The success of any project depends on the leadership skills and capabilities of managers. Project management strategies have greatly changed in recent years, with managers creating custom plans to cater to different projects. The key to organising a project efficiently is to realise that a single plan or strategy cannot be applied to every project. You need carry out thorough research, make detailed plans and organise each project as per its specific requirements.
Missed deadlines, unavailability of resources, organisational conflict and other such reasons can cause serious conflicts in a project.
The following key principles will help you organise your project in the most effective manner.
1. Prioritise Your Resources and Deadlines
The unavailability of resources in a project can adversely affect the project’s success. To ensure that you never miss a deadline, you need to schedule each task based on the availability of resources prior to initiating the task. Plan beforehand to ensure tasks can be completed without interruptions.
2. Assign Team Leaders
An effective way to minimise the chances of risk, repetition or conflict is to assign team coordinators for each team. Pick the right person from the team to coordinate within the team and with the manager. A good team leader is essential to every task, so ensure you select the individuals who possess the right leadership skills.
3. Send Alerts and Reminders
To make sure that you and your teams are on the same page, you need to send alerts and reminders about upcoming deadlines. Make sure to ask team members to keep you updated about their progress and of their availability, as loss of human resource can result in serious delay of tasks.
4. Know Your Limits/Be Realistic
A project manager is responsible for setting realistic deadlines. For this, you can breakdown tasks into smaller ones and set deadlines for each task. This can assist you in streamlining the project and ensuring that all deadlines are met on time. Don’t try to take on too many tasks at one time, as this can affect the quality of work and can ultimately waste even more time. Delegate when necessary and don’t take on what you know you can’t handle. Above all, evaluate the skills of your teams and assign tasks accordingly.
5. Use Project Planning Software
Project planning software can work as your assistant in managing all kinds of tasks. It sends alerts, reminders and emails to ensure that everyone involved in the project is updated and prepared for any upcoming deadlines. It also automatically updates the costs, expenses and resource availability of the project on a regular basis, based on new entries. Project planning software applications are also easily accessible from mobile devices, which makes data sharing and exchange of information easier within the teams. These software applications allow you to manage resources effectively and assign tasks easily.
Using online project planning software will also help in generating important graphs and reports, and keeps them updated according to new entries. With just one click, you can generate detailed reports and view the estimated time of completion for different projects. It allows you to be proactive in ensuring that the team is aware of their tasks and deadlines.
6. Measure the Resources
Measure the availability of resources throughout project and keep all project files updated. This is a proactive approach which can assist you in identifying and resolving problems without letting the project be affected due to shortage of resources.
7. Accept Change and Plan Ahead
While good project managers’ try to plan ahead and have detailed contingency plans in place, it is almost impossible to predict all risks in a project. Even the smartest calculations can become unviable due to certain unpredictable events or risks. You need to plan ahead and work on tight deadlines to ensure that unforeseeable problems do not affect project deadlines. Calculate the risks; accept change and plan ahead to adapt quickly to the required change.
8. Plan to Ensure Cost Effectiveness
Successful projects contribute significantly to the overall brand image while ensuring good profit margins. It takes time and effort to establish your brand image in the market. It is an intangible component that only improves with time if you manage to successfully deliver all projects within the given deadlines. On the other hand, return on investment (ROI) is very tangible and calculable outcome of a project. Effective cost management allows you to reap larger profit margins and maximise your ROI.
9. Share Accountability
Transparency is ensured when responsibilities are evenly divided. Daily reports of the completed tasks also help in establishing transparency in the workplace. When each person feels accountable for his or her work, the outcome is always productive. If a project fails or mistakes are made, then the team can take responsibility together and work on a way to solve it. This is a much better practice than one individual team member being responsible for the error. This can demotivate them significantly and they may even try to cover it up so they aren’t solely to blame. Sharing accountability will help to improve team collaboration.
10. Motivate Your Team
Rewards, recognitions and appreciation can make a significant difference in maximising a project’s ROI. It helps generate a sense of belonging amongst team members and encourages them to increase their efforts. You can automate appreciation emails on successful completion of each task with the help of project planning software. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to motivate your team, look here.
11. Set Short-Term Milestones
When planning daily or weekly tasks, make sure to set short-term milestones to streamline processes. This allows team members to easily understand their tasks and break-down of responsibilities.
While the successful completion of a project is dependent on various team members, ultimately the responsibility lies with the manager. It is not individual team members who are held responsible for the final success or failure of a project, but the manager. It is therefore important to plan all projects in detail, and set milestones to set achievable targets for your team.