Saturday, April 2, 2011, AM | Leave Comment
As a Project Manager, you need to manage a variety of tasks including managing people, money, suppliers, equipment. The trick is to never lose your sight – to be focused.
At a very minimum, set yourself the following goals for your project to achieve.
Once you have met these simple goals for each project, then you will achieve total success.
These goals are generic to all industries and all types of projects.
Regardless of whether you are new to project management or a seasoned manager, set these 5 goals for every project you manage.
Finish on time
This is the oldest but trickiest goal in the book. On the surface it seems so simple and achievable. Once you start working on the project, a whole bunch of distractions will try to get you off course. But you must remain focused.
Finishing on time is the most difficult part because of two reasons:
- Firstly, the schedule was probably optimistic in the first place. From the beginning, with the cooperation of your client, you need to manage scope of the project very carefully.
- Secondly, the requirements often change during the project. You need to implement a change control process so that any changes to the scope are properly managed. Always keep your plan up to date, record actual vs. planned progress. Identify any deviations from plan and fix them quickly.
Finish under budget
Don’t start out a project without carefully setting up a budget. Make sure your project costs are under control. You need to compare your spending against the budget. Include in the budget, all of the types of project costs that will accrue, whether they concern people, equipment, suppliers or materials.
Work out how much each task in your plan is going to cost to complete and track any deviations from this plan. What usually happens is if you overspend on some tasks, make sure you underspend on others.
Meet the requirements
Your project needs to produce solutions which meet the client requirements 100%. For that, make sure that you have a detailed enough set of very clear and unambiguous requirements at the beginning. You must get them signed by all concerned parties.
Keep customers happy
To make sure that your project sponsor, customer and other stakeholders are happy at the end of your project, you need to manage their expectations carefully. Always keep them properly informed and give them a clear view of progress. If the schedule is slipping, tell them upfront when you can’t deliver on time, or when a change needs to be made. Openness and honesty are always the best tools for setting customer expectations.
Ensure a happy team
This is probably your most important task. Make sure your team members are happy and enthusiastic till the end of the project. Without it, your project will be way off course in terms of budget and quality. The team satisfaction is critical to your project’s success. One of the ways to keep them happy is to assign them work that complements their strengths and conduct team building exercises to boost morale.
In a Nutshell
These goals are generic to all industries and all types of projects – the 5 goals you need to set yourself for every project.
This column is © copyright to www.Method123.com and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.
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