Effective project management is essential to successful results in any business. Keeping communication proficient and team members well-organized, productive, and motivated is key to positive accomplishments and successful project management.
It is well known that companies who organize and implement project management tools tend to have higher success rates, better sales, and greater employee satisfaction. Making the right decisions and providing practical tools for team members is vital to successful projects.
All projects are different with distinctive goals, obviously. But there are some effective practices that are proven to improve project management, no matter what the scope of the project is. The Project Management Institute has defined the 9 best practices a company can apply to help project management success rates go substantially up.
Defined Life Cycle & Milestones
Stable Requirements & Scope
Organization, Systems, & Roles
Tracking & Various Analysis
Work Authorization & Change Control
Corrective Action Decisions
Escalation & Issue Management
Let’s break down these 9 practices, understand what each means, and how they can be applied and employed in individual project management.
• Define the Lifespan, Milestones, and Deadline of the Project
Setting a deadline seems quite obvious for any project type. This practice can be extended by adding milestones and providing a defined duration to the team members involved in the project. Keeping track of the development progress is essential to make sure that the project gets completed on time.
Creating a work breakdown structure can significantly improve productivity and assuring deadlines are met on time.
Heycollab has a Task and To-Do feature that makes it easy to keep track of what everyone is working on and where they are at on the project.
• Clarify Team Member Requirements & Scope of Work
Keeping a project on track and bringing it successfully to completion is a definite goal for any venture. Defining clear targets and tasks for each team member and also providing a well-defined general end-goal is essential to keep everyone on task.
If the scope of the work is not well understood by all, some team members may waste time on unnecessary research and work that will not be applied to the project.
According to The Project Management Institute, these are some key questions that should be answered from the get-go.
“What is to be done?
What product/service, system or result will be produced?
What are the goals and benefits?
When (the) result is achieved what will be the measure of its success?
What are the deliverables?
What physical manifestation will there be of the product, system or result?
What are the standards of performance?
How is the validity, utility, correctness, completeness of deliverables to be determined?
What are the constraints impacting performance, time, cost?
What are the limits on cost, time or performance on the product itself? What are the limits on the project in terms of priorities, resources and interfaces?
What are the risks to be aware of?
Are there risks associated with the project or the product? What is the impact of magnitude, complexity and technology of the product and the project?”
• Organize Team Members, Systems, & Define Roles
Specifying concise responsibilities and tasks for each team member is essential for positive results in any project. Providing clear instructions about who does what and implementing management tools so that everyone is communicating well is key to fruitful l projects.
Each team member needs to understand the system in place and what their role is in the process in order to not waste time and be capable of working more independently.
A system that allows team members to collaborate easily, share files, and track each other’s work is a great tool to apply in any project.
• Plan Project Commitments
This is where resources, boundaries, and specifics are built and defined. Everything from schedules to budgeting is well established at this level and every team member is aware and understands what is, and what is not, available to them to perform their tasks.
Establish clear guidelines for every aspect of the project to minimize surprises down the road.
• Implement a Quality Assurance Plan
Keeping team members on task and on top of their responsibilities is generally easy when everything is well defined and understood. But implementing a regular quality check will ensure that everything is truly understood and that members are supplying the quality work that is expected of them.
Without having to be over the shoulder of every team member, checking in once in a while will reassure that the project is going well and that no-one is working with any misunderstandings.
• Consider and Track Fluctuations
Allowing space for adjustments can help keep the project on track should a setback occur. Team members will be aware of what to do and how to localize the problem resourcefully and time-efficiently. The project won’t need to slow down or stop should something occur.
Regular reports and error identification is done in order to professionally resolve the issue and get the project back on track.
• Plan Authorization & Change Management
It’s inevitable that changes will need to be implemented during the course of a project. It may be a small change or a significant one. No matter the scope of the change that has to be applied, there needs to be communication between team members and all departments to keep everyone on track.
Members need to know who is authorized to approve and implement a change and how to go about making it happen. The plan should be clear so that the change can flow and the project can continue its trajectory to success.
• Establish Corrective Action Choices
Anytime during a project, some compromises may need to be effectuated in order to adjust discrepancies. It’s critical to understand and manage important trade-offs like budgets and deadlines.
Planning for this before-hand and establishing a plan of action may mean the difference between a project being positively completed or not.
• Launch an Escalation & Issue Management Approach
Communication between team members and project leaders needs to be transparent and every detail needs to be clear in order to make everyone comfortable about all issues in the project.
A problem or issue may arise from a team member or form a client. There has to be a concise method to approach issues as they arise. Team members on all levels have to feel confident about going to the project leaders to discuss any concerns they may have.
Successful Project Management in an App
Implementing effective project management tools into a project will only help improve the success rate. Defining roles and making sure all team members are communicating well and are aware of their individual responsibilities will keep a project running smoothly.
Of course, glitches may arise in the course of a project. Preparing for these problems and planning on how to deal with them should they arise is also key to avoid unexpected surprises and possible failure of the project.
Many project management tools are available to keep team members communicating well. Heycollab contributes to project collaboration by letting team members remain in contact. They can share ideas, provide updates, exchange files, and track each other’s assignments and tasks.
Many apps provide some of these features, but Heycollab combines the best features from several apps to provide a complete and valuable team management tool that helps ensure successful project collaboration.