In our project management course we have discussed the use of a Work Breakdown Structure and a Responsibility Matrix in order to assist us in effectively managing a project. We also need to keep in mind that there are other tools that one acquires outside of a classroom. The author in the article below shares several secrets to project management success. I have listed a few of them with my thoughts.
1. Have full project details before starting.
Understand the scope of the project, and make sure all the stakeholders agree. The project details should contain dates, budget information, and milestones. I have worked on projects that didn’t contain the budget information, and then I was told that we have spent more than we were supposed to.
2. Have the right size project management team in place.
Once you know what the project details are, determine the skills and experience that is necessary, and then select the people you will need. I feel that if you only need 4 people for example, than only select the 4 people you need. Selecting more people then needed will add more work because the project manager now needs to manage a larger group.
3. Be clear about who is responsible for what.
Determine who in the team is responsible for which part of the project, and make sure they are accountable. This step is critical because the project manager and the team need to know what everyone is working on, and what everyone will deliver on the due date.
4. Don’t micromanage.
It’s okay to meet regularly with your team members, but allow them space to work. I have seen this too many times; where a manager doesn’t give his/her employee the space needed to work. What this causes is resentment, and your team may challenge your leadership.
5. Keep team members motivated by rewarding them when milestones are reached.
It is a good idea to motivate and recognize members of your team with some kind of reward. I have worked on projects where the manager has awarded their teams with a lunch or outing during certain milestones.
6. Hold regular project status meetings or calls, but keep them short.
Meetings or conference calls should be scheduled regularly so everyone is up to date on the project’s status. In my experience, meetings need to be long enough to discuss the status, and any open issues that need to be addressed. They don’t need to be too long.
7. Build in time for changes.
Allow time for last minute changes that may need to be made to your project if the specifications change or requests are made. Based on my experience as an engineer, almost all projects always need that extra time to address last minute requirements.
The author states several good tips that I agree with. Are there any additional tips that you can share that may help one be successful at managing projects?