There is no single mantra for nailing every project you take on. However, here are a few practices you can follow to ensure you stay on top of things.
1. Prepare a thorough project plan
Before kick starting your project, you need to establish the project objectives and carefully analyze its scope. A well planned, methodical approach is bound to deliver better results. Choose the right people with the right skill sets for your team and thoughtfully allocate resources. Set milestones to track your projects, ensuring everything goes as per schedule. Be certain you thoroughly analyse the risks involved, so that you can proactively mitigate them before they turn into real problems. Make sure you have a fallback plan in place to be activated in case all efforts to manage a risk fail.
2. Communicate effectively
Communication within the team is crucial between all members, regardless of what part each one plays. It’s not about merely conveying facts. It’s about making everyone see their role in the team and the impact they can make on the project. Sound communication improves teamwork, builds trust and fosters lasting relationships among team members. Good communication among team members ensures that everyone gets the same message and is on the same page. When you team communicates effectively, as Aristotle put it, “the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
3. Choose a great Project Manager
Want to deliver quality projects on time? Select the right project manager and you’re half way there. The right project manager is not one who can just communicate with the team, delegate tasks and monitor work. He/She should be able to see the larger picture and strategize in tandem with the corporate vision. Being the one who runs the show, the project manager needs to have close interactions with the team members and ensure they have a good work-life balance. Setting up a good culture goes a long way in creating an environment where work is engaging, productive and often fun.
4. Consistently monitor and track progress
Continuous evaluation of projects is of paramount importance. Any fluctuation from baseline should be identified and swiftly dealt with to keep the project on time, within scope and under budget. It’s always better to evaluate based on micro deliverables rather than on major indicators. Asses if these miniature milestones are achieved. Classify each milestones as met or not met – nothing halfway. Examine your projects purely based on data gleaned from metrics. Leave no room for wishful thinking or false optimism.