Project success depends on how effectively project managers plan, monitor, and control the project. When the project managers strike the right balance between all these aspects, then it would pave way for a successful project, which means that the quality product is delivered on time and within the allocated budget. There have been many instances where projects have failed due to improper monitoring, planning and control mechanisms. To overcome these hurdles, companies must take advantage of effective project management methodologies and techniques. The list below outlines some of the best practices that can be followed by project managers to steer their projects towards success.
1. Defining the Scope, Budget, and Objectives
The first step of a project manager is to identify the objective of the project. Based on identified objectives, the project manager defines the scope of the project. The scope of a project outlines the work that needs to be performed by the project team members. The project scope clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of the team members. After defining the scope and objectives of the project, it is necessary that the project manager gets an official approval for it from the stakeholders or sponsors of the project. The other thing project managers must keep a track of is the allocated budget for the project. The project managers must ensure that the project is completed within the allocated project. If at any given point , the project manager feels that the allocated budget is not sufficient, then they have to report this issue to the stakeholders and top tier management officials.
2. Determining the Deliverables
As a project manager, it is very important that they have complete knowledge about the final deliverables. They should consider all aspects of the deliverable like quality, matching requirements specifications, and time. Project managers have to document all these requirements in a proper format so that it will be easy for the management team to ascertain that the project is in accordance with the quality and client specifications. This document must also be shared with the stakeholders or sponsors so that they have the accurate knowledge what is been delivered.
3. Effective Project Planning
Project planning defines what activities have to be performed by the team members. To develop an effective project plan it is important that the project managers divide the project into different phases. By doing this, it will be easy for project managers to keep a complete track of the project and also effectively monitor it. During project planning phase, it is important that the project manager specifies the time span for each activity assigned to each team member, and also they have to milestones. These milestones indicate critical dates during the project. The project plan must get an official approval from the key stakeholders.
4. Good Communication Mechanism
If an appropriate communication mechanism is not established within the team members and the stakeholders, then all project plans will be ineffective. So it is important that the project managers establish a good communication mechanism among their team members and also with the stakeholders. A good communication mechanism will ensure that the information is passed to all the team members and stakeholders. There have been may instances where projects have failed because of inappropriate communication medium. One of the main reason for a project failure was that there was a huge communication gap between the team members, project manager and stakeholders. So, it is important that the project managers employ a good communication medium to pass on the information to the team and stakeholders at the appropriate time.
5. Tracking and Reporting Project Progress
Once the project is underway , it is the responsibility of the project manager to keep a complete track of the project progress. The project manager has to monitor the project status by conducting team meeting on regular basis. The project manager must make a note of all the variations between the actual and planned schedule. The project managers have to report the variances to their superior officers and the stakeholders. The project manager has to ensure that the gap between the proposed schedule and the project progress doesn’t widen up, and must take corrective measures to fix the issue.
Listed above are the best practices that a project manager must follow to ensure that the project is completed and delivered successfully. Though these best practices do not guarantee that the project will be a hundred percent success, but by following these practices there is a better chance of success.
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