Having a project is good news for a lot of companies, however, there are times when the team assigned to the project can feel like they have more than what they can chew. Not all projects are worth the time and effort, and sometimes there is a tendency to overestimate the capability of the team. On the other hand, you cannot know the limits of your team unless you take the plunge. If you boil it down to it, there only two things why a project cannot be fulfilled by your team. It can either be a question of ability, or a question of management.
For ability, nothing can compensate training, dedication, experience, hard work, and team synergy. Those five core characteristics are immensely broad and useful and should have its own article or research to it. Hundreds and thousands of scholarly articles and case studies were done just to find out how to get these characteristics, and a short article will not do it justice.
On the other hand, managing a project properly is much more straightforward and actually has a very big impact on the productivity of the team and can also promising results if done correctly. Project management may sound to high-level and strategic, and you are partly correct, but in its heart, project management is actually very simple to understand. It is actually the execution part of the process that takes some time and effort. Simply put, project management is how you fulfill the steps in order to complete the project successfully. Project management is where you apply your skills and tools so that the end result of you and your team’s endeavors good finish the tasks in an efficient and timely manner. Here are a few things that you can do to make sure that the project is managed properly.
Get a bird’s eye view and look for the forest to follow up with focusing on the trees
Whether it be for conceptualizing and starting your project, for troubleshooting and improving the process for the duration of the said project, inductive thinking, or the top down thinking, can definitely help. By knowing that conclusion that you want to arrive and then start building up from there, the project will have a better structure and the execution would be easier. Looking at the bigger picture will allow you to find the bottlenecks and the problem.
You can do this by either looking at it with the mentality of a third neutral person or better yet ask an expert who has no part in your project. For instance, asking questions in Quora or opinions with your friends in your social media, provided of course that you can trust them with your privacy and secrecy, will definitely help you find a different perspective.
Make a superstar team who knows the project well
By superstar team, we do not mean the best of the best, which was very good can be quite costly and a team of geniuses does have its own unique problems. What we mean is that you should make your current team superstars. This is directly related to the first reason why a project could feel like something beyond the capabilities of the team. We are not just talking about the capability but also the synergy of the team. To make it more straightforward, we make the team learn during the project and not just do.
Getting an experienced expert is good, but if you are thinking long-term, which you should, cultivating talent is the way to go. In managing a project, deal with it as an opportunity for your team members to level up, whether by improving on their abilities and talents or by improving the synergy of the team by making them more integrated and knowledgeable about the team members and the long-term vision and goals of your business.
This can be done by integrating tools into your project management that not only remind them of their duties and responsibilities but also make the team aware of where the progress of the project is currently. One way to do that is to use software light Trello or Scoro. These tools will not only give a visual representation people assigned, they will also allow you to put comments and do even time tracking and reports on finances and project progress. If you do not have a project management tool yet, please get one as soon as possible. You will see your efficiency improve by leaps and bounds.
Communication should be proper
You may have a plan that has a great top-down perspective and you may have the best tools for your project management, but one thing where a competent team can fail is the breakdown of communications. We are not just talking the lack of communication. What we are talking about this proper communication. Communication is a two-way process, in the listener or receiver is as important as the sender of the message.
The best way to ensure that there will be no misunderstanding or miscommunication is to use not only a reliable tool but to also properly word your messages. There are communication tools like Slack and in fact, most project management tools have their own communication channels. Instant messaging is best and will beat out not only e-mail but also voice calls because instant messaging is faster and easier to understand.
As for your communications, it is best to use simple language for instructions and more detailed sentences for the process. It is best to start with what should be the result by use of descriptions using adjectives and adverbs and then followed by series of instructions which has a lot of verbs and concluded by recommendations for processes. That way, your communications are easier to understand and by using words economically.
In simpler words, you can improve your project management by focusing first on the bigger picture, followed by proper use of tools and lastly by using proper communication channels and techniques.
Overall, a project manager must be an expert in leadership, communication, and organizational skills. With the high workload and stress, it is critical to have the skills required to bring a project to the finish line. Staying accountable and aware of all aspects of the project will guide you to project management success.
Also, try these 10 shortcuts to boost your productivity.