Safety Net for Your Projects—For Greater Success!
Even in the best circumstances, managing software projects can prove to be difficult. As a project manager you must balance the constraints of shared/ limited resources, time, unachievable demands by unreasonable people and yes, expectations of all stakeholders. Project management encompasses the correct managing of technology, people, business modules, risk, finances and all kinds of expectations. It's typically a juggling act, which involves too many balls landing in the air at one given point of time.
Along with adequate management training, project planning and proper utilization of tools/ strategies; project managers like you require the assurance of safety nets for greater success. Take a look at some proven safety tips that promise higher turnover figures, more productivity and the proper application of tools that make challenging projects less daunting.
Laying the safety Net for your Projects:
The tips that follow can be categorized under the following heads and help in defining a well conceived PM control system that makes you deliver as per expectations:
Laying the ground work for result-oriented solutions and success.
Planning and outlining the project.
Estimating all work processes and tracking their progress.
Learning to tackle future issues.
Defining Project Success Criteria:
Along with the defining of clear and measurable goals, this safety tip demands a common understanding for all stakeholders, meeting of pre-determined schedules, outlining of specific success criteria, delivering committed functionality, satisfaction of customer acceptance tests, attainment of schedules/ budget targets, compliance with industry standards /government regulations, and so forth.
For this, it is important to keep a close eye on the job satisfaction levels of all team members, integrate ways of bringing about reduction in staff turnover rate, plan delivery in line with schedules and budgets, and more. In certain cases, you may have to take trade-off decisions for satisfying most important priorities. Without clear policies in place, team members can find themselves haggling with cross-purposes; thereby leading to frustration, stress, as well as reduced teamwork effectiveness.
Identification of Constraints, Project Drivers, Levels of Freedom:
Every project has to trigger off a correct balance between its functionality, schedules, staffing, costs, and quality objectives. These five project dimensions may act as constraints within the periphery of which you need to operate, or as drivers that help with project success. Additionally, these factors may also outline the stated bounds which demand varying levels of freedom. You need to have the right flexibility for reacting to demands for enhanced functionality, schedule slips, all associated realities and staff turnover issues. Flexibility diagrams, time schedules, cost drivers and other criteria take care of high-priority defects and help in the achievement of performance goals on target platforms.
Regardless of the criteria chosen, these factors should be documented, objectively measurable, realistic, and perfectly aligned to what "high quality" means to customers.
Negotiation of Achievable Commitments:
One of the biggest safety nets that you can spread for the success of your project is linked to making only those commitments that you can keep. Good faith negotiations with managers, customers and team members; especially with regards to realistically achievable goals, is a must and paves the path for lucrative negotiations. This fills the gaps between the functionality of key project stakeholders, prediction of future, and proper embodiment of project estimates.
Right Ways of Ensuring Project Success:
Remember, each project is different and has varied requirements and risks that can make the cause worthwhile. These specific projects require the right approach and all safety precautions in place to make relevant processes less cumbersome. Along with the tips mentioned above, you may also like to use the following to make your projects see the light of success:
Write down the plan.
Decompose all tasks into inch-pebble granularity.
Develop planning work-sheets for common large tasks.
Plan to rework only after evaluations and quality control activity.
Analyze, calculate and manage project risks.
Delegate and plan time for bringing improvements in processes.
Respect all part of the learning curve.
Base your estimates on efforts, not calendar time.
Build in training time within task schedules.
Record estimates and the ways in which you derived them.
Plan contingency buffers and use estimation tools.
Track your progress by recording all actuals and estimates.
Count tasks as completed only when they are 100 percent complete.
Track the status of your project openly and honestly.
Conduct project retrospectives in a constructive atmosphere; so as to learn for the future.
These project management tips may or may not guarantee success. However, they will definitely help you enjoy a solid handle on all projects and ensure your best efforts for making them succeed in an unpredictable world.
Author : Uma Daga