There are 7 basic rules which makes decides the fate of a project. The rules which define the difference between a struggling project and a successful project. There are 7 basic yet critical aspects of project management that make the projects successful.
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Spend more time planning for the project
Planning is the most critical aspect of a project and its first step is to define goals clearly. Once your goals are defined, its now time for you to brainstorm on the tasks required to complete your project. Ordering tasks and assigning estimated time for completion helps you schedule your activities and prepare a timeline for the project. Next step is to identify significant milestones and split the plan into a weekly schedule. Now that your plan is ready, its now time to assign resources in terms of man and material.
Make sure you spend 20 minutes everyday with your team in the morning, planning for the day. This not only keeps the focus of the team intact but also provides a framework for informed decision making.
Care for your team members
Make sure the right sets of people are assigned the right kind of work. Encourage your team to increase their skills and knowledge of standards, processes and methodologies. Its very important for you to spend quality time with your team members as you do with your kids. Listen to them, motivate them and nurture them. Celebrate their successes. Help them enhance their personal and professional competence.
Follow the communication plan
Communication forms the crux of effective project management. Communication planning is nothing but a step-by-step process that helps you logically summarize what you want to say to your intended audience and map out how you will deliver that message. It is very important for you to follow the communication plan. Sustained communication with all stakeholders is very critical for the project. This also helps ensure commitment.
Implement efficient monitoring and control procedures
Efficient procedures to monitor and control a project help access, prioritize and correct any deviations from the initial plan. This also helps forecast future project performance and ensures effective control of risk, quality, time, cost and project management aspects. As projects increase in scale and nature as it progresses, it is also important to gauge the effectiveness of monitoring procedures being followed. Such reviews of procedures must encompass the project life cycle.
It is very important for you as a project manager to make sure the documentation is complete in all aspects. Documentation starts from the time the project is initiated. Project charter and Requirement document are the first few documents to start with. Then its turn for the project plan which includes hour, risk, procurement, quality, cost and last but not the least the baseline in terms of schedule. Once the project has started, its time for reviews and progress reports. All issues and unknown risks encountered during the project are documented.
Delay if any from the initial baseline is communicated to all stakeholders as per the communication plan with reasons. As the project approaches the end, its time for you to start documenting the lessons learnt and best practices. They are invaluable assets for the organization and can be referred for any future projects. This is a result of the postmortem meeting of the project as the project is heading to the end. The goal to document them is to learn what failed and what succeeded and to use that information in the future. This forms the knowledge base for the organization to look back at shortfalls and continue in the future.
It is very important for you to schedule time with the customer to review all deliverables. This gives you an opportunity to be at the same page as your customer is and avoid any confusion. A defined review period must be set at the beginning of the project to make ensure timely delivery of all deliverables. A signoff on the list of deliverables is also important to make sure everyone is in agreement. A final signoff on the project during handover is also a necessary aspect but make sure the customer doesn’t feel pressurized to signoff.
Ensure Administrative & Contract Closure
Once the project is over, make sure you as a project manager verify all terms and conditions of the contract (if any). Make sure all invoices are received, verified and sent for payment. Close all financial accounts wherever necessary. Also ensure proper administrative closure.
Projects where people are respected, processes are followed and reviews are consistent succeed more often. So its now time for you to gear up and make sure you follow the 7 rules for your project to be a success. Good Luck !!!
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