6 Keys To Better Project Management
Projects, both large and small, are an essential component to every business. Whether you’re adding 20,000 pages of content to your website or working on a new product launch, getting your project management right can ultimately be responsible for your success or failure.
In today’s work environment, business projects are rarely done alone and often require pulling in teams of people to work together. How can you manage both the creatives and the techs?
Is there a way to get the best out of your project team, yet still get those deliverables in on time?
1) Pull in the best people for the job.
If you were running a sports team, you’d want your best players out on the field when game time rolls around. Projects are no different. Take a look at the scope of your project and start matching elements to individuals in your company that you feel would provide the best insight towards them. At this point, you may also identify gaps in your staff for certain deliverables. Many companies these days are engaging professional freelancers to fill those all-important gaps.
2) Be realistic about timelines and time constraints.
Obviously your best people are going to be busy with other aspects of their job, so it’s important to set realistic timelines that won’t cause undue stress. Sit down and discuss the project individually with your team members and ask their opinion on turnaround times. Generally the person who is going to be working on the task will have the best idea of what’s realistic, as well as the time constraints of working on other projects and their daily tasks.
3) Make information easily accessible to the team.
As with any business, situations may arise where an employee may not be able to come into the office due to an illness or weather conditions. Additionally, some employees may want to take their work home with them or even tackle certain aspects of the project during the weekend. Using Atlanta data centers, for example, or other Internet-based data storage services for all the elements of your project can provide your team with safe and secure access to their files and new data from the comfort of their own laptop.
4) Track progress and deliverables regularly.
As a boss, there’s nothing worse than finding out a few weeks down the line that your project is behind. Try setting up a tracking system that outlines timelines against deliverable elements of the project you’re working on. This can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or you can even utilize project tracking software to help you maintain your goals.
Encourage team members to update this as frequently as possible, so you’re able to ascertain if certain elements require more assistance or even more staff. Be sure to also hold weekly team meetings to discuss any problems or issues that have come up.
5) Act as a cheerleader, not a taskmaster.
Projects can sap the energy from your employees, particularly large or long-term ones. Keeping your staff motivated during these times is a key element in keeping your projects and business on track. Though you might be excited and want to push hard, sometimes that’s not the best way to get what you need out of your staff.
Take note if you notice someone struggling or falling behind, and approach them by offering your support and help. Recognizing great work is also important. Remember, the better care you take of your staff, the more they will care about the project and will put in those all-important extra hours to get the job done properly.
6) Pin rewards against certain goals.
Rewarding your hard working project team is a great way to keep motivation levels up, and it doesn’t even have to be expensive. Take a look at how your project is progressing and set goals where you can reward your team with lunch or even gift cards when they hit those targeted goals as a surprise thank you for their hard work.
Some companies also find that setting up bonus structures for over-delivering or completing a project on time can be extremely successful motivational tools. Everyone likes a pat on the back for a job well done, and putting a few of these in place can really make the difference.
Considering that projects are such an important element of business, getting your project management mix right can make or break your success. Act as a cheerleader and reward those who are working hard for you. Also be sure to track every element of your project, but be realistic about timelines. The more you can do to encourage your staff, the more likely you’ll end up with a high-quality project.
Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell values the benefits that come with being part of a supportive and productive team. She’s also grateful for the project security and accessibility derived from using Atlanta data centers and other cloud storage facilities.
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Mark Montoya has been working in personal branding for more than a decade for hundreds of online and offline companies, small businesses and individual service professionals. His focus has been toward improving the way jobseekers find employment on the Internet. He has synthesized his expertise by helping job seekers obtain their ideal choice of employment over the Internet on his sites MyOnlineCareerSpace.com and MyOnlineCareerCoach.com, and through his books 101 Tips Every Job Seeker Should Know and The Ultimate Online Job Search eBook.
“It is the responsibility of the individual to reject the prospect of mediocrity and to strive for the betterment of society as a whole” ~ Mark Montoya