5 crucial tips for successful project management15 Jan 2023
Some people are natural managers. They seem to have been born with a keen eye for detail, an innate ability to coordinate and the power to see a task through to the end. However, many of us weren’t granted those inherent skills. For some people, project management can be a daunting prospect, and rightfully so. Managing a project successfully is a fine art in its own right: Project managers constantly walk a thin line between micromanaging and simply not managing enough.
Fortunately, if you struggle with project management, there are some key guidelines you can follow to ensure success. Even if you have years (or, perhaps, decades) of project management experience under your belt, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on your managerial prowess. Take these handy hints on board for your next project:
- Define your objectives and goals: There’s no way you can manage a project unless you know what exactly you and your team are trying to accomplish. Take time to sit down and establish your targets, and communicate them to everyone involved. Your coworkers need to be on the same page as you before they get started. See to it that you give your team the time and space to ask questions so that you can provide clarity before you embark on the project, as this will save precious time further down the line.
- Create a project plan: Without a strategy, your project is doomed to fail. You need to lay out the road map your team is going to follow. If you want to be extra diligent, you can also establish pathways for individual team members, seeing as everyone has a different role. Pinpoint goalposts you need to meet before the ultimate deadline and how you’re going to do that. It might be helpful to consult with your team for input, as many of your colleagues should have experience with similar projects they’ve done before.
- Delegate tasks and responsibilities: It’s vital to remember that no man is an island and, typically, you can’t get everything done on your own. Determine who in your team is the best suited to each sub-task your project entails (hopefully, you already know everyone’s job description and what they’re good at). Then, trust your coworkers to do their jobs without hovering over their shoulders. Micromanaging is a surefire way to frustrate everyone and delay project completion, so try your utmost to avoid it.
- Track progress and monitor results: Of course, you’re not going to be able to ascertain whether you’re on track if you have no way to measure the project’s status. You must design metrics you’ll use to evaluate if the project is going according to plan. There’s a wide array of project management software available that can automate this process for you, too.
- Be flexible and adaptable: Keep the lines of communication open, and have contingency plans in place. Prepare for every foreseeable eventuality, and give yourself wiggle room to do damage control if anything goes terribly awry. Furthermore, be patient with your team members. Mistakes do happen — after all, we’re only human — so, you should ensure that you have the time and resources to correct any errors, should they occur.
Did you find these suggestions helpful? They’re only the tip of the project management iceberg. If you’re interested in exploring project management best practices even further, check out ICML’s project management courses. Alternatively, contact us to discuss how we can help you and your team achieve project management success.