Project managers encounter challenges that influence the success of a project. The common challenges include mismanagement of project resources, failure to keep up with a project’s pace, and failure to meet a project’s deadlines and resources. A project’s success depends on project planning, proper work execution, and project evaluation. There isn’t a sure way to guarantee a project’s success. However, a project manager can manage different aspects of a project to ensure success. This article stipulates how you can increase productivity, improve quality, and gain greater profitability with these project management tips:
1. Define project scope
When executing a project, the first step is to understand the project’s scope. Project scope refers to the work that should be done to deliver a product according to the required features and functions. The project scope is common ground among stakeholders about what goes into a project and what project success is. A project’s scope contains the specifications stated in a project’s requirements. You should document the project scope in a scope statement, a critical part of every project plan. The scope statement is a written document that acts as a basis for major project decisions as project execution continues. Defining a project’s scope entails identifying the project’s goals, tasks, members, milestones, deadlines, and deliverables. A project’s scope should also highlight the limits of a project by detailing the specifics outside a project’s scope.
2. Set realistic timelines
Setting and keeping realistic timelines for a project is necessary to see that things are done within a certain duration. A major risk in project management is under-delivering, where you set tight deadlines. Failure to meet these deadlines would show incompetence. On the other hand, having loose deadlines could slow the project’s progress. Setting realistic timelines ensures that your team executes the project smoothly and effectively. Consider breaking down your project into sizeable chunks that dictate what should happen at every stage. Determine how long each step will take to have an idea of how long the project will take. It is important to factor in an allowance for delays to avoid frustration.
3. Use project management software
You can improve project management by embracing technology. Project management software is helpful as it helps one track tasks and see the progress of tasks against the entire project. You can see the different tasks related to the project’s progress and what changes you should make for effective results. Project management software allows you to account for four elements when doing projects:
A project’s scope refers to the size, goals, and requirements. The project management software bridges the set goals and the allocated budget. Any changes to the scope should reflect on project time, budget, and allocated resources.
In a project, resources refer to people, equipment, and materials. You should have the right number of skilled people working on tasks, procure the right material, and have the right equipment.
Time management is a crucial aspect of carrying out a project. You should list the tasks in chronological order and allocate the duration. One of the challenging tasks of time management is managing critical paths of the tasks with no flexibility. Consider using a time tracker for your project time management to ensure your project doesn’t go over budget.
Why use a time tracker in your software?
One challenge a project manager may face is the failure to monitor a project’s progress without micromanaging. Therefore, time tracking is essential for tracking your time on tasks and the entire project. The visibility that a time tracker offers helps you access your work progress and your work effectiveness. Also, a time tracker in addition to your project management software should allow team members to add time entries. After recording the time, the software should allow you to print reports for projects. A time tracker should also allow you to add time entries to individual tasks. The appropriate time-tracking app for you integrates with other parts of your project. Look for time trackers that integrate with project management software such as Jira.
Project tasks come with certain costs—both estimates and totaled. Often, there is a rift between estimated costs and actual costs, hence the room for a contingency allowance should the actual cost be higher than the cost estimate. Time tracking software is useful for calculating the profit that a project earns, based on estimated versus actual time spent.
4. Build a strong team
A project will only be as successful as the people working on it. Look for people with the specific skills necessary for project execution. The right project team should combine personalities and skills to complete tasks with minimum effort and maximum effectiveness. Some of the traits you need to look for in project team members are:
- Knowledge of project management methodologies
- Highly organized to be up to date to project scope
- Excellent communication skills
Even employees with the right skills might need training to operate effectively as team members. Therefore, consider investing in your team members’ professional development for the project’s overall benefit.
5. Communicate effectively
A project will run smoothly with effective communication – the project manager must communicate the requirements and decisions to the team members. You can establish effective communication during projects by holding regular meetings with team members to update them on project progress. Also, communication is necessary to send project reports to the stakeholders. You also get input from different team members that would be useful in project execution.
6. Monitor effectiveness
A project entails different parts that work together to create a final product. When one part of the project stalls, the project is affected at large. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor and evaluate a project’s progress. Monitoring allows you to identify any problems affecting the overall project outcome. Project monitoring entails analyzing the progress against the goals stated in the project scope. If there is any issue during project execution, you will spot it during monitoring and quickly be able to look for a solution.
Manage Your Project Time with Time Tracker
Incorporating the above project management tips will help you manage your project throughout the project life cycle. The tips are useful in the identification of any problem in project execution and finding an effective solution. Practicing these tips will impact your project execution process, improve collaboration, and ensure project success.
Are you managing a project and need time-tracking software? Time Tracker by eBillity offers easy-to-use software that you can use to track your time immediately to stay profitable this year. Sign up for a 14-day time tracker trial to see how the software will help you manage your project.