You can always tell when things are running smoothly in a company when you’re looking at the progress made in current projects. If the project management strategy is efficient, deadlines are respected, the employees know exactly what their job is and what’s expect of them and budget doesn’t become a problem anymore. However, it’s not unusual for a company to have trouble creating an efficient project management strategy. If you’re wondering what you’re doing wrong, or how could you improve your current strategy, here are some basic tips.
Project management basics: time, money and resources
Always be realistic. Consider what you have to work with, in order to make progress. Its’ a combination of three factors: time, resources and money. If you don’t have enough time, not enough people to work on a project or you know the budget won’t suffice, than it’s better to pass on the opportunity than delivering low quality work. Don’t be afraid to say no, because everyone will be more appreciative if you’re honest, than if you make empty promises.
Know the unknown. Is it a new business partner, a new technology you have to deal with or a niche you never worked with before? Do your homework properly, to find out what your company is lacking (if that’s the case) and what you can do about it. Never go blindly tackling on a new project, because you will end up losing more time and possibly money.
Don’t forget about your final goal. Who is going to judge you for your work? The client, your superior or do you need to evaluate yourself? Is it more important to please a client even if it means stretching the budget, or does your company require doing as much as possible for minimum resources? These are all things that you need to keep in mind for your project management strategy.
Project management from scratch – schedules and budgets
It doesn’t hurt to be a little pessimistic. A positive attitude is what makes you self-confident and offers you that motivational boost you need in your job, but when it comes to budgets, always put bad things first. You will need to make sure you’re covered when something might go wrong, so it’s best to have a little extra left than having to scramble for money when you realize you’ve gone over budget.
Everything starts with a schedule. Not only for the entire run of the project, but also monthly, weekly or even daily. Keeping track of the project’s evolution helps you make the necessary adjustments, if needed. Maybe you need to replace someone in a certain department, hire new employees or reconsider the deadline. That’s when a project management software will come especially handy.
Don’t forget to communicate. Keep a close connection to everyone involved in the project. A document management system makes everything a lot easier, because it enables collaborative work, all files regarding the project are stored in the same place and everyone is able to see what their team members are working on. Even if communication is important, learn to keep it precise and simple. Meetings are not replaced by voice calls and emails, so you don’t have to gather everyone around to communicate them something, especially when you’re working with remote partners.
Become a problem solver. If something goes wrong, project management also implies assessing when it’s important to step in and make a critical decision. Remember to find a solution, before you make any harsh decisions.
As said before, luckily project management software makes a huge difference, when you know what to choose and when to use it. VENDOM Document Control System, ExTreM Time Sheet and WorkForce Schedule are each software programs design to fulfill different needs in a company, from document management, to time management and human resource planning, basically everything you need to have in order to create a bulletproof project management strategy.
Photo by Stuart Mills, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net