Can You Name the 7 Steps to Effective Project Management?
Whether it’s your first project or your hundredth, there’s always a little thrill – and panic – that comes with being assigned to lead a team to develop a new product or service.
Here are some tips that can get you off to a good start and help you avoid overlooking any crucial steps of project management…
Understand the Project’s Details and Requirements
Years ago, one of the episodes of Seinfeld focused on a character who agreed to an assignment without having any idea of what that assignment actually was.
The show was funny — being in that position in real life? Not so much. As soon as your boss asks you to take over a project, clarify exactly
- what you are supposed to do
- when you are supposed to do it, and
- which resources will be available to you
Create a Vision for Your Team
Your subordinates are much more likely to give a project their all if they believe their work has a purpose and will actually benefit someone.
Explain how their efforts will help the company and its customers.
This is also a good time to emphasize to your team that each member is valued equally.
The project cannot be completed unless everyone works together, so there is no room for prima donnas.
Choose the person or people on your team who is best suited to handle each phase of the project.
For example, if you’re developing a restaurant online ordering service, delegate developing the menu to the chef, writing the computer program to the IT staff and producing compelling web copy to the writer.
Give your team members a firm deadline by which they must complete their part of the project.
It’s a good idea to set the deadline about a week before you really need that part of the project completed.
Inevitably, your team will run into issues like personal problems, technical snafus or plain old procrastination.
Be kind to yourself and give yourself some breathing room.
Make Yourself Available –Within Reason
No one likes a micromanager, so don’t hang over your team members’ shoulders every second. Do, however, let your team members know that you are available to them if they hit a snag. Your door doesn’t necessarily need to be open 24/7, but do say something like, “If you have questions, you can reach me in the afternoon between 2 and 4.”
Once your team members have completed their separate tasks and you’ve meshed their results into a whole, take some time to test it, several times, if possible. It’s far better for you to find a flaw than for your boss – or worse yet, a customer – to find it.
After the completion of a successful project, take time to acknowledge your team members. Take them out to lunch or hand-write them each a personal thank you note. The more appreciation you show now, the more loyalty you’ll receive from them on future projects.
These are very basic points that can assist any PM — Whether it’s your first project or your hundredth. Many times it is the simplest and basic of things that have tripped us up and caused more harm than good. There’s always time to stand back and reassess — when starting a project, or a current project is hitting a snag, use these 7 tips to determine what really needs to be reassessed, then act on them.
What Are Your Thoughts??
It is widely known that having a vision for something always helps. Olympians can be seen rehearsing their performance before each event, the Blue Angel pilots will sit together with eyes closed while rehearsing in their mind and vision how they fly only feet apart… Our question? What have you purposely visioned (dreamed) about that has become easier to do, when it comes to project?
Discernment is another character Michael mentions — there is a hge difference between being knowledgable about something and having discernment that always trumps knowledge. What wise sayings have you clung onto during the more challenging times of a project?
What other recommendations can you provide besides the 7 Michael has shared?
Please share your thoughts in our comments section below!
Recommendation from The HRIS World Resources
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Publication Date: February 9, 2009
When Fortune Magazine estimated that 70% of all strategies fail, it also noted that most of these strategies were basically sound, but could not be executed.
The central premise of Strategic Project Management Made Simple is that most projects and strategies never get off the ground because of adhoc, haphazard, and obsolete methods used to turn their ideas into coherent and actionable plans.
Strategic Project Management Made Simple is the first book to couple a step-by-step process with an interactive thinking tool that takes a strategic approach to designing projects and action initiatives.
Strategic Project Management Made Simple builds a solid platform upon four critical questions that are vital for teams to intelligently answer in order to create their own strong, strategic foundation. These questions are:
- What are we trying to accomplish and why?
- How will we measure success?
- What other conditions must exist?
- How do we get there?
This fresh approach begins with clearly understanding the what and why of a project – comprehending the bigger picture goals that are often given only lip service or cursory reviews.
The 2nd and 3rd questions clarify success measures and identify the risky assumptions that can later cause pain if not spotted early.
The how questions – what are the activities, budgets, and schedules – comes last in our 4-question system.
By contrast, most project approaches prematurely concentrate on the how without first adequately addressing the three other questions.
These 4 questions guide readers into fleshing out a simple, yet sophisticated, mental workbench called “the Logical Framework” – a Systems Thinking paradigm that lays out one’s own project strategy in an easily accessible, interactive 4×4 matrix.
The inclusion of memorable features and concepts (four critical questions, LogFrame matrix, If-then thinking, and Implementation Equation) make this book unique.
More articles by Michael Deaven...
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