Managing a project of any size can often feel like an uphill climb. Between tight deadlines, managing teams and working with stakeholders, projects can get off track, fast. The key to conquering the project management mountain is crafting a flexible, yet structured plan that breaks the project into attainable steps.
Like climbing a real mountain, it is important to set up at basecamp. Be sure that you begin with a thorough understanding of the task at hand. Ask questions to ensure that you are aware of all goals, milestones and resources needed.
When you have all the information available, choose a team that possesses the technical and soft skills necessary to properly execute the project. If you find that your team could brush-up on critical soft skills, request a free trial of Accel5, EBSCO’s newest corporate learning solution. Your team will have access to content on important topics such as leadership, designed to be consumed in under five minutes a day.
Now that you’re ready to begin the project, it is time to climb the project management mountain. Begin by creating an effective and efficient scheduling system.
The key to conquering the project management mountain is crafting a flexible, yet structured plan that breaks the project into attainable steps.
In a summary from the “HBR Guide to Project Management,” available exclusively from Accel5, the process of “timeboxing” is recommended to boost productivity. Timeboxing includes the following steps:
- Write out all tasks that must be completed within a time frame
- Estimate how long each item on the list will take
- Block off the time on calendars for each item
As the project continues, it is important that you take stock of your team’s progress. Use the information you receive during your regular team meetings to adjust the project as necessary. Be sure to communicate all changes to your stakeholders so they are kept “in the loop.”
Once you’ve reached the peak of the project management mountain and the project has been completed, it is time to descend. Use the completion of a project to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. In the business book summary, “10 Steps to Successful Project Management,” available on Accel5, author Lou Rusell recommends a follow-up meeting with team members and stakeholders. It is recommended that the facilitator is someone who was not involved in the project as they will have a fresh perspective and can offer new insight.
For a more thorough guide to project management, download EBSCO’s interactive e-brochure or request a free trial of Accel5 — which offers a variety of articles, summaries and videos on a variety of topics, including project management.