Project management best practices remind us that if we successfully initiate, plan, execute and close out all our projects, our metrics will illustrate greater results. While such a statement highlights the end goal, there’s much more to project management than simple methodology.
Think of a project in terms of a puzzle. There are several little pieces that will somehow form the bigger picture. It can be frustrating at times as a project rarely goes completely according to plan. From delays, cost overruns and other obstacles, successful project completion can seem unreachable and unrealistic. It’s easy to see how a project can fail, but there is still hope. Such poor management can be avoided. You, as the project manager, can take all those little pieces and transform them into doable tasks and goals.
Consider the following questions: What is the long-term strategy? How will the outcome of the project add value to the strategy? What are the alternatives to your strategy? What is the dollar-value?
Organize your plans and resources. Project management means taking full and personal responsibility for the success of any project and utilizing the best available methods and resources to that end. As such, you are the catalyst for the best resources, the best contracts, managing the project itself, and active communication with all involved parties.
Stay focused on the key benefits of the project. This is an area where turning those doable tasks and goals is especially handy. Not only does this make it easier for your team to focus, it can make an overwhelming project much easier to manage.
Think about risk management tools and techniques. You already use informal risk management techniques as a project manager. However, it is important to formalize existing work with methodology and available project management software. Failing to do so is inefficient and saps up time that could be better used on project development. Additionally, it is important to discuss the risks with the customer in order to determine how they will tolerate it.
Test your project to determine it is working. The continual process of testing and making adjustments is an essential part of project management. Any IT solution that is implemented without the proper amount of testing performed throughout the project is a recipe for disaster.
Make use of process models. These models can have a significant impact on the outcome of your project. If you’re unsure what process models to use check out some tips from Project Management Institute about their project management methodology.
Implementation of these tips and techniques guarantees the best chance of achieving maximum project benefits. Still, they only scratch the surface of advantageous project management. They are plenty more notable steps, but they should get you started on the path toward more efficient and improved project management.