above, the last step of the management process is evaluation. There are a lot of evaluation tools that could help you. You have to find metrics that suit the standards of your projects and teams. Evaluating the project and your team’s delivery and performance will help you in the future.
A good manager can run a project successfully for sure. However, there are more factors that affect the outcome of the entirety of the project. It also requires successful planning, communication, and risk management. A leader must consider a lot to run a project successfully.
Which of the tips did you find effective? Let us know what you think through the comments section below!