According to Standish Group CHAOS Report, less than a third of all projects were successfully completed. In such an alarming situation, how can a project manager improve things and ensure that all of their supervised projects are completed on time and inside the budget?
What makes effective project management even more important is the fact that it is directly associated with your business success. Improved project management could result in an increase in revenue and reduction in costs. In this article, we will share some useful tips that will help you to achieve better project results.
1. Document Project Requirements
The key to success in project management is to understand the project well. That would only be possible if you have a detailed project requirement document at your disposal. Once all your team members are clear about the project objectives and requirements, it will be easier for them to achieve those project goals.
Additionally, this prevents project scope creep and gives you and your team a clear understanding of what is in scope and what is out of the scope of the project. Sit down with all the stakeholders and spend some time in getting the approval of stakeholder and signing the requirement agreement.
2. Have a Plan
Confucius highlighted the importance of planning when he said, “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” The great thing about this quote is that it still holds true even after thousands of years. Having a plan is not enough; it should cover all bases to be effective. Discuss your project plans with your team members and make it flexible to cope up with emerging challenges.
3. Communicate and Collaborate Effectively
One of the key factors that contribute towards project failure is poor communication. Communication and collaboration gap in upper, middle or lower management of team could lead to disaster. Therefore, it is critical to ensure smooth collaboration and uninterrupted communication among your team members to achieve the project targets. More importantly, effective communications ensure that all your team members are on the same page, which would make it easier for your team to achieve your goals.
4. Set Milestones and Track Progress
One of the biggest mistake project managers make is that they leave tracking and monitoring to the end. As a result, their projects fail. It is highly recommended that you set project milestones and track your progress regularly. This will gives you an idea about where you are right now and where you should be so you can make the necessary adjustments.
This will help project managers to identify the shortcomings in their project process and fix them quickly to get their project back on track. By constantly monitoring your project progress, you can easily minimize the chances of project failure by making necessary adjustments to improve performance.
5. Ensure Effective Utilization of Resources
Another important factor that plays its part in taking your projects towards failure is inefficient resource utilization. Whether its time, money or human resources, if you don’t use resources carefully, chances of project failure increases. To ensure optimal utilization of all resources, you can use project management or task management software like TaskQue and reap the benefits of enhanced productivity.
6. Take Frequent Feedback
According to research conducted by the University of Ottawa, 33% of projects fail because of lack of interest from top management. Lack of timely feedback from stakeholders and their lack of interest in project activities could result in project failure. Just like monitoring progress, some project managers tend to leave feedback for the end. This is not the right approach and project managers could find themselves in hot waters if they delay the feedback.
It is better to keep your clients and other stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the projects. Take regular feedback from them on every phase of the project. This will help you tweak your project according to their requirements. This will save you from costly rework.
7. Effective Risk Management
Successful project managers never take their eye of risk and have a comprehensive risk management strategy at their disposal. This enables them to identify, neutralize and eliminate future risks. If you want to achieve better project outcomes, then you must follow risk management approach of successful project managers.
When you have a solid risk management plan and strategy, you can easily cope up with emerging risks. Project managers who don’t take risks seriously will struggle because these risks would wreck havoc on their project progress. It can take them one step closer to project failure. Therefore, it is critical that you never take your eye off risks. Additionally, you should have a strategy ready to deal with these risks.
8. Deliver More Than Promised
Another secret to achieving the highest level of customer satisfaction is to “promise less and deliver more”. This approach will go a long way in helping project managers impress their clients. When a client gets what he wants along with some extras, then he will become a loyal customer.
When you go one-step further and deliver something extra, your clients will automatically praise your company in their friends and family. As a result, it will start a word of mouth cycle that will eventually benefit your company. It will do wonders for your company’s image, which is one of the hardest things to build. Benjamin Franklin highlighted that point when he said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”
After reading this article, you might have realized that you can ensure successful completion of projects by following the aforementioned tips. Start by having a project requirement document approved by the client and then make a plan. With few adjustments such as taking regular feedback, monitoring progress regularly and having a risk management strategy, you can significantly reduce the chances of project failure. You can increase your chances of completing projects on time and inside the budget.