5 Tips for Successful Project Management
The success of a project is often directly linked to the management of the processes, from the time of initiation through project closing. Project management ensures that customer requirements are met, proper implementation protocols and procedures are followed, and that there’s opportunity for growth and development throughout the execution of the specified project and beyond.
This article briefly covers a few topics that I’ve found extremely helpful with ensuring that the project management process leads to success for a given project.
TIP #1 | REQUIREMENTS & REQUIREMENTS TRACKING
Knowing what the end goal of a project is before starting on the endeavor is important. Beyond just knowing the end goal, it’s also imperative that project milestones are understood and that a solid plan for achieving and tracking each milestone (and the ultimate requirements) is developed and dynamic. Understanding the requirements for a project comes from proper communication with the customer (see proceeding topic). A proper tracking system shows adherence to internal and external processes and aids in showing that the ultimate requirements have been met at the end of the project.
TIP #2 | CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION
Communication with the customer is vital to project success. Communication can start with an initial request for a quote or proposal and extends to include communication throughout the development of scope, development of a requirements matrix and through to the end of the project with a project completion report. Understanding whom needs to be included in this communication tree and how best to communicate with those involved is a trait of great project management.
TIP #3 | FACILITATION OF TEAM SKILLS
Projects are not completed by only one person or team. Often, projects are inclusive of several individuals and requires cross-linking information and skills from a multitude of teams. Once the requirements of a project are understood, facilitating the necessary team members and their assistance to meet the project end goals is crucial.
TIP #4 | QUALITY REPORTS
Documenting the steps taken and the activities completed during a project aids in showing adherence to customer requirements, as well as providing a backbone for lessons learned (see proceeding topic). Reports should include more than bullet point activities, they should be detailed enough to understand what was done throughout the life of the project, even if you weren’t involved in a step or activity. Project completion reports provide an opportunity to show how your company went above and beyond in the requested endeavor and, as such, shouldn’t be diminished in importance.
TIP #5 | LESSONS LEARNED
How best can we learn from projects completed and endeavor to grow and develop going forward than to have a repository of information on the activities completed along the way? Lessons learned help make sure that the same mistakes don’t happen twice and that steps key to a project’s success are used again on future projects where applicable. It’s just as important understanding where you’re going with a project as much as understanding where you’ve already been.