Does your company have any New Year’s resolutions? Communicate better? Spend less? Work harder? Work smarter?
What about project management? Proper project planning is essential in today’s fast-paced, tech-dominated world and keeping your team on target is essential for success. “Plan the work and work the plan” is a popular piece of advice and utilizing proper project management can be a great way to stay ahead of the pack and to deliver consistent business results.
Powerful Project Planning
- Be Picky – Choose the correct project by recognizing opportunity cost and picking the project that gives you the most value for your time and effort.
- Define the Scope – Plan the whole project from start to finish (or as much as you can). Get the right team, define the skills necessary and find the people with the skillset that will help your company advance.
- Seek Counsel – Get the expertise you need. Know that being expert in one area means not being an expert in other areas. Recognize that each project is unique work and it requires learning and collaborating with others.
- Create Deadlines – Time management is an important tool for project planning. Define the activities and then work with your team to develop a schedule that includes working durations for each employee.
- Define Communication Methods – Communication management is a big one for project planning. This factor can make or break how much productivity your team gains and deciding on how to interact with one another is a powerful tool that should never be overlooked.
- Keep an Eye on the Forest – Paying close attention to detail is important, but be careful not to lose yourself in them. With each step of the process, step back and ask yourself if it relevant to the product or project so you can assure yourself that you are staying on task.
The Bottom Line
Proper project planning is vital for the project team to understand, and it makes everyone’s job a little easier! The goal of the project and how each member will work to attain that goal is essential for success. If one team member does not know what is expected of them, the entire project may be in jeopardy. When the initial communication is not clear, the details will eventually come out and it will probably mean that someone on the team will have to rework their solution to accommodate the revision. Overall, it is up to the project manager himself or herself to create a successful project plan, but mutual negotiations and implementations from others are ideal for the success of the project. Essentially, project planning involves establishing the scope, aims and objectives, the manner in which the project will be completed, and proper roles and responsibilities.