Pin Me

Five Ways to Manage Your Project to Successful Completion

written by: Nicky LaMarco • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 5/28/2013

Imagine a project with only a goal but with no plan, no schedules, and no rules. It would be wasted time and resources, like a ship that merely rides on the waves. Every hand on deck would seem to be busy but unable to put the ship in the right direction. Could you say anybody was at the helm?

  • slide 1 of 6

    Project management entails organizing and directing all efforts into completing one common goal. It deals with being determined yet wise with your decisions. You need the ability to visualize and communicate. This plays an important role in coming up with deliverables. Most of all, the contributions of a good support team will ensure project task completion.

    Too many issues and concerns can sometimes blur whatever visions the project task manager may have in handling project task management. Below are five simple keys that you can follow in order to categorize the issues and concerns in your own niche. Follow these simple rules; they can get things done in the most successful ways possible.

  • slide 2 of 6

    Task Management Key 1: Developing the Plan

    “So, what’s the plan?” This is the first reaction you will get once a project is assigned. A statement quite trite but true; there should always be a plan. Much attention should be paid to details since ideas will build around them.

    For whom:

    This is basically a matter of knowing your customer. Whatever your plan is, focus on what the customer wants, not on your own idea of what is good for the customer. Build your ideas on the customer’s likes and needs; he is in that business because that is what he’s good at. The customer is hiring your company because he knows you have more creative and effective ideas in carrying out his visions.

    For how much:

    How much income will the project expect to generate? Planning of course will be based not only on current trends but also on historical data. Know what works and what didn’t work on past projects. Gather past sales and costs data to stay on the realistic side. Gather current data and its indexes so you’ll know what premises the team will work on.

    Asking how much will also reference your cost limitations; keep in mind the customer's budget. Your cost projections may cost more than what is allotted for the project. Plan on how these two perspectives can meet on the basis of proportion and not merely on projection.

    How soon:

    Setting up the time table and the time frame is an essential part of the plan. Progress can be monitored more effectively on target dates so that resources can be maximized.

    Risk Factors:

    “What’s plan B?” Never discount the possibility that there will be hitches along the way, Plan on the unexpected; be sure of the uncertainties.

  • slide 3 of 6

    2: Build the Team

    The success of the plan always hinges on the concerted efforts of the team. Combining talent and creativity entails tapping each person's sense of responsibility. Instill in every team member the concept of PDCA or Plan-Do-Check-Act. This is a cycle based on systems analysis wherein the logical and repetitive sequence should be practiced to ensure quality and timeliness of work.

    Guide each team member to self-management and proper application of technical expertise until you have a team of great of people working on a single plan.

  • slide 4 of 6

    3: Communicate

    Have a schedule set for meetings as part of your communication plan. The frequency and the urgency of these meetings will rely on how the project is going and how well the team members are coping. These meeting will provide the venue for progress reports and airing out concerns. If the results of the meetings present smoothness in carrying out the main plan, then the frequency of holding such meetings can be lessened. If the results are otherwise, maintain frequency in communicating; perhaps the need for one-on-one discussions will also arise. Here, certain ground rules will be established. Performance will be measured and all that transpired should be documented.

    Communicate your progress to the client or stakeholders. They would be interested to know how things are going, so status reports should be in order. Sponsors may have some reservations and the project may require some changes. Anyone who has the authority or capacity to request changes or revisions while the project is ongoing should be involved in these communication plans.

  • slide 5 of 6

    4: Put Up a Scoreboard

    This is where the progress of the project will be visible to all. Put up a chart so that areas of completion will slowly be filled-up with colored pins or markers, or use a project management software to track progress. Once a project gets going, the more areas you complete, the more motivated the team will become. Measure time, cost, and quality; if all fall on the positive side you will see the results in customer satisfaction.

    Results of a scoreboard generally falling on the negative side will mean considering the reassessment and revision of plans. The scoreboard will pinpoint the areas that need changes or improvement; the colors will indicate the member or members concerned. Be quick in integrating changes; there is a time table to follow

  • slide 6 of 6

    5: Take a Test Drive Or Go on a Dry-Run

    The project is finished and everyone is happy and relieved. Be proud of your accomplishments and congratulate each other. However, do not overlook the possibilities of hidden flaws or bugs that become evident only when the product is used and tested. That's why your plan should include putting the finished product in a beta stage. It allows product testing by actual users for purposes of evaluation. The product is usually released to potential customers who have the capacity to evaluate. Testing the product and resolving all its flaws and weaknesses, before final delivery to the customer or stakeholders, assures your own success in the world of project management.


Mexico