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Wednesday, 15 July 2020 08:00

Keeping on Track: 14 Project Management Tips

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Project management always involves significant challenges on the way to success.

Keeping the project on track, managing resources, maintaining a positive atmosphere among team members, and adhering to the budget are the main struggles every project manager faces.

Success is a cumulative notion: in other words, a supervisor has to keep monitoring and directing every single aspect of the project. A rigid timeframe further increases your many duties. Although there is no panacea on how to become project manager guru, the following tips can help you achieve triumph.

1.   Study the Project Inside Out

A supervisor must be the most knowledgeable member of a team. This doesn’t mean that he has to be an expert in every aspect. Those who are true professionals in narrow fields can provide this kind of specific expertise. The manager’s duty is to know all the organizational details, including stakeholders’ interests, weaknesses and strengths, goals, objectives, and foresee any potential force measures.

2.   Define the Project Requirements

Project manager responsibilities are directly connected to finding a way to achieving their goals and objectives. To avoid a lack or excess of resources, a detailed plan with set outcomes is essential. 

3.   Identify Milestones

Milestones help to track your progress. They must be clear and present a rigid timeframe for achieving specific goals. Furthermore, they’re an excellent means of demonstrating your performance to your clients. This way, an ordering company won’t lose itself in conjectures or constantly disturb you to ask how the process is going.

4.   Set Up Daily Goals

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Daily goals are an effective way of managing your workflow on a day-to-day level. Precise tasks for each team member to remove any uncertainty. You can work out your goals each day for a week and shift them if necessary.  This gives you time to concentrate on more urgent issues.

5.   Develop Professional Competence

The supervisor’s duties include everything from planning, scheduling, and budgeting to managing stakeholders, a team, conflicts, and risks.

The details vary depending on the industry. For example, working for a printing company like fortunavisual.com is different than working for a tech start-up. You can sign up for project management courses. However, the only valuable specialists are professionals in narrow fields. This knowledge can be gained through practical experience or an additional study of your chosen industry.


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6.   Maintain Effective Communication

Communication is key. A supervisor must build a rapport with his/her company’s stakeholders, team, and contractors (if there are any). Alongside this, his/her duty is to establish an open dialogue between team members. Honesty, respect, and impartiality are three things to always bear in mind.

7.     Support and Empathy Are Crucial

Rigid deadlines, an unexpected force majeure, and demanding clients provoke stress. This affects everyone in a team. Breakdowns are inevitable if each member doesn’t feel valued. Mutual support and empathy in communication help to maintain team spirit when fighting against oncoming hardships.

8.   Track Time

Meeting deadlines is almost as important as the quality of a product. Time-management is one of the most essential project manager skills. Certain platforms and apps can save the day when it comes to tracking time. With these apps, you can track not only the workflow timeframe but also how much time your employees devote to a task. In case they exceed the set limit, optimize your operations.

9.   Learn Your Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Every team has strengths and weaknesses. Project management success requires compensation of weaknesses with strengths. A well-selected team and mutual support are key to maintaining the balance.

10.                 Don’t Neglect the Software

Humans make mistakes. Technologies help minimize them. Project management software helps to keep track of progress, delegate tasks, and build effective communication and organization. For example, efficient teams usually use apps, such as Dropbox or Workfront, for sharing files.

11.  Always Assess Risks

Risk management is one of the primary responsibilities of a supervisor. Knowing the potential pitfalls helps you prepare for a fight or avoid one. Keep in mind: this process is continuous. New risks may arise as you continue working.

12.  Work Out Standardized Templates

Standardized templates are critical project management tools and are a decent basis for project development. A fully thought-out system, methods, and processes can be adjusted if necessary. It allows you precious extra time for dealing with urgent issues and working on the product itself.

13.  Carry Out Regular Tests

Leaving the testing phase for the closing stage of a project is a bad idea. It’s much easier, faster, and cheaper to fix a problem once it’s been identified. Later on, it can be hard to detect where exactly the mistake lies.

14.  Reflect on a Project

The regular analysis contributes to a deeper understanding of the project’s specifics. Analysis should be both general and precise. In other words, every single detail must be subject to the supervisor’s criticism and evaluation. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to clearly see how it influences the overall progress and the final product.

A successful project relies on many different things working, such as effective team collaboration, narrow-field-expertise, communication with everyone involved, and proper organization. Please, share your ideas in the comments about tips that you think are crucial for productivity and effectiveness in project management

Anthony Kreychmar

The author received an MBA in one of the leading American universities. His portfolio boasts more than 10 years of expertise in project management and efficient teams. Currently, he is sharing his knowledge with students and entry-level specialists in universities as a visiting lecturer.

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