Some people think that a project manager is a superhero with training, strategic vision, and attention to detail. They need to plan, allocate tasks, control timing, budget, and motivate people.
In reality, project management is more about being able to extinguishing fires. This article is about how to extinguish these fires more efficiently.
1. Matching terminology
In order to conduct joint activities, everyone must understand each other. Before you start a project, make sure that everyone understands the terminology that will be used.
2. Agreement of conditions
Learn all the relevant details and agree on all project conditions in advance. Of course, you really do not want to waste time agreeing on all the little things and finding out the details when you are faced with an interesting project. But with experience, you’ll learn that these small details can spell catastrophe down the road.
3. Direct communication with the team
We all know that it is necessary to get acquainted with the team. Nevertheless, it does not prevent employees from retiring to their own offices right after the presentation. Unfortunately, this approach decreases loyalty and disorientates the participants. Everything is much worse if your project combines several teams from different companies. Instead of involving everyone in a single information field, you immediately, from the very beginning, activate peripheral communication channels that generate rumors and contradictions.
4. Set competent goals and objectives
50% of the success of the project is determined by how much the participants understand the goals, results, and what tasks must be completed to achieve them. All practices of project management teach the same thing: planning is the foundation. Nevertheless, creating a plan that is understandable, sufficiently detailed, and visible - is an artform.
5. Risk assessment
Strictly speaking, the risks of your project or enterprise are not only associated with compliance. They can be associated with the absence of rules, or a lack of understanding, or with the external environment. Unfortunately, a frequent practice in business and project management is“if this happens, then we will fix it.” Even with respect to business-critical subsystems, to which IT belongs in our high-tech age, not all businesses have a Plan B.
6. Be ready for change
Often, a situation can change without warning. Then, along with setting general rules of behavior, commands should be promptly issued to adapt to the change. Often we don’t want to cancel our previous orders since we see this as a threat to our reputation. But it is much better to react in a timely and clear manner than to continue to torment the employee with obviously worthless work.
7. Show appreciation for results
Upon completion of a project or a large block of work, you must not forget about gratitude for the employees and make a review of the work performed and the results achieved. This is a very effective tool to motivate your team and to identify new goals for your own development.