Every company on the face of the planet has all kinds of different projects to manage and the size of all the projects vary, some are small close knit teams and others are large scale global projects. Here, we are going to talk about project management efficiency and I will also throw out some great tips of my own as I have managed many in the past for a wide range of businesses in different sectors.
High Rates Of Failure, More So Than Success
Unfortunately there is a high rate of failure when it comes to completing projects, more so than actual success, this all come down to how the project was managed with a handful of people in the team not pull their weight and keeping up with targets. You may think that businesses are happy to have their projects completed with some degree of success, this is not the case as more and more companies are looking to have the projects 100% completed, faster, cheaper and with better results. The only way this can be accomplished is by implementing effective project management strategies and techniques. Let’s go through some of these steps.
This is one of the biggest key features that is going to make or break your project before it has even begun. The planning stages are critical, at this stage you will also want to lay out to everyone what exactly it is you want to achieve at the end and what kind of results you expect.
- Set out what you want to be achieved in the project and what will be the outcomes
- What are the time frames, how long do you have?
- What are the budgets to stick to, how much do you have in the kitty to spend?
These three simple first steps should be closely monitored throughout the project, as going over budget could actually damage the profits and you may end up breaking even or could potentially go into the red and lose money. You also need to keep an eye on the time frames and make sure everything stays on schedule as a late project is seen as a complete failure to the client you are doing business with.
Building Your Team From Ground Zero
Yet another critical step here, you want to choose the right people for the job, if you have experts within the sector you have the project in, use them!
- Balance the details – Overwhelming team members with useless data and details is not a good thing and will confuse many of them, only stick to what they need to know to get the particular job done.
- Changes & Updates – This happens in many projects and it happens a LOT so make sure you gather the team together for a pep talk and tell them of the changes in a clear tone.
- Use a whiteboard – Using a whiteboard you can constantly remind the team of what needs accomplishing here and any updates can easily be added and deletions simply wiped off, they will use this as a reference.
Look For Warning Signs!
You must monitor the entire project whilst keeping an eye on those all important warning signs that the project is falling short of targets. These could include the following:
- The budget starts to dwindle down at rapid rates, especially when it is early in the project, some people think this can be made up towards mid-end project but this never usually happens and the impact will be unrecoverable by that stage.
- Discovering that some parts of the project you thought were completed are still being worked on, this is another big warning sign, for example team members who you thought were on another part of the project are still behind on the first stages.
- You need to rely on unscheduled overtime to finish off parts of the project.
- The morale of the team members starts to decline.
- Quality control stages and testing activities starts to be rushed to try pick up pace and get the project back on track – this is no good as testing stages are critical, if there are mistakes and something does not work the whole project is in danger of failure.
About the Author: This article was created by Sophie Eagan, a Human Resources manager who has had many years experience managing many different types of projects in different industries.