Project Management “Secrets”


I found this article to be on point with what we discussed during on first Saturday class and will be key to keep in mind for our field project. The article suggests nine “secrets” to project management success. “Secrets” is in quotes, as I don’t believe they are secrets per say, but more guidelines to flow when undertaking a project.


Many of these guidelines are what the class came up with when the professor asked, “What are factors of the successful project teams?” For example, they mention having the full details of the project before starting, having the correct team (and size) in place, being clear on roles and responsibilities, and having goals set. While the article refers to IT projects, the guidelines can be useful to many different types of projects.


I found a few extra pieces of knowledge woven into this article that I had not strongly considered before. First, is to have milestone goals along the project. In my career, I have worked with such short time frame projects, usually two months to four months, that we do not have milestones. Not only is it important to have milestone throughout the project, but to reward employees when the milestones are reached. The reward and appreciation should be sincere and motivational.


I know one of the categories I have to personally work on is micromanaging. Currently, I am leading a project for my work team and I find that my natural instinct is to tell the team now how to do their job. The article points out that team members should feel empowered to do their work without the project manager micromanaging. It will be key for me to have regular touch bases with my team members without overwhelming them.


Additionally, as we all know too well, e-mails on a project can be vast you have the treads of dialogue. Scrolling through e-mails is a time waster and can hinder progress. The article suggests using a digital project management application to keep track of all the important information. These applications can create tasks lists, serve as a virtual filling cabinet, and foster a discussion board.


Already with our group project we have had a ton of e-mails that gets stuck in treads. It is important to keep e-mail subject headers on point to what is contained in the e-mail. We have also started putting key information into a shared Google document in order to find easily.


Lastly, another pitfall that I tend to fall into is not leaving enough time in the project timeline for changes. Often management wants to tweak a portion of the project and if you do not have time built in for changes you may fall behind.


Are there any other guidelines the class would add to the nine in the list the article points out?