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The Top 10 Habits For Project Management Success – Part 1

Effective habit 1

Just in time (JIT) planning

It is a fact of life that creating the initial project plan, that the duration will require longer term estimation and will consequently need an increased margin of error compared with shorter term estimation and planning.

This leads to the use of the term “planning horizon” whereby a plan for the next few weeks for example would be quite detailed and have a relatively low margin of error, whereas a plan for the next 12 months will be much less detailed and have a relatively high margin of error.

Long-term planning addresses the uncertainties and unknowns, often referred to as the “: of uncertainty” by providing a level of confidence one range with each estimate in the form of agreed tolerances.

Just in time (JIT) planning at low levels of plan is sometimes referred to as “rolling wave planning”, or “progressive elaboration”.

Rolling wave planning is an excellent way to simplify the management of the project.  Plan no further into the future and you can reasonably see, and do not plan in more detail than makes sense.

When a project is first chartered, you only have milestone dates.  As you begin to understand more about the project, you can define the project life cycle and the key deliverables to be created in each of its phases or stages.

Build a project into phases.  Start with the initial phases, and filling detailed tasks, sequences, resources, and durations.

Leave the later faces at a high level of detail, that way you will have less work to redo on later tasks that simply cannot be anticipated at the beginning of the project.

You will also have less need to manipulate the baseline of those later tasks.  If tasks are too far in the future, there time requirements will not match up with the resources you originally set aside for them.

As a general rule, when it is early in the project, avoid delving into detail on tasks that are far in the future.

It is here that using a planning to all such as Microsoft project, will help you with rolling wave planning when you use these features of the programme:

Linking.  This lets you can buy and sell projects into a master project

Network diagram view.  This helps you visualize project phases graphically

Timeline.  This shows milestones, deliverables, and phases at a high level

Effective Habit 2

Set the project scope and context first

Before you start creating the project, you need to carry out due diligence, in other words do your homework.  If you don’t have all the information you need when you sit down to create the plan, you will continually stop, midplan, and ran off to find the information.  Not an efficient way to work I’m sure you agree.

There are five core pieces of project information that you need to capture:

Reality check of basic expectations

Based on your experience in managing similar projects over time, determine whether that the deliverables, budget, and preliminary schedule and within reason.  You will want to decide whether to discuss changes to the scope and budget to avoid a project that was unrealistic from the start.

Resource’s information

If the resources human, record the resources full name, contact information, skills, cost, schedule, timing conflicts, managers name, and manages contact information.  For equipment or facilities, find its availability and cost

Team structure

Determine whether one team member records everyone else is progress or resources to the and tracking.

Decide to update so schedule after changes are made, who receives copies of which reports, and who has access to the master schedule online.

Management expectations

Determine whether management expects to see regularly scheduled basic reports or another type of report instead.  Make sure you determine how all, and from whom are, to get budget the proval at various phases in the project planning, and asked whether any crossed enterprise interests will require reports or approval from multiple sources.

Company policies

Such documents may spell out working hours and overtime policies, holiday calendars, charges for override costs or project mark UPS, and for the sharing or otherwise of information with clients and vendor is.

Once you have gone through the above list and established all of the information, you are ready to enter this information into the project plan

Effective Habit 3

Prepare for surprises

You will of course have heard of Murphy’s law which dictates that if anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Most projects, a specially lengthier and more complex projects, are not completed on time or on budget.  So the responsibility of the project manager is to plan is accurately as you can and then make prudent adjustments whenever someone raises an issue.  The secret here is to anticipate change by simply planning for it.

The critical path determines the project duration.  Every why these project manager builds contingency reserve time and funds into their project.  You should add contingency reserve before major deliverables or the end of a phase to account for unexpected events.

Effective Habit 4

Make timely decisions based on accurate data

The use of project management software can simplify many aspects of your work life, but even so it is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of time needed to spend entering and updating data.

These tasks can certainly be cumbersome, but the reward from mastering the automated updating and reporting capabilities in a project planning tool more than makes up for any labour they enter upfront.

Track as often as you can – at least once a week.  You should track progress on a task bypassed basis as this strategy not only saves you from having to enter a mountain of tracking data per also lets you and your team C the status of the project at any time.

That way you can properly spot disaster approaching and make preventative adjustments.  Another application if you like of JIT

Effective Habit 5

Don’t do it all yourself

The message here, is to delegate as much as possible to the appropriate individuals and that includes those who have sufficient time to carry out such tasks as well as the expertise to deal with them.

Avoid he urged to attempt to do everything on the project itself.  Although creating and maintaining the project file on your own might seem to give you more control over the result, flying solo in a larger project is nearly impossible and possibly a fulltime job.

Of course, you cannot allow dozens of people to make changes to the plan, because you would risk losing track of who did what and when.  However, following these few simple practices can convert a few fingers in the project pie from harmful to helpful:

Designate one person to handle all data.  This person’s mission is to enter all tracking date or in to the master file

Break the project into a few sub projects, and assign people whom you trust to act as managers of those phases.  Let them handle their own tracking and adjustments, and then assemble the phase projects into a master project so that you can monitor their changes.

Set uniform procedures for the team upfront.  Do not let one team member report time on an interoffice memo sheet, another send you his progress by e-mail, and others record the work hours in the time sheet as best they see fit.  Work out a strategy and the method to implement effective communication.

Check out Part Two HERE!