1. Declaration of Project Scope
Planning is an absolute necessity in project management. While it’s enticing to rely on experience and “wing-it”, it’s much better to take the time to establish an initial plan of action. Regardless of how easy a new project might appear to be, there are always potential dangers waiting to delay the project and blow its budget. Project managers must clearly outline the approaches to be undertaken before starting any new project.
2. Establish Critical & Non-Critical Paths
Every project manager should be well aware of the importance of identifying critical & non-critical paths. However, the importance is not to identify them during the project management phase, but to identify them before-hand and properly assess their potential impact on the overall project. The best approach is to identify those critical paths and provide working scenarios on how best to manage delays, should they occur.
3. Using Compiled Data
A project manager’s success is dependant not only on their own abilities, but on the combined efforts of those they work alongside. Using compiled data is essential in assigning priorities, keeping track of task completion, and project accounting. Project managers must have one central document, project management software or unified platform where they are able to track real-time data.
4. Manage the Project, Not the Plan
It’s paramount to success that project managers focus on managing the project, and not trying to force the project to meet their initial plan. Delays are commonplace in project management. However, their impact is mitigated when the individual focuses on finding solutions to the problems in front of them, rather than spending too much time on why the delay occurred. Manage the project and its delays in real-time, and review why the initial plan failed after the project is completed.
5. Relying on Collaborate Efforts
It’s essential that project managers come to rely upon the input provided by coworkers and peers and do everything possible to avoid duplicating efforts. Redundancy is a killer in project management and does nothing more than add time and increase costs. Clearly defining work tasks, and properly assigning them, is essential to success.
Project managers must wear many hats. They must not only manage the project’s costs, but must also track task completion and rely upon the valuable input provided by those they work alongside. Perspective can easily be lost in a project, especially if it goes off course. Valuing the input of coworkers is essential to properly mitigating the effects of delays.