The start of a new job can be a nerve-wrecking time. You look for every opportunity to display your strengths/talents and hide flaws at all costs. And when you’re finally assigned your first individual project, it’s like receiving a stamp of approval. But with a new project in hand, the pressure to deliver is palpable!
Here are some tips about project management to keep in mind before starting any project:
1. Know The Objective:
When taking on a new project, it’s very important to know all the details pertaining its scope. You should find out what the company’s objective regarding that project is. Find out the budget allocated for it and what the important deadlines are. If there are any special protocols involved then you must know them. If you’re not clear on the details, like timeline and available resources, don’t hesitate in having another discussion with your boss.
2. Get A Team:
The best project are the ones done as team. Before bringing more people on board, make a list of all the tasks and the kind of expertise required for each. Bring in people whose skills suit the project but don’t overcrowd. If there are too many people, you’ll be forever reading reports and trying to resolve issues within the team. So look carefully into the expertise and personalities of the candidates. Don’t hire someone who isn’t a team player.
3. Set Up Structure:
Once you’ve hired your team, you have to set up a project structure. Short-term goals, long-term milestones, deadlines and timelines – create it all. Most people just set an end goal and timeline, but that is not enough to gauge the success or failure of your project until it’s too late. If tasks are being done and deadlines finished then you’ll know your project is headed in the right direction. In the absence of small milestones, there will be little structure with which to determine your project’s progress.
4. Assign Responsibilities:
This is very important. Don’t let it become high school all over again; one person does all the work and everyone else takes credit. Let it be team effort. Make sure everyone is doing their job and also helping other members of the team. However, remember that your job is to manage your team, not micromanage them! Give them enough breathing space to be creative and trust their judgement. When you boss assigned you the project, they didn’t just want it completed. Rather, they also wanted to see what kind of a project manager (or boss) you’d make. The process is as important as the end result.
5. Don’t Falter Till The End:
It’s easy to start a project with great zeal but keeping up the momentum till the end is hard. The most important thing is to never let go of the structure. Don’t give up on the standard operating procedures. Don’t let the daily report get replaced by a quick text. Keep everything documented. Once the project is over, go over your records and see what went wrong and what worked. Get feedback from each team member and from you boss. Without it, there really isn’t any way to make the next project better.