To run a project effectively, you’ll need to manage multiple elements. These include the budget, the team, the materials needed, and the schedule you’ll keep. The circumstances are different for each project, and to give yourself the best chance for success you’ll need to figure out your game plan and the principles that will guide you before you start.
This is why having some project management principles is key to success. These are the guiding points that you can use to assess the project and ensure you’re staying on track and moving towards success. Here are six key factors to consider when determining your project management principles.
What Is the Scope?
Projects come in all shapes and sizes and can be broad, narrow, or anything in between. The scope mostly consists of the tasks that are being done during the project and how they’ll impact your business and your workforce as the project advances.
Knowing your project’s scope is key because it’ll help determine the priority of the project as well as the ideal management style. Is this a project key to the future of the business that should take priority, or is it a side project that can advance at its own pace with the time and team available?
What Is the Budget?
Knowing your resources before you begin is key to setting the project up for success. Every team would love an unlimited budget, of course, but particularly for small businesses, it’s important to be able to create a realistic plan with the funds available to the business.
A large budget can be an advantage in that it allows for higher-quality materials and lets businesses get more experimental and innovative. However, a lower budget often causes teams to focus their efforts on the immediate priority and leads to a lean and effective project. By determining your budget early, you’ll know the resources and workforce you have to work with.
What Is the Timeline?
In order to impress those the project is aimed for, be they company higher-ups, investors, or your customers, it’s important to deliver on what you promise. This is nowhere more important than in the timeline. You should always be striving to meet any deadlines you set for yourself.
A project being delayed can cause people to lose interest in it, but it can also cause bottlenecks in supply or production that will lead to further delays. The best way to avoid this is to determine key points in the project to check your schedule so you know you’re staying on target before the final delivery date.
Who is Involved?
It’s key to know who is involved with the project at every level. If you’re developing this project for a client or a company leader, their priorities and expectations will be at the forefront. Running a project is often balancing the priorities of multiple different investors or participants.
When putting your team together, make sure to understand the skills and strengths of your team – as well as anything that might be lacking. This will make it easier to strategize and ensure everyone on the team is in a job that suits them and not struggling with a potential bottleneck.
What Are the Goals?
One of the biggest pitfalls of managing major projects is that teams start working without having a clear picture in mind of where they’re going. Before you start, make sure you have goals and expectations for every stage of the project, and a focus on accountability.
You don’t want to only set long-term goals, because if they aren’t met your team will have lost a lot of time and resources. Goals should be realistic and achievable so that you can hit benchmarks at every stage of the process and keep your team motivated.
How is it Monitored?
In order to ensure accountability and consistency in your project, you’ll want to know how the project will be updated, tracked, and developed based on performance. This is why you may want to invest in software or project management apps that can place all the information you need in one location.
Once you’ve picked a project management tool to help you track progress, you’ll be able to adjust your management style and your accountability processes. These tools are intuitive and make it easy to organize large projects.
Manage Your Way to Success
Success in managing a project starts with covering all your bases. These simple areas will help you develop a project management strategy right for your project and team. Planning in advance can save time and money and set your team up for a strong finish.