Tag: Planning

PMTimes_Jan31_2023

Maximizing Impact and Efficiency with Zero-Based Portfolio Prioritization

Introduction

In today’s competitive business environment, it’s important for organizations to stay ahead of the game. One key to success is being able to effectively prioritize and deliver on projects that will drive strategic goals and bring about competitive advantage. This is where zero-based portfolio prioritization comes in.

But first, let’s consider the importance of prioritization to your portfolio and your business.

 

Why Prioritize?

Effective project prioritization can bring a number of benefits to your organization, including:

Improved return on investment: Studies have shown that prioritized projects are more likely to drive greater ROI and overall value, as they are more closely aligned with the organization’s strategic goals. Additionally, projects that are well-aligned with strategy are 45% more likely to be delivered to budget and 50% more likely to be delivered on time.

Better support from senior management and other key stakeholders: When projects are clearly linked to strategic imperatives, they have a 57% higher likelihood of success. This is due in part to increased engagement from senior leadership and greater energy behind the projects, which can result in more resources being made available to deliver them.

 

Reduction of waste: Prioritization ensures that organizations are focused on projects that will add value, rather than those that are no longer relevant. All too often, organizations continue working on outdated projects that consume valuable resources that could be put to better use elsewhere.

Avoidance of resource overload: When organizations do not focus on the most important projects, resources can be stretched too thin, leading to bottlenecks and delays on critical projects. Prioritizing projects effectively frees up people to work on the things that really matter, which can also be more motivating for team members.

What is the Zero-based Portfolio Prioritization Process?

Zero-based portfolio prioritization is a method of evaluating and prioritizing projects based on their potential value, rather than their place in a pre-existing hierarchy or list of priorities. It involves starting with a blank slate and reviewing each project based on its current potential value to the organization.

There are a few different methods that can be used for zero-based portfolio prioritization, including weighted scoring, MoSCoW prioritization, the Eisenhower Matrix, and the Impact and Effort Matrix.

 

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Implementing Zero-based Portfolio Prioritization

So, how do you go about implementing zero-based portfolio prioritization in your organization? Here are the key steps to follow:

Define your criteria: To effectively evaluate and prioritize projects, you’ll need to decide on the criteria you will use. This could include things like ROI, risk level, resource requirements, and cost-benefit ratio. Involve key stakeholders in this process to ensure that the criteria align with the organization’s strategic goals and needs.

Review and evaluate projects: Once you have your criteria defined, review and evaluate each project based on how it aligns with the criteria. This could involve creating a matrix or other tool to help you score and compare projects. Be sure to consider both quantitative and qualitative benefits in your evaluation.

Communicate and act: Once you have your prioritized list of projects, it’s important to communicate the changes to all stakeholders and start working on the revised plan. This can be challenging, as some team members may be disappointed if their projects are deprioritized. Be sure to clearly communicate the reasons for the changes and how they align with the organization’s goals to help mitigate resistance.

Monitor and evaluate: Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the prioritized projects is key to ensuring that they remain aligned with the organization’s goals and that resources are being used effectively. This may involve regularly reviewing and adjusting the criteria used to evaluate projects, as well as tracking progress and outcomes.

 

Challenges and Considerations

While zero-based portfolio prioritization can bring many benefits to an organization, it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges and considerations that may come up. These could include:

Resistance to change: As mentioned, it’s common for team members to resist changes to project priorities, especially if their own projects are deprioritized. It’s important to clearly communicate the reasons for the changes and how they align with the organization’s goals to help mitigate resistance.

Difficulty in evaluating and comparing projects: It can be challenging to accurately evaluate and compare projects, especially when some benefits are hard to quantify. It’s important to be thorough and use a consistent approach to ensure that projects are being compared fairly.

Ensuring alignment with strategic goals: It’s essential to ensure that the prioritized projects are aligned with the organization’s strategic goals. This may require regular review and adjustment of the criteria used to evaluate projects.

 

Limited resources: Even with effective prioritization, there may be times when the organization simply doesn’t have the resources to tackle all of the highest-priority projects. In these cases, it may be necessary to prioritize further or look for ways to free up resources.

Overall, zero-based portfolio prioritization can be a powerful tool for organizations looking to align their priorities with their strategic goals and ensure that resources are being used effectively. By carefully defining criteria, evaluating, and comparing projects, communicating and acting on the revised plan, and monitoring and evaluating progress, organizations can make the most of their resources and drive greater success.

PMTimes_Jan24_2023

The Fallacy of SMART Goals

I recently read a news story about how to keep our New Year’s resolutions. The article was about the use of simple time management techniques, the center of which was setting SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that’s been around for decades and stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable Relevant, and Time-bound. Sometimes other words are used, such as assignable, realistic, timely, and testable.

It sounds good. It sounds useful. But simplifying time management into an acronym reduces the complexity of managing our projects to a seemingly simple formula, one that can prove frustrating. It reminds me of countless bosses and sponsors I’ve had who said, “Can’t you just tell me when the project will be done? Use SMART goals to help you figure it out!” Don’t get me wrong. I think this acronym is useful as a high-level framework. But if our goals too high-level, we run the risk of never achieving them. It’s just not that easy. Let me give you some examples using a project to build a house.

 

Specific. What does it mean to be specific? How are specific goals different from measurable or achievable or time-bound goals? In our house-building example house specifications are specific, as the name implies. There are specs for the exterior and the interior. Specs for landscaping, the roof, the plumbing, electrical and so forth. How specific do they need to be? Specs without detail might be helpful as an overview, but not for the actual construction of the house. We need to drill to down for the specs to be workable.

 

Measurable. To say that the house will be complete in 18 months, for example, is measurable. It’s a good starting point. As the homeowner I can start planning when to put my current house on the market or end my lease, when to get current utilities canceled and the new ones turned on, when to arrange for movers and so forth. But when is done really done? I’ve been told a house was done before the gas was hooked up. I was told a house was done, but movers wouldn’t unload their truck because the floors had been finished too recently. We need to get the detail to make important decisions. And as PMs we need to determine who will decide which measures to use and whether they make sense from a project perspective.

 

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Achievable. Achievable is another one of the squishy terms in the SMART acronym. It’s one of those words that means different things to different project stakeholders. I suspect I’m not the only PM to be told to “just make it happen.” Or “Where’s your can-do attitude?” I can certainly make almost any project happen, but at what cost? How much risk will the organization/sponsor/end users tolerate? Achieving an end quickly might mean making compromises. Who will make those decisions? What about trust and team dynamics? All these components of achievability need to be considered. And that takes time and lots of discussion.

 

Relevant. I’m not sure I understand what a relevant goal is. There are so many different stakeholders on our projects, some of whom do not find the project or its end product relevant at all. Hopefully it’s relevant to the organization, helping it meet its business objectives. But we all know that’s not always the case. I suspect many of us have worked on someone’s “pet project.” Or have had some stakeholder groups resist implementation. Or have managed projects highly relevant to end users but not to higher levels of management and vice versa. Getting agreement on what is relevant and how the project’s relevancy fits in with all the other projects is no easy task.

 

Time-bound. This usually means attaching a timeframe to the goal. I struggle with the difference between time-bound and all the other goals. I think they are intertwined. As a PM I worked on projects that were relevant only if they could be implemented in enough time to get goods from sourced locations to retail stores and on the shelves in time for the holiday season. Is that time-bound? Or relevant? Or I suspect, a bit of all the components of the acronym.

Which brings me to my original point. SMART goals are useful as a framework. But the key to time management success is going from a high-level overview to subsequently lower and lower levels of detail. We can certainly start with SMART. But we need to drill down to really achieve our goals.

PMTimes_Jan18_2023

Best of PMTimes: Managing the Matrix – Work Streams and Projects

(Published: 5/12/2015)

Many projects are performed within a matrix in which the collaborative effort of several groups with different capabilities under the direct authority of managers of different organizations (e.g., functional departments, vendors, line or operational departments) who may have different priorities than the project or program manager.

 

Individuals and teams are aligned with two lines of accountability, a project line and a functional or operational line. An individual or team may be working simultaneously on multiple projects.

The relationship between “work streams” and projects in the matrix is a foundation for clearly identifying roles and responsibilities, managing expectations and establishing an effective project control reporting process.

What is a Work Stream?

The Business Dictionary defines a work stream as

“The progressive completion of tasks completed by different groups within a company which are required to finish a single project.”

A work stream may be the work of a functional area such as application development, training, business analysis, sales, product delivery, and engineering. It may also be an effort such as requirements definition which involves members of multiple groups, for example, in product development, marketing, product development, engineering, and manufacturing.

Functional groups, vendors, and operational departments may have multiple projects or processes that are purely internal to the group. For example, an IT group may have projects to develop or acquire software tools or a new methodology. The group may be serving multiple projects that are vying for the same resources.

An operational department like routing, customer service, accounts payable processing, etc. will have its day-to-day activities as its highest priority, over project priorities, even when the project is to improve the group’s own performance. For example, an operations group is often called upon to give up the services of key members in order to provide subject matter expertise on a project that has a long-term impact on the organization, and this may make operational performance suffer.

 

Focus

In the context of project and program planning and control the focus needs to be on the program and project (for simplicity we will refer to project to encompass both projects and programs). It is the project manager (PM)’s job to manage the coordination of the work streams contributing to the project. The focal point is the project.

At the same time, the PM must be sensitive to the perspectives of the contributing organizations and consider them in scheduling, risk assessment, staffing and quality management among other aspects of project planning and control. From a functional department’s or vendor’s perspective, there may be many projects that require their services and expertise. From an operational perspective, the project is a distraction from daily activities.

Related Article: Turning Bad Requirements Into Good Requirements

 

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Given these perspectives, it is necessary for upper management acting as sponsors to ensure that projects represent value to the organization and, therefore, warrant attention. They set the priorities and accept the trade-offs. They promote a common perspective that sees the big picture.

 

Work Stream Relationships

The work stream “owner” may be any person assigned as the work stream’s point person. The role is referred to by any number of names, including Lead, Manager, Coordinator or Owner. It is the work stream “owner’s” responsibility to coordinate work within the work stream and to work with the project manager in overall planning, providing estimates, resource commitments, and risk analysis. Once initial planning is done, the work stream owner is responsible for making sure the work assigned to their work stream is being accomplished and for regularly reporting to the project manager. The work stream owner is accountable to the Project Manager.

Work stream owners and their management must understand and commit to this relationship. Often, in matrixed environments, the role of the Project Manager is not given the level of authority required to get the job done effectively. This results in a “weak matrix” and, inevitably, to suboptimal performance and unnecessary conflict. In a healthy environment, the work stream owner “reports to” the PM and may also be responsible to and under the authority of a functional line manager or executive who is outside of the project.

This term “reports to” can cause confusion and conflict. Here, it means accountable to. It means that the person must inform the PM of activities performed (progress and status reports, issues, etc.) or to be performed (plans, estimates, etc.) within the project. In addition, the management of the groups providing resources to the work stream is obligated to report any changes that might affect the project and to ensure that the resources have a clear understanding of their responsibilities to the Project Manager.

The project encompasses all the work required to achieve project objectives, regardless of who performs the work.

The PM may or may not have any other authority but without the ability to get information and influence the quality of a work stream’s output, the PM cannot manage.

 

Work Streams and QC

Getting information and engagement in planning may be easy or not, depending on the character of the organization and the skill of the project manager in setting up an easy to use reporting mechanism and motivating the stakeholders to take part.

The realm of quality control and performance effectiveness is more complex than simply getting status reports. Ultimately, the PM must be able to assess the quality of deliverables and of performance in general and to act on the results.

The PM can delegate this responsibility to a Quality Assurance and Control work stream, but that works stream must be independent of the work stream whose work is being assessed. Further, there must be candid feedback regarding quality, and that feedback must be based on objective criteria.

To avoid conflict, the organization does well to educate everyone regarding the power of receiving candid and objective feedback and its relationship to continuous improvement. That’s a subject for another article.

 

Work Streams – Not Silos

The bottom line is that in complex projects, programs, and processes, work is performed by people in several organizations with different specialties. Managing in a matrix is efficient and can be effective if definitions and relationships are clear and mutually agreed upon.

Work streams are functional teams contributing to a project or business process. When the stream cuts itself off from the other work streams and thinks of itself as a fully autonomous independent entity, it turns into a silo. Silos are great for storing grain, but, in organizations, silos are dysfunctional.

Healthy work streams contribute to success. They recognize that their work is only of real value because it contributes to project success. Healthy work streams recognize that it is not enough to take in a set of requirements and pop out a result. Communication and collaboration with others is part of the job.

Consider the images conjured up by the words. If you are inside a silo, you have walls that keep you from seeing the big picture and keep outsiders from seeing what is going on within. If you are in a stream there is a sense of differentiation and identification with your group, but you can see out and those who are outside can see in. It is like multiple channels in a river, converging to make the river a mighty one.

PMTimes_Jan18_2023

Best of PMTimes: 10 Steps to Creating a Project Plan

Published: 05/17/2012

One of the critical factors for project success is having a well-developed project plan. This article provides a 10-step approach to creating the project plan…

 

not only showing how it provides a roadmap for project managers to follow, but also exploring why it is the project manager’s premier communications and control tool throughout the project.

Step 1: Explain the project plan to key stakeholders and discuss its key components. One of the most misunderstood terms in project management, the project plan is a set of living documents that can be expected to change over the life of the project. Like a roadmap, it provides the direction for the project. And like the traveler, the project manager needs to set the course for the project, which in project management terms means creating the project plan. Just as a driver may encounter road construction or new routes to the final destination, the project manager may need to correct the project course as well.

A common misconception is that the plan equates to the project timeline, which is only one of the many components of the plan. The project plan is the major work product from the entire planning process, so it contains all the planning documents for the project.

Related Article: The Project Plan: How Much Detail is Enough?

 

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Typically many of the project’s key stakeholders, that is those affected by both the project and the project’s end result, do not fully understand the nature of the project plan. Since one of the most important and difficult aspects of project management is getting commitment and buying, the first step is to explain the planning process and the project plan to all key stakeholders. It is essential for them to understand the importance of this set of documents and to be familiar with its content, since they will be asked to review and approve the documents that pertain to them.

 

Components of the Project Plan Include:

Baselines. Baselines are sometimes called performance measures, because the performance of the entire project is measured against them. They are the project’s three approved starting points and include the scope, schedule, and cost baselines. These provide the ‘stakes in the ground.’ That is, they are used to determine whether or not the project is on track, during the execution of the project.

Baseline management plans. These plans include documentation on how variances to the baselines will be handled throughout the project. Each project baseline will need to be reviewed and managed. A result of this process may include the need to do additional planning, with the possibility that the baseline(s) will change. Project management plans document what the project team will do when variances to the baselines occur, including what process will be followed, who will be notified, how the changes will be funded, etc.

Other work products from the planning process. These include a risk management plan, a quality plan, a procurement plan, a staffing plan, and a communications plan.

 

Step 2: Define roles and responsibilities. Not all key stakeholders will review all documents, so it is necessary to determine who on the project needs to approve which parts of the plan. Some of the key players are:

  • Project sponsor, who owns and funds the entire project. Sponsors need to review and approve all aspects of the plan.
  • Designated business experts, who will define their requirements for the end product. They need to help develop the scope baseline and approve the documents relating to scope. They will be quite interested in the timeline as well.
  • Project manager, who creates, executes, and controls the project plan. Since project managers build the plan, they do not need to approve it.
  • Project team, who build the end product. The team needs to participate in the development of many aspects of the plan, such as identifying risks, quality, and design issues, but the team does not usually approve it.
  • End users, who use the end product. They too, need to participate in the development of the plan, and review the plan, but rarely do they actually need to sign off.
  • Others, such as auditors, quality and risk analysts, procurement specialists, and so on may also participate on the project. They may need to approve the parts that pertain to them, such as the Quality or Procurement plan.

 

Step 3: Hold a kickoff meeting. The kickoff meeting is an effective way to bring stakeholders together to discuss the project. It is an effective way to initiate the planning process. It can be used to start building trust among the team members and ensure that everyone’s idea are taken into account. Kickoff meetings also demonstrate commitment from the sponsor for the project. Here are some of the topics that might be included in a kickoff meeting:

  • Business vision and strategy (from sponsor)
  • Project vision (from sponsor)
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Team building
  • Team commitments
  • How team makes decisions
  • Ground rules
  • How large the group should be and whether sub-groups are necessary

 

Step 4: Develop a Scope Statement. The Scope Statement is arguably the most important document in the project plan. It’s the foundation for the rest of the project. It describes the project and is used to get common agreement among the stakeholders about the scope. The Scope Statement clearly describes what the outcome of the project will be. It is the basis for getting the buy-in and agreement from the sponsor and other stakeholders and decreases the chances of miscommunication. This document will most likely grow and change with the life of the project. The Scope Statement should include:

  • Business need and business problem
  • Project objectives, stating what will occur within the project to solve the business problem
  • Benefits of completing the project, as well as the project justification
  • Project scope, stated as which deliverables will be included and excluded from the project.
  • Key milestones, the approach, and other components as dictated by the size and nature of the project.

It can be treated like a contract between the project manager and sponsor, one that can only be changed with sponsor approval.

 

Step 5: Develop scope baseline. Once the deliverables are confirmed in the Scope Statement, they need to be developed into a work breakdown structure (WBS), which is a decomposition of all the deliverables in the project. This deliverable WBS forms the scope baseline and has these elements:

  • Identifies all the deliverables produced on the project, and therefore, identifies all the work to be done.
  • Takes large deliverables and breaks them into a hierarchy of smaller deliverables. That is, each deliverable starts at a high level and is broken into subsequently lower and lower levels of detail.
  • The lowest level is called a “work package” and can be numbered to correspond to activities and tasks.

The WBS is often thought of as a task breakdown, but activities and tasks are a separate breakdown, identified in the next step.

 

Step 6: Develop the schedule and cost baselines. Here are the steps involved in developing the schedule and cost baselines.

  1. Identify activities and tasks needed to produce each of the work packages, creating a WBS of tasks.
  2. Identify resources for each task, if known.
  3. Estimate how long it will take to complete each task.
  4. Estimate cost of each task, using an average hourly rate for each resource.
  5. Consider resource constraints, or how much time each resource can realistically devoted to this project.
  6. Determine which tasks are dependent on other tasks, and develop critical path.
  7. Develop schedule, which is a calendarization of all the tasks and estimates. It shows by chosen time period (week, month, quarter, or year) which resource is doing which tasks, how much time they are expected to spend on each task, and when each task is scheduled to begin and end.
  8. Develop the cost baseline, which is a time-phased budget, or cost by time period.

This process is not a one-time effort. Throughout the project you will most likely be adding to repeating some or all of these steps.

 

Step 7: Create baseline management plans. Once the scope, schedule, and cost baselines have been established, you can create the steps the team will take to manage variances to these plans. All these management plans usually include a review and approval process for modifying the baselines. Different approval levels are usually needed for different types of changes. In addition, not all new requests will result in changes to the scope, schedule, or budget, but a process is needed to study all new requests to determine their impact to the project.

 

Step 8: Develop the staffing plan. The staffing plan is a chart that shows the time periods, usually month, quarter, year, that each resource will come onto and leave the project. It is similar to other project management charts, like a Gantt chart, but does not show tasks, estimates, begin and end dates, or the critical path. It shows only the time period and resource and the length of time that resource is expected to remain on the project.

 

Step 9: Analyze project quality and risks.
Project Quality: Project quality consists of ensuring that the end product not only meets the customer specifications, but is one that the sponsor and key business experts actually want to use. The emphasis on project quality is on preventing errors, rather than inspecting the product at the end of the project and then eliminating errors. Project quality also recognizes that quality is a management responsibility and needs to be performed throughout the project.

Creating the Quality Plan involves setting the standards, acceptance criteria, and metrics that will be used throughout the project. The plan, then, becomes the foundation for all the quality reviews and inspections performed during the project and is used throughout project execution.

Project Risks: A risk is an event that may or may not happen, but could have a significant effect on the outcome of a project, if it were to occur. For example, there may be a 50% chance of a significant change in sponsorship in the next few months. Analyzing risks includes making a determination of both the probability that a specific event may occur and if it does, assessing its impact. The quantification of both the probability and impact will lead to determining which are the highest risks that need attention. Risk management includes not just assessing the risk, but developing risk management plans to understand and communicate how the team will respond to the high-risk events.

 

Step 10: Communicate! One important aspect of the project plan is the Communications Plan. This document states such things as:

  • Who on the project wants which reports, how often, in what format, and using what media.
  • How issues will be escalated and when.
  • Where project information will be stored and who can access it.

For complex projects, a formal communications matrix is a tool that can help determine some of the above criteria. It helps document the project team’s agreed-on method for communicating various aspects of the project, such as routine status, problem resolution, decisions, etc.

Once the project plan is complete, it is important not just to communicate the importance of the project plan to the sponsor, but also to communicate its contents once it’s created. This communication should include such things as:

  • Review and approval of the project plan.
  • Process for changing the contents of the plan.
  • Next steps—executing and controlling the project plan and key stakeholder roles/responsibilities in the upcoming phases.

 


Elizabeth and Richard Larson are Co-Principals of Watermark Learning, a project management and business analysis training company. They have over 30 years of industry experience each, and have helped thousands of PM and BA practitioners develop new skills.

They have published numerous articles and papers and have co-written two books together on Requirements Management and CBAP Preparation. Both Rich and Elizabeth are CBAP and PMP certified through IIBA and PMI, and are contributors to the BABOK® Guide, Version 2.0 and the PMBOK® Guide – 4th edition.

PMTimes_Dec27_2022

Best of: Top 10 Ideal Management Strategies for Project Manager

Organizations around the world carry out projects that are purposeful to their causes and ultimately provide them a means to accomplish their objectives.

 

However, one of the biggest challenges considered to carry out successful projects is to make sure that they are completed on schedule, remain within the predefined budgets, and show little to no disparity between the actual and calculated quality of work. Therefore, projects are an extensive undertaking, and the one managing all the responsibility is none other than an assigned project manager. Things can get pretty stressful at times, to say the least.

According to a study posted on Workamajig.com, only 58% of organizations fully grasp the value of project management, whereas 93% of them utilize standard project management practices. Hence, there is no doubt that there is a need to help project managers formulate strategies that they can implement to accomplish their goals and targets successfully. In this post, we offer you some of the best ways through which a project manager can ensure triumph over all odds while responding to their duties. So let’s take a quick look at each one of them:

 

Best Strategies to Manage your Projects

·       Always Choose the Right Resource

There is a great deal of emphasis made by several project managers that failure to choose the right resource can affect not only your overall productivity but can also dampen the quality of work that you produce. Choosing the right resource over here means the best option for each particular task or sub-task that allows you to deliver sub-goals and main objectives in less time, cost, and better quality. Evaluate your options and pick the ones that reduce your time taken to complete the task, is less expensive, and delivers the standard of work that is above your desired expectations.

 

·       Celebrate Incremental Achievements

Motivating your team members and keeping them high spirited through the project is highly important. At times you will find many milestones lying ahead of you in a project before it reaches its completion. Identification of these milestones is important, and this is where the project manager needs to do their part. However, once a milestone is achieved, you need to make sure that there is some sort of celebration. This will allow your team members and the workers involved to blow off some steam as well as rejuvenate themselves as well. Projects can be long and tedious, positive reinforcements in between keep your team enthusiastic and passionate to reach the end goal.

 

·       Finalize Everything on Paper

Without a proper plan or study of what kind of journey you’re going to embark on, there is no need to make efforts. First and foremost, you need to point out all the necessary details and get them in writing. This will allow you to keep a record for safekeeping as well as your line of reference before the initiation of the project. Having things jotted down also offers you a solid position to look back on so that if you find yourself currently deviating from the actual pathway, you can redirect yourselves and your team to the correct track of things.

 

·       Determine Methodologies

Popular methodologies for project management include Agile, Lean, Kanban, Scrum, Six Sigma, and Waterfall. Each methodology focuses on different aspects of a project, undertakings, and apply various approaches to get things done in an orderly manner. Each methodology also offers quite an extensive list of mechanism which needs more time and space to discuss in detail. They all require a separate discussion in their own right, to say the least. Plus, you can also find a lot of material online to increase your pool of knowledge about them.

 

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Define Roles

There is a reason why we are asking you to perform this seemingly mundane task. First of all, defining roles is adamant to keeping your staff in-line with their duties. They need to be held accountable and responsible for the different tasks they have been assigned under your leadership. Plus, defining roles also helps you set the hierarchy and the line of command for your teams. This means irrelevant communications and wastage of time in being idol can be avoided. Roles should be clearly defined so that they relay important information for every member and worker who is taking part in the project.

 

·       Keep Track of Milestones

Tracking milestones are essential as you need to validate how far you and your team have come since the beginning of the project. It can also offer you reassurance if you are following the right track and keeping up with the predefined schedule for the project’s sub-tasks and main tasks. Lastly, it can also help you to increase the intensity of your efforts if you find yourself lagging behind. Thus you will know when to work hard and when to give your team a bit of refreshment so that they can recharge their energies—knowing the difference between the two matters a lot since it can help you keep things functioning in proper order.

 

·       Monitoring & Controlling Operations

If you need to measure your team’s performance, then you need to create a yardstick to which you can compare their efforts. Monitoring and controlling your team’s input and output allows you to understand your day-to-day operations’ various strengths and weaknesses. There are several ways you can do this. Like for example, you can have a benchmark analysis or set strict standards that your team needs to abide by under all circumstances.

 

·       Project Budget vs Project Scope

The project budget allows you to cater to your financial needs and requirements for completing the project. In contrast, the project scope defines the parameters and boundaries for you and your team who have undertaken the project. This can include various tasks that need to be completed. Combine the two, and you get a comparative analysis or a liner graph on which you can study how your team is performing. Not only do you have to keep in line with the predefined budget, but also make sure that your initially planned project’s scope remains unharmed.

 

·       Stakeholder Expectations

The ones who provide you with the duty to complete the project often have something huge at stake. These stakeholders have certain expectations. You must know these anticipated values. However, if you take the directions from your stakeholders to manage your project, make sure they are extensive and detailed. The more information you have, the less disparity will be there at the end when the project is completed. If you follow this approach, you need to make sure that you gratify every stakeholder’s expectations; otherwise, you might not receive that pat on the back you were expecting from them.

 

·       Utilize Analysis and Evaluations

Lastly, there are several ways to analyze and evaluate your performance for a project. Analysis can include risk, financial, and PERT, to name a few. For your evaluations, you can apply the Internal Rate of Return, Net Present Value, Payback Method, and Profitability Index apart from various other techniques.

 

Conclusion

Managing projects are not an easy task, and that is why not every gifted manager can be requested to become a project manager. There is, at times, a lot of financial investment and risk involved in projects, which is why you need a very mature person who has shown a brilliant track record in the past, to be asked to undertake this huge responsibility. Stakeholders are impossible to deal with if the project does not deliver according to their anticipations and fails to gratify their requirements. We hope this post was able to offer you enough strategies to go all out and make your projects successful.

 

Published on: June 17, 2020