Project management is the process of planning, organizing and managing tasks and resources to accomplish a successful implementation within constraints of time, resources and costs. Project management is intertwined throughout the lifecycle of the project.
Having been a project manager for over 20 years, running small or large projects should be a piece of cake. However, as technologies change, some of the basic toolsets for project management remain the same. I find it is good to take a step back and refresh myself on some key items that add value and that create a foundation for project success.
Some guidelines that I review before (to prepare), during (to check myself) and after (to measure success) a project are based on Teams and Meetings.
The project team is made of people with different skill sets, perceptions, and experience. They most likely will cross different business units and will need to work together to accomplish the goal at hand. The project manager will need to engage everyone and encourage confidence and commitment for the team to succeed.
- Know the competencies of each team member. Is someone learning a new skill – can you provide tools or resources to help build that expertise? Is someone over tasked? Know when you need to make a change or ask for additional help.
- Create an environment for sharing. Provide time for each person to ask questions, make comments or suggestions. Encourage different points of view.
- Understand your team. Do some need more time to research before they commit to a task or a solution? Be cognizant of body language or vocal inflections that may indicate something different than what is being communicated.
- Get buy-in. Be clear and specific in the importance, the tasks, the timelines and the responsibilities facing the team.
Meetings are important events to communicate tasks, timelines, responsibilities, and status. A meeting may have technical staff, business associates, vendors or a combination. Understand your audience so you can prepare for an effective and productive meeting.
- Define the goal. Why has everyone gathered for 30 minutes, an hour? Goals should be clearly stated and the meeting built to arrive at that objective.
- Have an agenda. These should bullets and outline the flow of the meeting. If possible, assign participants to sections and set timelines.
- Have the correct participants. Do not invite project sponsors if you are working through a technical issue. Does your engineer need to participate in a budget discussion with accounting?
Do you need help with a technical initiative? Peters & Associates projects provide time for building a complete project plan to reduce risk and to ensure success. Need more information? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help.