Project management is both an art and a science, requiring you to focus on and master numerous tasks. These 10 actionable tips will help you meet your goals and achieve success as a project manager.
Since your time is limited and valuable, here are some specific areas where things have the potential to go drastically wrong if not sufficiently addressed, as well as some concrete, actionable ideas to ensure quality outcomes.
Tip 1. Project, program and portfolio managers hold powerful knowledge, skills and experience, and should discuss the benefits of setting up an EPMO (Enterprise Project Management Office) within the organization for the purpose of ensuring all areas of the business only initiate projects that provide the organization with benefits. These activities should be mapped directly to companywide strategic objectives.
Tip 2. Work with management to establish key performance indicators to communicate and measure what matters to the company.
Tip 3. At the end of each project for PMOs and senior executives should quantify the success rates of projects in relation to companywide objectives, and determine what changes may be required for future projects to keep the business moving in the right direction.
Tip 4. Make a request to management to be involved in companywide planning sessions in order to transform the traditional PMO into a high-performing team that can deliver significant value. Highlight how this will help to establish a shared vision, as well as reduce the risk of missed objectives and misunderstandings, while increasing the projects chance of success. According to PMI research, the success rates of higher-performing PMOs also align with a company’s financial performance.
Tip 5. Work on being trustworthy, transparent, objective, focused, energetic and motivational, consistent and flexible, accessible, clear, respectful, confident and lead by example.
Tip 6. If the project team is too large, break it down into smaller focused groups to make communications easier to manage, and then send out formal communications on updates to the entire project team or as applicable.
Tip 7. As a PM, before you can expect stakeholder engagement, you must also be fully engaged. Remain transparent, provide timely communications, clarify team members roles, areas of responsibility and expectations.
Tip 8. Address conflict immediately and directly, determine the root cause, and whenever possible, allow opportunities for stakeholders to take part in the resolution. People are much more willing to move on in a positive manner if they can be part of a solution instead of only perceived as the problem.
Tip 9. Determine the techniques and methods you will use to monitor and measure activities, budgets and timelines,and make sure it’s done frequently. Regularly communicate the results and the required corrective actions with the project team, stakeholders and management, delegating responsibilities to the appropriate parties. Then follow up to ensure action was taken. This should be a repeatable process throughout the project.
Tip 10. In the initial stage of a project, check with the appropriate parties in the organization that all the required internal or external tools are available to successfully execute the project. Waiting till you are deep into the project to find out important resources aren’t available could change the outcome of a phase or even the entire project.