Project Management for Success 101: Tips on How to Handle Your Business Projects
Any successful working professional knows that finishing a project is never an easy task, even when its a group effort. Managing projects is always a challenge owing to the fact that there are several factors in play that could make or break the task at hand. In order for a typical work assignment to run as smoothly as possible, one should be fully aware that success is primarily dependent on teamwork and a host of other important details. When a vital building block is missing, the end result will likely come up as unsatisfactory, and you certainly don’t want this scenario to happen if you’re tasked with a serious work project.
If you have no intentions on facing failure, then you must assume responsibility and be proactive with your decisions, especiallly if you are observant enough to see that your colleagues aren’t giving the project their all. Fortunately, the path to victory and success is clear for as long as you are able to rally your co-workers and bring the best out of each other to get the results you need. Completing a work assignment is tough but certainly not that impossible to attain, and with the help of the tips and advice on project management featured below, you’ll surely have no problems whatsoever resolving any issues that may come your way.
Conduct an initial meeting
In order for everyone on your team to be on the same page, you should all gather together and hold a serious meeting to discuss the project specifications in close detail. Doing this will effectively establish a solid foundation for you and your teammates and get the gist of what you all need to do as a whole to finish the task. During the first meeting, all members should be duly briefed on the scope of the project, what the deliverables are expected, and most importantly, when the project should be completed.
Meetings are also the ideal forum for everyone to develop a strategic game plan which should include an annotated timeline of expected project milestones to be completed. Moreover, meetings give you and your team members the opportunity to contribute suggestions or ideas that could help make the project run more efficiently. It’s important for your team members to speak up because this is their chance to make themselves stand out and ensure that their contributions are being heard and considered.
Assume the leadership role
In any project, there must always be a leader to guide the whole team to success. Whenever possible, you should volunteer to be the project team leader because this means that you’ll be able to encourage and monitor the progress of your team members. This is, of course, assuming that no one else on your team is willing to take the mantle. However, if someone on your team wants to be the team leader and you know that this individual has exceptional leadership skills, then you should take one for the team and allow your colleague to have his or her deserved moment in the spotlight.
You need to be aware that being a leader isn’t just about bossing people around and telling them what to do; a great leader inspires others and leads by example. Furthermore, taking on a leadership position will be a great test of your skills to see whether you are able to steer your team away from chaotic moments. Remember, this isn’t a role that you can take lightly, so make sure to always be on your best behavior once you are in command.
Wisely delegate project tasks
Just because you assumed the leadership position doesn’t mean that you can simply assign random tasks to your co-workers. A great leader understands the value of every single team member and therefore, he or she knows exactly which jobs will suit a particular individual. The rough part of this process is that you simply can’t please everyone since there might be a task that one person wants but you know that the job is more suited to someone else based on their inherent skill set.
In such scenarios, it’s important for you to diffuse the situation before it gets out of hand. Make everyone on your team understand that projects are team efforts and everyone should set aside any personal feelings and differences so they could pull their weight and get the job done as quickly as possible. Taking one for the team is not an easy pill to swallow for some people, so it’s your responsibility to ensure that the entire team is fully supportive of each other before the project can get underway.
Establish open communication lines
The journey to project completion can be filled with obstacles, so it’s essential that you and your group members should communicate at all times, especially when one person is struggling with a particular challenge. Be advised that any problem can be solved when people are able to effectively communicate with each other. And if you’re the leader of the project, part of your job is to coordinate the communication between each of your team members throughout the entire process, and this is fundamental to your team’s success.
There may be times when you may not be physically present with your colleagues to facilitate a certain task, so it’s important that you are able to communicate with them through other channels—phone, email, video conferencing—so you could stay abreast of the progres that they’ve done or whether there are certain issues that have unexpectedly arisen and need to be addressed immediately. It’s also crucial to remember that if you’re relaying information to others indirectly, there must always be confirmation from both ends if the details were successfully sent and received to avoid misunderstandings.
Mitigate project risks quickly
Don’t ever assume that risks won’t happen at any time while you and your team are in the process of finishing your project. It always helps to be prepared for emergency situations because you can’t afford to delay an assignment, especially if you’re trying to beat a deadline and higher management expects the results to be submitted in a timely fashion. When you are able to identify a problem at the onset, you shouldn’t waste any time blaming other people and instead work together with your co-workers to resolve the issue immediately.
Another key thing to remember during this particular situation is to stay calm and focused whenever a problem appears. Your mind must be calm and collected in order for you to think properly and come up with the best solution for the challenge blocking your team’s progress. This best practice also applies to your group members since everyone should not be panicking. Working together with grace under pressure to fix issues is truly impressive, and something that you and your colleagues can learn from when you are faced with harder obstacles in the future.