Managing projects can be stressful and definitely a challenging role. Keeping your team on track and organised requires excellent leadership skills. This is on top of other responsibilities a project manager has, such as planning the schedule, the budget, analysing any project risks and so on. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon that the entire process from start to finish can cause some stress even to an experienced project manager. If you have been promoted, and you are leading a complex project for the first time, it is crucial you take it step by step.
While it is absolutely normal to feel nervous, it might help you know that there are helpful digital tools and other tips that can support an effective running, planning and completion of a project. Plus, it is of the utmost importance you bring a solid and productive team to your project. This way, not only will the project be properly completed, but you will also build a team with which you can work on various projects from now on.
Breakdown the project into details
At the very beginning, when the project is still in discussion, it can help to talk about it broadly and in general detail. However, when it comes to starting the project, regardless of what type it is, whether it is a product development project or building a house, it is crucial to break it down into smaller details. This means that it is necessary you start getting more specific about what the project entails.
Doing this will help you plan the next steps of the entire process, like building your team and knowing what professionals to hire and what type of expertise you need from your team members. Plus, only by properly knowing the particularities of your project can you set its objectives.
Build the project team
Without an effective team of experts in their various roles, it is incredibly challenging to finalise a project successfully. Given the multitude of tasks and the likely possibility of encountering issues on the way, it is crucial you form a team of individuals who are professionals and share your passion for the project. Otherwise, their motivation might be limited.
When a group of people share the same values and believe in a project strongly, it isn’t surprising that the result is a victory. Plus, when you find like-minded individuals who complement each other in their set of qualities and work efficiently together, you can grow professionally together.
Set clear objectives and the main goal
Once you have discussed the particularities of the project and have created a solid team, it is time to sit down and identify the main goal, as well as set all the objectives of the project. Similar to a research project, this step will guide the planning and execution of your project.
A practical method of doing this is thinking about the designated questions that differentiate a goal from an objective. So, together with your team, think of the “what” of the project: what your project will accomplish in the end. In order to get there, you need to identify the “how” – your objectives and how you plan on working towards your goal. For instance, if you are working in the marketing department, your project’s goal might be to grow the brand’s social media accounts. In this case, one of your objectives could be to hire an influencer.
As important as building a solid team is to delegate roles correctly. This means identifying everyone’s strengths and placing them in a position that will utilise their potential to the fullest. This way, any area they might need to improve can do so by working with someone whose strong point is another person’s weakness.
Delegating tasks based on someone’s set of qualities will enhance the team’s overall productivity as people will be motivated to perform well. When a professional who believes in a specific project is given a role that is suitable for them while they also have the chance to learn and grow, it is sure that they will stick with you for other future projects. Therefore, this is an effective way of retaining your employees.
Create a timeline of deadlines
Any project needs a carefully thought out schedule and timeline of events and deadlines. This way, you are able to keep a record of the project’s progress. Therefore, it is essential that you get together with your team and discuss the most urgent tasks and prioritise them by urgency and importance.
Using the Eisenhower Matrix method can help you set a task’s priority effectively and organise them on a level of urgency. Plus, this method can also support your delegating roles. Once this is decided, you can set deadlines without worrying that a particular task is overlooked.
Conduct project analysis frequently
While working on the project, it is imperative you conduct a systematic analysis of the project and its progress. Doing this can help you keep track of task completion, how productive an employee is, or even maintain a record of your budget and remaining financial resources. There is an online solution in the UK that supports project management and can facilitate the activity of project analysis. Such a digital tool is beneficial for businesses when working on various projects.
The fact that you can oversee a team member’s performance is an advantage. When this happens, a good leader will identify what is causing low performance and work together with their colleague to find solutions. On the other hand, if a team member is performing exceptionally well, it is recommended you recognise their achievement. For an employee, knowing they are valued will increase their motivation.
Stay on track but remain flexible
Open communication with your team is of the utmost importance. Staying on track with the initially set objectives and working towards the deadlines is extremely necessary. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that unpredictable events might happen, which is why you need to remain flexible. Critical thinking skills are indispensable, as these will help you in the face of disruption and guide you towards finding solutions. For a project to be successfully completed, adaptability is vital.