5 Steps to More Effective Project Management
Effective Project Management tells us there are two types of project manager. Those that manage and those that manage well.
Today we want to help make sure that you’re one of those that manage well. Heck, we want to make sure that you’re one of those that manage amazingly well.
Even if project manager isn’t your official title, there’s nothing stopping you from being the best of the best. With the right information and tools in your artillery, you’ll be fully equipped to manage your next project like a superstar.
So, what does effective project management look like and how can you become a more effective project manager?
Let’s find out.
What is effective project management?
Project management is the organization and moderation of a project and its team.
The role of a project manager is to ensure that projects meet their targets and stay on track. The only difference between project management and effective project management is the standard to which the project manager carries out their duties.
When organizational duties are performed optimally, teams are better able to execute their duties and meet those all-important project milestones.
As such, effective project management is all about, planning ambitious (but attainable) projects, optimizing workflows, quality control, communication, and – most importantly – delivering the goods.
So, how can less experienced project managers ensure that they are performing effectively?
In just a moment we’ll be discussing the top skills and techniques you can adopt in order to be a highly effective project manager from day one.
But first, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that come when managers manage well.
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The benefits of effective project management
Being an effective project manager isn’t just about competitiveness or status.
There are real implications.
When projects are managed effectively and efficiently, the whole project is positively impacted.
Everything from budgeting to troubleshooting runs more smoothly.
Some of the top benefits associated with quality management practices include:
- Effective decision making
- Time and financial savings
- Manageable project scopes
- Client expectations met
- Improved problem resolution
- A happy & motivated team.
These are things that every project manager wants. All that’s left now is to find out how to achieve these awesome results for yourself.
Let’s take a look at the top skills and techniques you can learn to become a better, more effective project manager.
Top skills effective project managers need to master
Aside from needing excellent organizational skills, the ability to think on your feet, and great interpersonal skills, two things reign supreme to the project manager.
These are delegation and decision-making.
As a project manager, it is your responsibility to delineate the responsibilities of each member of your team and assign relevant roles, tasks, and milestones.
Likewise, anyone who is in charge of a project must be able to make informed, confident decisions about the how’s and the whys.
Responsible decision-making and coordination are a must.
You don’t have to be born with these skills.
Every project manager can develop the ability to delegate and decide.
You may decide to take a project management training course to get you started.
At the end of the day, one of the best ways to hone these skills is to carry out project management best practices from day one.
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How to manage your projects more effectively
So, what are some of these project management best practices?
It’s time to let you into some inside secrets. Below you’ll find five core project management techniques that are guaranteed to help you manage projects more effectively now and well into the future. So, without further ado, let’s take a look!
1. Use the right tools for the job
Choosing the right project management tool will set you off on a path to success.
Today, project management can be a complex operation – especially if you’re working with a dispersed team with some (or all) employees working remotely away from the office.
The right tech can really help you out and aid effective management from the get-go.
Your chosen tool will be a hub of project information and a place to manage all of your project tasks, files, teams, timelines, and documents, all from one place.
Project Central, for example, is a simple project management solution that helps you collaborate with your team with ease.
By integrating with Microsoft Office 365, you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to sync up all of your project documents and files.
Most importantly you’ll be able to manage your entire team from one place by scheduling tasks, assigning resources, flagging issues, and much, much more.
2. Plan your project right
With the right tools ready to go, it’s time to plan your project.
Your project planning is the foundation for a successful outcome, so don’t scrimp on this bit.
You’ll need to prioritize a project lifecycle with key milestones and fixed completion criteria agreed to by your client.
Next, you’ll need to scope your project and define those core project requirements. Other factors to consider during the planning stage include:
- Defining and implementing a clear quality assurance process
- Determining any corrective action procedures
- Defining an escalation process for any issues that arise
- Defining the core metrics that will be used to measure success.
Again, your project management tool will help you during the planning stage. Project Central combines super useful features like task boards, project templating, and Gantt charts to help you plan and execute your project cohesively and effectively.
3. Be flexible and open to change
Making a plan is important but make sure that you’re also prioritizing agility.
Even the best project scoping and planning doesn’t always go 100% to plan.
As your project develops some changes are an inevitability.
It’s important that, as a project manager, you can navigate your team through these changes without too much disruption or conflict.
A great way to assess changes made mid-project is to engage in consistent monitoring.
So ensure that you’ve always got an eye on the data so that you can spot any discrepancies as soon as possible.
4. Put team systems in place
Remember, every project outcome is a product of its entire team.
So make sure you’re managing the people you’re working with as effectively as you are the tasks and processes that they are responsible for completing.
Make sure that each member of your team has a clearly defined role with clearly scheduled tasks, objectives, and the appropriate resources to carry them out.
With Project Central, it’s super easy to assign roles, tasks, and resources to each member of your team.
With Project Central, you’ll be able to assign tasks to individuals, group related tasks into sections, create task lists, add task descriptions, checklists, comments, and much more.
5. Prioritize understanding
Last but not least, let’s talk about the importance of understanding.
As a project manager, you don’t just want your team to understand you, you need to understand them too.
Make sure that your listening skills are on point. It’s essential that you actively try to understand your team members.
That way it’s much easier to avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, and much easier to ensure a seamless, positive project experience.
Be the best of the best
So, there we have it. You’re ready to go out there and manage every project with so much effectiveness it hurts. If you’re still new to managerial roles, don’t worry. These are skills that will develop over time. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a head start, does it?