Managing teams for success
Most of us have objectives to deliver against which means managing resources, costs and timescales. Even if you don't have 'Project Manager' in your job title, in fact, we all manage projects.
Whether it's a new project or you need to get an existing one over the line - check out these tips we have put together with our customers to ensure your project is a success!
Establish 'SMART' goals
It is well known that establishing 'SMART' goals is a sensible framework for the success of any project. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. However, we are surprised how many projects do not have this in place, so don't fall into this trap.
Ensure you have a comprehensive brief
Time spent developing a brief is time well spent. 'Scope creep' kills many projects and is the undoing of many projects. You are well-advised to develop a comprehensive brief that includes what is and what is not included in the project.
Get buy-in at all levels
You need buy-in from the key stakeholders for success. Financial approval is of course paramount but also don't forget to involve the heads of departments that are tangential to the project but are also touched or impacted by it. This ensures there are no surprises and oils the wheels for success.
Agree on resources, roles and responsibilities
It is really beneficial to establish a structured project team so that all the major players understand what is expected of them. Roles and responsibilities need to be made clear and the frequency and method of reporting established. Unless the team is fully defined and they understand how they will work together your project has little chance of success.
You need to monitor progress along the way and you can only do this if you have established set milestones throughout the project. These should be in small increments or 'baby steps'. This will give you the chance to make small changes to bring your project back on track if it wavers.
A dedicated project lead is key
Having a dedicated project lead is critical. This individual will be all over the project and key in managing the resources and monitoring progress. This person needs authority over the project and team members and needs sponsorship by a 'C' level stakeholder to enable corrective actions to be implemented.
Measure, measure, measure
Measuring progress against the set goals is paramount for success. Continual measurement will ensure the project is progressing towards the goals and any corrective action needed is identified early. Ensure structured reporting is put in place as part of the project framework.
The mantra for the project is continuous review. Not just a review against the project objectives, but a 360 review to include how the team is working together, is everybody delivering their part, as let's face it, it is the people that will make the project a success.
Do not underestimate the size of the communication job you have on your hands. To senior stakeholders, across the different departments, across the team, across the users, across the business, the goals, the progress, the benefits, and the ROI the task is significant but essential.
Broadcast the benefits and celebrate!
You and the team have committed many hours and much blood, sweat and tears in this endeavour and let's face it, no one will notice unless you tell them. Broadcast your and your team's success and celebrate, don't let all the effort devoted to the project go unnoticed!
I hope these tips help you deliver your best project yet!