The project management process involves several responsibilities, and it is quite a herculean task, especially for a project manager. A particular decision may either make or break the entire process, and you may lose out on your resources, clients, and potential leads.
If you are a project manager in the ever-growing online world in 2021, you will be greatly rewarded, but only with the correct attitude, tons of practical experience, and above-par expertise and soft skills. Any project’s prospect and effective delivery is solely based on workflow management and clear communication with every party involved.
Here are 8 actionable project management tips you can follow in 2021 to help you grow as a project manager –
Determine your project scope
The first thing, as a project manager, you need to do is give a vivid definition of your project’s scope, i.e., the deliverables. Without a well-defined project scope, it may lead to delays and missing out on the deadlines because of the deliverables’ continuous changes.
Start defining your scope by writing statements upfront, well-defining the scope, budget and time. The statement should mention the objectives, milestones, resource prerequisites, current issues, probable risks, limitations, and deliverables.
Establish a multi-functional team
A multi-functional team is typically created with members from different departments or with variable skills who work together for a successful project. Such a team helps avoid soloing where members of different backgrounds come in one place, thereby improving innovation.
A project manager’s responsibilities while developing a multi-functional team include identifying the roles, skills, functions, and responsibilities of each member. It is important to assemble an effective multi-functional team to evaluate their soft skills and assign work according to their capabilities.
Develop a WBS
WBS or work breakdown structure starts with the ultimate deliverables and functions backward with smaller sub-divided components of the deliverables incorporating responsibility, time, and size of the project. WBS becomes increasingly critical if the project is complicated. Once the WBS is developed and put in the tracking software, the WBS should have 100 percent well-defined deliverables, focussing more on planning the outcomes than actions.
Use management tools
There has been significant development of different management tools that have hugely benefited project managers in the last two decades. An efficient project manager uses project management software to organize projects, communicate with other team members and clients, and produce progress reports.
For a new project manager, the learning curve could be steep. Hence, you may have to sign up for a formal learning session if you want to save time. In case of a time crunch, browse through the online materials, videos, documentation, and webinars till you become accustomed to the tool and be a resource to your team members. Choose suitable software such as Jira or Trello and develop visual task routines to plan your project.
Identification of Risks, Research & Development Components
Every project has a different set of variables requiring additional context. Every service comes with a certain set of limitations that affect the team members’ development planning and flexibility. Moreover, if you choose an ineffective hosting plan, it may lead to higher expenses in inefficient utilization of resources.
Every project has a unique element and requires extensive research. So, it is essential to coordinate with your team members regarding the research.
Communication is a vital key.
Project management needs effective and easy communication with every party, be it your team members or your external stakeholders. There is a Goldilocks rule for both electronic and face-to-face communications, which involves frequent communication, informing everyone at every step without any time-drain.
Regarding communication, every member should be using the same terms during project management to ensure crystal clear communication. Certain project management tools also let you archive meetings and emails relating to the project and share them with others.
Worth mentioning, as a project manager, you should remember that your team has other front-line tasks to complete on time, so keep the meetings as brief and concise as possible.
Evaluate the deliverables
Make sure you evaluate the deliverable at every vital milestone before moving on to the next step. Figure out the issues from scratch before it is too late. An efficient evaluation also ensures satisfactory operational prerequisites, verifying deliverables based on design, and validating concept proof.
There are several methods to evaluate deliverables that are situation-specific. Some methods are compatibility, automated, integration, manual, functional, regression, and many more. However, no matter which method you choose, there will always be the following 3 steps –
Developing a test plan, determining its specifications, and implementing the script.
Deliver a post-mortem
Before you move on to the next project, you must deliver a project post-mortem. This could potentially capture all that worked well in the current project and how you can perform better in future deals. Project post-mortem or AAR (after-action review) is important and must not be neglected if you want to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Every post-mortem has 2 response elements – individual & group. Individual responses involve surveys, questionnaires, or interviews, encouraging members to express candidly. Group meetings can be delivered after collecting individual responses where they get to share their opinions.
Keep constant attention on the performance of your team and not on individual members. The overall workflow and team performance determine the success rate of any project.
A project manager must always be in charge of the entire project management process. It may seem to be nerve-wracking at first, but as you grow, you will learn more about the skills relating to project management. Follow the above-mentioned actionable project management tips for successful project management in 2021.
If you want to ace being a project manager, you need to plan your project scope meticulously, communicate with your clients and your team members, monitor their energy level, and most importantly, identify the flaws and challenges of your project. Project management also requires efficient, productive, and smart allocation of resources to get closer to the desired outcome and get more work from different clients.