With the proliferation of new businesses in today’s interconnected world, companies face more competitors and challenges than ever before. Countless organisations have acknowledged the importance of executing projects flawlessly to stay on top of their game. Given the growing competition to deliver the best possible results to consumers, many enterprises are implementing effective project management practices to ensure their success.
The demand for stellar project managers is thus on the rise, with many employers looking for specific qualities in an individual to ascertain if they have the necessary skills required to lead a talented team in countering obstacles a business faces head-on. This is because the success and failure of a project ultimately depend on a project manager’s ability to manage employees and meet client objectives.
Furthermore, incorporating project management protocols to achieve the desired deliverables is essential for a project manager’s job scope. This is because these concepts ensure rigour in architecting the projects to fit well in the context of the clients’ proposed frameworks. There is also a clear direction of how to create the best work and guarantee results.
It is only through such effective practices that a company’s team performance can become much faster and efficient. Hence, let us share the seven best project management practices that every project manager should know about.
1. Have a kick-off meeting
Hosting a project meeting from the get-go is an excellent way to disseminate essential information and communicate achievable deliverables with the project team and relevant stakeholders. As a project manager, your role is to come up with a well-defined project brief, discuss the project’s business objectives with the involved members, and ensure that the interests of all parties are aligned from the start.
Not only does this keep expectations transparent and project clear goals for both the employees and clients, but you also minimise risks and miscommunication from occurring in the long run. By bringing everyone on the same page and providing a sense of direction from the outset, you guarantee that the team remains consistent and stays on track with the project lifecycle.
2. Establish project scope and objectives
With the completion of your project brief, you can now propose your idea to the stakeholders involved. Upon receiving their approval, you can then flesh it out into a fully-fledged project plan with your team. This project plan must detail the appropriate steps needed to deliver the project on time, potential constraints, and key milestones.
Additionally, you can take this time to touch on other crucial aspects that determines the project’s success, such as strategic priorities and risk factors. Without establishing a comprehensive scope statement, challenges can arise. For example, missed deadlines and overspending are issues you may face if left unaddressed from the early stage of the project life cycle.
The importance of proper project planning cannot be overstated. Many organisations tend to bite off more than they can chew, overestimating how quickly they can produce results and overlooking the total costs required to carry out the project. Instead, a good project manager must consider the big picture and set realistic goals and timelines for the team.
3. Communicate effectively
Effective communication is the foundation of successful project management. This is because it is one of the best solutions to improving and keeping the project on track. Project managers must keep all related parties updated throughout the process, giving real-time status updates at each critical project stage. Additionally, they should take advantage of the feedback that the stakeholders have shared.
Besides, upon kickstarting the project, you will already have a clear vision of the expectations and deliverables as requested by the client. Communicating consistent performance reports can ensure that the relevant stakeholders are on the same page, hence increasing the quality of the final product.
4. Create a resource plan
No project team has unlimited resources. In most cases, either the project manager or team members will have to handle multiple projects simultaneously. To ensure that one is not overwhelmed with the workload, introducing good resource management is necessary. For instance, crafting a resource plan can help your team maximise efficiency and track resource capacity to keep the project on budget.
A resource plan also gives an overview of all the available resources and where they are being utilised. As such, this practice makes it possible for you to organise your team well and delegate priorities accordingly to keep everyone in the loop of what to achieve in the current project stage. Plus, it helps to productively manage your team’s time to accomplish a specific deliverable, preventing them from burning out.
5. Create a risk response team
Risk management is an integral element of a project that is not to be taken lightly. Failure to identify, analyse, and respond to risk factors can result in delays or even failure. When multiple failed projects occur, it can reduce a company’s trust factor and devalue the overall business. If the failed projects are under your care, you can sustain unfavourable reputation damage and financial loss over time.
To counter this possibility, bringing together a risk response team comprising qualified and experienced employees is a smart move. These are the individuals prepared to plan, monitor, and control the project processes involving risks. They are also tasked with constructing contingency plans in case any wayward scenarios occur. Thus, having a risk response team on board the project will help you tackle any emergencies as soon as they arise.
6. Ensure proper documentation
One of the best project management practises is to consistently maintain a detailed project log documenting every decision and change the team has made throughout the project. Regardless of your team size, by jotting down the different tasks that each member has performed, you possess a record that aids you in measuring the overall progress of the project. It also helps you remember every minute detail, such as the project’s vision, goals, and objectives – which allows you to produce a final product quicker.
Moreover, if the team is underperforming, you can also analyse the causes of their poor performance via their documentation and immediately push out remediation strategies. This prevents employees from repeating the same mistakes and wards off any unwanted situation that may hinder the project’s success. Similarly, boasting proper documentation gets new employees up to speed in no time should you hire any new recruits during the project life cycle.
7. Review and reflect on the team’s performance
Successful project managers dedicate time to consistently reflect on their team’s performance and track the outcomes of projects. This is because the more campaigns you complete, the more learning points and improvement records you attain to incorporate into your next project. Checking in with employees and making a conscious effort to identify problems as they arise is an excellent way to keep everyone on course.
It is paramount that you host regular team meetings after the project has concluded, where all members can discuss the shortcomings of the project and the strategies required to overcome them. This happens through either structured or casual performance reviews, where you give your team the lowdown on their productivity rate thus far. It is also a good opportunity for you to improve employee engagement by keeping your staff motivated. If they have been giving stellar performances, let them know that they bring value to the organisation.
Whether it is creating open lines of communication or constant assessments of risks and scope, following these outlined practices can ensure the best chances of your project’s success. Moreover, the lessons you have learnt from this project can be incorporated into the next campaign, ensuring your team performs even better the next time.
We hope what we have shared has provided you with a deeper insight into running a successful project. However, project management is a vast process that incorporates numerous methodologies and best practices. If you wish to improve your skillset as a project manager, we recommend signing up for a project management professional course.
At BridgingMinds, we are a reputable institute in Singapore that offers an extensive selection of project management classes. So if you are looking to upskill yourself, hurry up and enrol in our courses before the slots are filled up! Our experienced instructors will guide you on the fundamentals of being a project manager and arm you with the essential qualifications to thrive at your job.