Navigating projects with ease: Techniques for enhancing project management practices29 Mar 2023
Even the most talented of employees needs direction and support when working on big tasks involving multiple stakeholders. That’s where project management comes into play. It’s essential that every assignment requiring input from numerous parties has someone at the helm to lead the way and act as the middle man among everyone participating.
Think of projects and project management like a group of explorers: You have some people carrying supplies and setting up camp, others are responsible for meal prep and medical care and a few dedicated to documenting discoveries. What do they all need? A navigator who can coordinate everyone and guide them along their journey.
What does this fictional scenario look like in a workplace, though? That leader is your project manager who makes certain that all business processes are followed to a tee and every workflow goes according to plan. What activities can be done to improve how they navigate projects, enhance their efficiency and ensure project success? Let’s take a look:
The first step of managing any client-based project is estimating costs, especially if an organisation works on a time-billing basis. Project managers determine how much time each stage will require and its corresponding cost. They then communicate these projections to clients or investors. Team leads are less likely to encounter financial complications further down the line when they do forecasting and communication correctly.
Project managers decide how much to pay each staff member working on that particular project and add up all those figures to determine whether salary or wage expenses will be doable within the organisation’s budget. This is particularly relevant for organisations that use non-salaried staff like freelancers and independent contractors. Again, proper budgeting will avoid budget issues later on.
The responsibility of identifying, analysing and responding to risks that may arise throughout a project’s lifecycle lies with project managers. They take appropriate measures to prevent risks from occuring, as well as implement protocol for dealing with them if they do happen. Risk management forms an invaluable part of ensuring projects are completed within budget and on time as it accounts for any possible delays or extra expenses.
Every project has a workflow, which means that different staff members will work on their own specific task somewhere in the project pipeline. It’s the project manager’s duty to lay out this roadmap and assign deadlines for every step of the project. This process helps guarantee that every team member has enough time to complete their work and that the final product will be delivered on time.
Similar to cost estimation and scheduling, estimating what resources are required and in what quantity will play a vital role in making certain that work will be completed timeously and within the allocated project budget. Project managers find out what hardware, software and other tools each person needs for their work and distributes them accordingly.
Data and analytics
We’ve discussed how project managers ensure the success of projects they’re currently working on or about to start, but what about learning from the past to improve performance in the future? That’s where data analysis becomes incredibly important and useful. Managers can use advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence software to analyse various aspects of previous projects to see what they need to change for future ones.
Do your project managers need to brush up on their management skills? Have a look at our advanced project management course, or contact us to chat about how we can best help your organisation achieve project management success.