Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Every part of a business operation can be seen as small projects to complete. When you work on financial reports or you engage with a customer about their requests, you are starting new projects and making your way towards completing them. This is exactly why good project management skills are crucial in today’s business environment.
There are also big, complex projects to tackle along the way. Business owners aren’t the only ones who need to know how to manage projects meticulously. Other parts of the company must be able to work in unison in order for the business to run smoothly and efficiently. These eight project management tips will help you reach that level of efficiency in no time.
1. Define Clear Goals
Every project needs to have its own goals or objectives. What are the things you want to achieve at the end of the project? In most cases, writing your objectives down – complete with details about them and any parameters that you want the project to meet – helps change the tone of the entire project.
Clear goals also help you set the right course of action. When you know the exact objectives that need to be achieved, it is much easier to plan for the project.
2. Invest Time and Money
Two assets that you need to invest into every project are time and money. You either spend money to speed things up, or you spend more time getting the project completed the right way. Investing employees’ time and energy is also classified as investing money into the project, mainly because it adds to the cost of the project.
The key to effective project management is finding balance between these two elements. At some point, pouring more resources into a project isn’t going to make it better or more effective.
3. Write Down and Visualize
Don’t hesitate to write things down when managing a project. You will be surprised by how much more effective you’ll be as a project manager when the tasks in hand are written down; it is even better when they are visualized.
This is one of the reasons why the use of Kanban in project management is so popular. Kanban project management tools let you visualize the entire project – and the tasks in hand – and give you the right view of the project at any point.
4. Move in Stages
There is another reason why Kanban is so effective, and that is the fact that it organizes tasks into stages. A standard Kanban project board usually has three sections: To Do, Doing, and Done. You move each task along these three sections as the project progresses.
Kanban-based project management tools such as Kanbanize make keeping projects in check a lot easier. In the case of Kanbanize, you can also get other team members to access the Kanban board directly. As to how you can implement Kanban system, you can read more about Kanban project management here.
5. Consistency Is Key
Not all projects are created equal, but that doesn’t mean you cannot introduce a level of consistency to the many projects you handle. For example, you can use the Kanban system to manage all projects and add a sense of consistency to them.
The more the system is used, the more your team members will feel comfortable with the workflow, and the more efficient (and effective) they will be. The same approach can be used to add a layer of consistency to project estimates, plans, and even budget.
6. Mind Your Team Members
Delegating is another important key to successful and effective project management. There is no point in having a complex project management approach when you do everything yourself rather than delegating the tasks in hand for better efficiency.
Learn to delegate while keeping the strengths and weaknesses of your team members in mind. Play to their strengths and you will get better results with every task you delegate. Besides, capable team members can take a lot of burden off your shoulder.
7. Be Smart
Always look for ways to improve. Instead of pushing team members – and yourself – to work harder, learn to work smarter. The key here is evaluating every project as it progresses and finding new ways to improve.
You don’t always have the opportunity to improve immediately, but the insights you gather along the way are still useful in the long-run. The next time you have a similar project to handle, you already have a better way to tackle it.
One last thing to remember is the importance of communicating with all parties related to the project. It is better to over-communicate than to withhold information from stakeholders. The latter often lead to mistakes (costly ones) being made, which will then lead to the project being less efficient that it could be.
Now that you have these 8 tips in mind, you can shine as a project manager and be a pro in handling even the most complex set of tasks. You’ll run your projects – and your business – like a tight ship in no time.