The success of a project depends on a variety of factors. From building a solid team and proper planning to effective budget management and supervising the execution of individual tasks, there are plenty of elements one has to take into consideration when running a project. That also means there are a million and one things that can go wrong at any given time, and one small mistake is more than enough to ruin all your hard work.
It seems like the responsibilities and challenges of a project manager never end. But it’s not just project managers who can have a hard time juggling all of these tasks and responsibilities. Various other professionals whose daily activities imply overseeing the smooth running of a project face similar issues and are familiar with these types of obstacles.
So, if you fit the description and you want to sharpen your project management skills, here are some tips that will help you manage your projects like a pro.
Don’t lose track of your end goal
Every project begins with setting a specific objective. As the project develops, you will be confronted with situations that can throw you off tracks and might determine you to change the course and the direction of your plans. Keep in mind that running a project is like participating in a marathon. You must have the finish line – in this case your end goal – in sight at all times.
Never forget what your mission is and what you plan to achieve by the end of your project. When you lose your motivation or when you get distracted from the steps you have to follow in order to reach the finish line, always go back to the why.
Ensure effective communication
Any professional whose job implies working with people should have effective communication skills. This is even more important when you have a project to run. If you can’t ensure a proper communication between you, your team members and your clients, your project is doomed to failure.
It’s therefore essential to communicate with everyone effectively through the proper mediums. Make sure both your clients and your team can reach you easily and contact you through various channels. That way you can rest assured no information will be lost along the way and you’ll be able to keep all parties involved in the loop from the beginning to the end of the project.
Use the right project management tools
As we’ve mentioned previously, managing a project requires investing a great deal of time and effort. Luckily, we live in a day and age where technology has made it infinitely easier for us all to handle different tasks in a much more efficient manner.
If you’re still relying on outdated methods to manage your projects, it might be time to take advantage of the perks provided by digital resources to make your life easier. That means replacing manual processes with effective tools such as Timesheets Portal and taking your project management game to the next level. Analyse your specific needs and choose the software that can help you streamline your project management process.
Manage your time effectively
Proper time management is of the essence when running any type of project. You have milestones and deadlines to take into consideration, and you’re constantly under the pressure of finishing tasks on time. This stresses the importance of having a clear plan that can help you stay on top of every stage of your project and avoid delays.
Putting things into motion without creating a plan beforehand will make you lose valuable time and that can spell disaster for your project. Think of your plan as the map that will show you the way and help you avoid time traps.
Don’t be a multitasking hero
With so many tasks and responsibilities on your hands, trying to handle several things at the same time can seem like a very productive strategy. However, multitasking is nothing but a modern myth that has been spread around in professional circles, making people believe they have the ability to do more than they actually can.
The simple truth is that multitasking doesn’t really exist. Our brains are not wired to focus on more than one task at a time, so no matter how hard you try to overcome this limitation, you won’t be able to do it. All you’re going to achieve is distract yourself from completing one task by trying to complete another, thus losing even more time in the process.
Identify potential risks
No matter how skilled you are and how much effort you put in managing your project properly, risks are still going to be a part of the equation. Since there’s no way you can make them magically disappear, the best thing you could do is be prepared in case something goes wrong. And the only way you can do that is by identifying the potential risk you might face along the way. This is called effective risk management and it will help you take the necessary measures when things don’t go as planned. Proper risk management can make the difference between a successful project and an imminent disaster.
Learn to delegate
Building a team of capable professionals for your project will only prove helpful only if you know how to put the skills of your team members to good use. Too many times, project managers and people in leadership positions take on too many responsibilities and transform projects in a one man show. This might come from a need to have extra control of the project, but as things progress, it gets overwhelming for one single person to handle everything. In the end, this approach can lead to exhaustion and burnout.
A project requires a team effort, so if you want to complete your project successfully, you have to learn to delegate tasks. Assign each team member a series of tasks according to their strengths and focus on connecting the dots and handling responsibilities that require particular attention.