Achieving Results with Project Management – Part 7
Here are some tactical “howlers” that you should avoid:
Do you remember those four stages? Well, the first mistake would be to jump directly from starting the project into the implementation stage.
Although this sounds like a good idea, you have not yet defined the work to be done. You may be encouraged not a plan is out in detail city because the project is being “done before”.
Even though projects can be similar to pass once, some elements will be different, so always check the plan thoroughly before proceeding any further.
Failing to check progress at frequent intervals
Even if everyone is working hard and things seem to be going okay, do not be tempted just to get it continue. Imagine taking a car journey for the first time, would you not want to check the map from time to time to ensure you’re still on track? So it is with projects.
If you do not check progress, you will not see warning signs and may get to be a long way off track by the time you have actually do notice that something is wrong. At this point it may not be possible to rescue the project.
Not keep in the plan up to date
It’s important to use the discipline of locking actual so, such as a time actually taken to do things and the expense actually incurred.
It does take discipline to stay up to date, but you will never be able to control the project if you don’t know where you are at the moment.
Not completing the closing stage
At the end of a project, you can face pressure to move right on to the next project. Scarce resources and short deadlines encourages rapid movement, and starting a new project is always more challenging and wrapping up an old one.
You must make sure that everything is properly finished and, if necessary, handed over. You also need to check that the project has achieved what it was supposed to have done and that you or your organisation take on board any lessons, good or bad, for the future.
Super Project Management!
The ten hallmarks of a great project manager:
- You prefer to get the job done rather than be everybody’s friend as good working relations are vital, but you must deliver the goods
- You prefer to manage technical work rather than do it as management is exactly that as you move away from their hands on stuff.
- The best way to get the tough task done is not to do it by yourself and your role is to manage, and that includes letting others develop
- You prefer your work to be constantly changing rather than predictable as no project ever does exactly to plan and, anyway, things change as that is part of the challenge and also the bars of project management
- You can hold on the to the big picture rather than get immersed in the detail because even though you need to deal with the fine detail, you should not do it at the expense of losing the big picture
- You handle pressure well as, as a project manager needs a cool head and sometimes will indeed be pressured
- You like to plan and organize the work of others as being an organizer and planner goes with the territory of being a project manager
- You naturally monitor those after they said they will do a task for you because just like with general management, you have to know that work is getting done
- You will often need to motivate people rather than leave them to get on with it because they should be self-motivated to perform their jobs. The project manager needs soft skills too, as projects are all about people.
- You are comfortable dealing with people at all levels of the organization. This of course is a prerequisite for any project manager from upper management to support staff, in fact all those who perform project related activities.