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Project management is not a walk in the park. It takes dedication, strategic planning, and impeccable management to pull it off. This is why many companies struggle with successfully managing their projects. In fact, poor project management is one of the significant causes of project failure. Research has shown that about 65% of projects generally fail, and the root cause of this failure can be traced to bad project management practices.
Despite this high failure rate, your business does not have to experience failed projects. Project failure wastes time and creates unnecessary financial losses. However, there are ways to achieve proper project management. This article will show you how.
However, before getting to the intricacies of proper project management, it is essential to understand what project management entails.
Project management involves the application of processes, methods, and experience to achieve a project's specific objectives according to the success parameters. This means that project management involves successfully executing a project according to specific benchmarks like project timeline, budget constraints, and overall quality.
Regardless of the type of project involved, the job description of a project manager is often extensive. The project manager has to effectively manage all team members and ensure that the project is delivered on time. The extensiveness of project management is likely why many companies struggle with getting it right. However, a few tips can help put your company on the right track to good project management.
This is the most important part of the project management process. You need to specifically define the project's purpose, goals, and requirements because it sets the ground running for the team members. Moreso, as it applies to every other task, you need to get a good grasp of the overall mission before executing it. This is because scope creep is a common occurrence with projects. Scope creep occurs when the project's scope constantly changes, and the project begins to extend beyond its original objectives. Understanding the project's milestones will ensure that the team works according to the project's primary objectives. It will also help the team members determine their execution approach for the project.
Project success often requires a lot of collaboration. Many team members are likely working on different aspects of the projects simultaneously. This means that any miscommunication can jeopardize the project. Also, it is common for the project's key stakeholders to change their minds about the core requirements. When this occurs, it is essential to communicate the change in the project's direction to the team members. Thus, clear communication is vital at every stage. To ensure appropriate communication, you can schedule regular calls to ensure that all team members are on the same page. During these calls, it is also advisable to reiterate deliverables, milestones, and deadlines. You can also develop regular project reports to keep all stakeholders updated on new developments.
A ship sails according to the skipper's direction. This also applies to the project management process. The success of your project heavily depends on the project manager. The project manager is the leader that mostly calls the shots related to the project, assigns team members to specific tasks, and monitors the project's execution. Successfully carrying out these responsibilities requires soft skills like people management and multitasking. Thus, you must consider these skills before appointing a project manager. The broader picture involves the entire team. You must ensure that the staffing on your team can execute the project. In this case, technical skills are definitely vital. You must also ensure that each team member believes in the project and is willing to collaborate with others to achieve the project's objectives. For instance, one of our primary values at YouDigital is effective collaboration. Thus, we regularly engage in team-building activities to enhance team cohesion. This team cohesion increases our ability to deliver on clients' expectations adequately.
As stated earlier, project management is a collaborative effort. This means that team members will inevitably have opinions on how they should approach the project. However, it might be a dangerous culture to shun team members' views regularly. Many of these opinions can be instrumental in helping the team achieve its goals. Thus, it is essential to cultivate an environment that encourages team members to give their opinions. This is also tied to the point about appointing a suitable project manager. The project manager should be a leader that understands what it takes to be a team player.
Many things can go wrong with project management. However, you can reduce errors and mistakes with automation. Use technological tools that make the project management process seamless. Some project management tools you can use include Gantt Charts and apps like Trello. A Gantt Chart is primarily used for planning. It is used to allocate project resources, work around deadlines, and monitor tasks. You can also use Trello to monitor the project's progress.
Motivation often drives team members to contribute their best to your project. Of course, your team must believe in the project itself, but motivation is also essential. Motivation assures team members that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. You can motivate your team members by openly commending their performance during team calls. This will go a long way in boosting their morale.
Your approach to project management primarily determines your project's success. Thus, you must ensure that your company pays close attention to hiring the best people for projects, fostering proper communication, and leveraging project management tools for seamless collaboration. These factors will likely increase your success rate with projects.
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