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Project Planning - Top Ten Tips

written by: Jean Scheid • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 7/6/2011

If your project planning consists of piles of "to do" items on your desk, you aren't really project planning effectively. There are ways to make to take the load of project planning off of your mind (and desk) and it's as easy as following these project planning top ten tips!

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    The Top Ten!

    To make all of your projects flow effectively, you have to plan each of them in a way that won't find you backed up or not able to meet your project deadlines. Try using these top ten tips for successful project management!

    1. Make sure your goals are crystal clear - this means involving everyone who will work on the project and holding an initial meeting with the entire team.
    2. Pick the right team - if you don't pick the right people using their skill sets as your example, your project could fall apart, so pick the right people for the project.
    3. Give the project a realistic time frame - at your initial project meeting, make sure you let everyone know what the time frame is for the project and don't wait until Friday to assign your team a project that is due Monday.
    4. Be specific on what tools you will need - both you and your team should analyze what tools, extra staff, work boards or any other materials you will need for the project in the beginning. Don't scramble for these later.
    5. Hold an interim session - get your team together at the half-way point to ensure everyone is where they should be on the project. If something is falling behind, fix it then, not later.
    6. Project accountability - this is a good thing. By telling each team member how they will be accountable and recognized, you will end up with an enthusiastic team ready to complete the project with the clear goals you defined.
    7. Be accountable yourself - take the time to make sure the project is flowing correctly on a daily basis. This doesn't mean you spend the day looking over your team's shoulders. You should just be checking the general flow of the project.
    8. Have an open door policy - make sure your team members know they can come to you for all aspects of the project. If they fear you, your project might not turn out the way you expected.
    9. Keep upper management or the client involved - whether the project is internal or for an outside client, make sure you keep them involved, especially if you have questions.
    10. Keep a good focus all the way through - by keeping a good focus and being in tune with every aspect of your project, you'll end up with a successful project that your counterparts will admire!

    To make sure your project planning skills are effective, use these top ten project planning tips for success!