We have just stepped into 2017 and everyone is busy in making his or her New Year resolutions. Project managers are no different. Project managers have to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously and complete projects inside the budget and before the deadline.
Due to this, project managers are always busy in trying to improve productivity and streamline operations to achieve better output. If you are a project manager who is finding it tough to set your New Year resolutions, then we have some suggestions that will surely help. In this article, I have highlighted some of the key goals that every project manager wants to achieve in the year 2017 and beyond.
1. Manage Time and Money Efficiently
According to Access Group study, 62% project managers consider “capturing time and costs against their projects” as their biggest challenge. One of the biggest challenges for project managers is to manage time and costs effectively. Both time and money are limited resources, so you need to be very careful especially when managing projects with specified deadline and budget.
The goal of projects managers should be to monitor the project finances careful and try to cut costs. More importantly, they are required to take steps to boost productivity in order to complete projects within the specified deadlines. Avoid wasting time on useless meetings and make your meetings more meaningful. Being a project manager, you should have a clear idea about the factors such as money and time, therefore, you should have a budget and schedule in place.
2. Set a Good Example for Others to Follow
If you haven’t been doing it yet, then 2017 is the best time to do so. Lead from the front and set an example that your team members can follow. No matter how technically sound you might be, without leadership skills you cannot succeed at project management. Stop hiding behind the desk and giving orders. Guide, train and nurture your team members and show that you are more committed to the project. This will automatically bring out the best among them. Your team members see you and do what you do, therefore, you should set a good example if you want them to perform better.
3. Assigning Tasks to the Right Person
The core motto of HR department of a company is to “Hire the right person for the job” but for project managers, it is “assign the key task to the right people”. Each team member has their strengths and weaknesses and project manager should consider them before assigning tasks to them. One of the main reasons why most projects fail to complete on time is that project managers do not follow the horses for courses approach. Just assigning the task to the right person is not enough; you will have to constantly monitor progress and hold them accountable to their work otherwise you might not hit your targets.
4. Establish a Two-Way Communication Channel
According to Pulse of profession report by project management institute, more than 20% projects fails due to poor communication. Project managers should adopt “talk less and listen to more” approach to removing all the obstacles that could derail your project from its path. Establish a two-way communication channel where team members can share their opinion and discuss key issues of the project. The project can easily improve project communication in 2017 by using task management system. It allows you to communicate and coordinate with all stakeholders effectively including your team members.
5. Improve Risk Management
Irrespective of how good your risk management strategy might be, there is always room for some improvement and 2017 will be the year to make these improvements. For that, you will have to critically analyze your business process and find loopholes. After finding the flaws, you need to mitigate these risks before they cause irreversible damage to your project progress.
Having a risk management strategy and reviewing it regularly to make necessary adjustments will go a long way in protecting you from these risks. Project managers will have to act quickly in order to overcome these threats. Ignoring these risks will have serious negative implications on your project in the future.
6. Enhance Teamwork and Collaboration
Using task management tools can also enhance project collaboration and teamwork, which would increase your chances of project success. With so many distractions and tasks going on at the same time, team members can easily lose the way. This trend will continue in 2017 and beyond so project manager have to take an initiative.
It is the duty of project managers to keep the team integration and keep them focused on the same goal while encouraging team collaboration and rewarding good teamwork. Take input from each team member and make sure team members play their role efficiently. Without proper team collaboration, things will go haywire and you will never be able to achieve your objective.
7. Make All Stakeholders Happy
By far the most difficult goal for project managers to achieve is to make all your stakeholders happy. In fact, it is a dream for most project managers but only a few of them manage to turn this dream into reality. You can easily succeed at it by keeping all the stakeholders well informed about the project progress and involve them in the decision-making process.
Another benefit of keeping all parties involved in the project is that project managers can avoid backlash and solve the lack of stakeholder’s interest issue easily. The success of your projects depends on various factors and one of them is stakeholder satisfaction level. Although, you might not be able to impress all of the stakeholders but if you are able to satisfy majority of them, then you have done a good job.
If you want to make 2017 the most successful year as project management career, then you should set aforementioned goals as your New Year’s resolutions. Devise a strategy so that you can achieve your goals by the end of the year. Focus on enhancing collaboration and communications among your team members. If you manage your risks, finances and time carefully, you can easily solve half your project problems.