A single failed project can be devastating for a business. While a few poor outcomes may happen due to issues outside of a company’s control, most failures are avoidable. By following various project management best practices, organizations can increase their odds of success. With that in mind, here’s a look at a few project management best practices that can help you better manage a project.
Five Tips For Improving How You Manage Projects
1. Embrace Planning
If the initial plan for a project is poor or underdeveloped, the chances of success drop dramatically. Ideally, companies want to dedicate a significant amount of time, attention, and energy to the earliest stages of the project’s development, ensuring a reliable roadmap is in place that can guide everyone toward an ideal outcome.
Often, the first step is to develop a project brief. The brief will cover the scope, objectives, deliverables, lifecycle, milestones, and success criteria, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
After that, creating a broader project plan is a necessity. The project plan will outline responsibilities, refine the timeline, address budgeting, and ensure all dependencies are identified. Plus, it’s a chance to manage risk, ensure all potential issues that could arise are identified, create opportunities to avoid them entirely, or plan for corrective action.
2. Prioritize Communication
Since most projects involve a large number of employees and cross-departmental teams, communication is essential. Project managers need to make sure that all discussions are centralized, preferably integrated with any project management software the team uses. That way, the information is contained within a single location.
Additionally, they need to be open and highly transparent, as well as share new details as soon as they are available. That way, everyone understands when changes occur and why they’re happening, ensuring no one is left in the dark.
3. Take Corrective Action Quickly
More often than not, an issue will arise as the project moves forward. Project managers need to be aware of any risks, ensuring they understand what kinds of problems may occur. That way, they can take corrective action as quickly as possible.
Typically, vigilance and decisiveness are both vital. When project managers are involved and available, they’ll learn about issues faster. Then, they can choose a course to address the problems as soon as possible, getting the project back on track before the situation starts to spiral.
4. Say “No” to Scope Creep
Scope creep is detrimental to any project. Without proper boundaries, small additions and changes can add up quickly, making a project cumbersome and unwieldy.
Project managers need to actively manage scope creep. While a small change may be unavoidable, ensuring that the deliverables don’t balloon out of control is essential. That way, the project can stay on time and on budget.
5. Provide Ongoing Training For Your Project Managers
While some project managers undergo specialty training to get onto this career path, others come by it organically. They began as an individual contributor, oversaw a few smaller initiatives, and were given more project oversight responsibilities slowly over time, taking on little – if any – formal training.
By offering training to your project managers, you ensure they’re following various best practices. Essentially, you’re setting them up for success, increasing their odds of achieving positive outcomes.
Are You Looking to Update Your Project Management Training?
At Clarity, we have nearly 30 years of experience in L&D, giving us the knowledge and expertise to update your coursework efficiently. Plus, if you’re trying to expand your internal L&D team, Clarity can be your candidate search ally, connecting you with top talent right when you need them.
If you want to partner with leading L&D professionals, Clarity Consultants is here. Contact us