Managing Projects Effectively

September 16, 2015

Managing projects effectively is of vital importance to the success of all businesses so read on to find out what you need to do to manage your projects in a more effective way …..

So that you can manage projects more effectively there are a number of stages to be aware of and work your way through. It is vital that you understand the aim of the project from the beginning and the varied activities that will need to be completed within the time frame. The 4 phases to work through are:

1. Scoping – you need to discuss with your client the aim of the project – what do they want to achieve and why? What available resources do they have? There are 3 main drivers of projects: time, budget and quality, but your clients may not prioritise them in the same way you would. So you need to be very clear about your client’s priorities at the beginning of the project when you are better able to negotiate with them about time and money.

2. Planning – planning helps to make things clear, especially in project management when there can be lots of different activities to take into account. When planning you need to consider:

  • task sequencing – in what order do the different tasks need to be completed? Which tasks need to be completed before others can begin? Which can run concurrently? What will be the effect on other tasks if one is delayed/takes longer to complete?
  • task scheduling – how long will each task take
  • resource availability – what resources will be needed? What will they cost?

For each key task you need to have a contingency plan. You need to consider how likely it is that something could go wrong, what the consequences would be, and what you’d have to do if the worst happened.

Involve other team members in the project right from the start. This will mean they have greater commitment to the project and you can take advantage of their good ideas.

3. During the implementation of the project you must have having regular review meetings with the team and the client. Encourage your team members to be proactive and empower them to problem solve and decision make. You will need to speak to team members who aren’t meeting their objectives promptly so that problems are dealt with as they arise rather than being allowed to affect the success of the project. You need to be made aware when things are deviating from plan.

Agree with your team that changes to the project plan will only be made after they have been consulted and all options evaluated. It is very important that you keep projects under control so you can be proactive rather than reactive.

4. Evaluation and review – you must be sure that the client is satisfied with the result, but you must also evaluate the management of the project with your team. You all need to learn from how the project was managed and any problems that were encountered, and recognise individual effort. This will help you to attract capable and committed people to work with you on future projects.

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