Project management

Project Management Best Practices | TechRepublic


Jack Wallen outlines his project management best practices to keep your teams running smoothly.


Project management can be one of the best things you can do for your team. You may be able to do without project management if your business is smaller and your projects simple and minimal, but once you start growing or your projects become more and more complex, you will have to depend on project management. projects to move your teams forward. .

SEE: Recruitment Kit: Project Manager (TechRepublic Premium)

When you first dive into the world of project management, you should do so with a solid plan, an understanding of how it works, and the use of some easy-to-apply best practices. That’s exactly what I want to focus on today: some best practices that can help your project management get started.

Project Management Best Practices

Start with a plan

Project management is about making sure your plans are implemented as well as possible, but if you go into project management without having a plan first, it doesn’t matter what project management tool you use – or how you use it. Without a good plan, you’re going to struggle.

Before you even build your project within a project management platform, you need to establish a fully realized plan of what the project is, what it is for, how far you plan to take it beyond from the initial delivery date, what the goals are, and how the project will benefit your business and your customers. Without a workable plan, the whole process will be a tedious job.

Communicate regularly with key stakeholders

Nothing helps a project run effectively like good communication. Configure all the tools necessary to maintain communication between your teams. Regardless of the software, it’s critical that everyone on your team be encouraged to keep the lines of communication open between themselves, management, and stakeholders.

Communication may be through a chat server, email, forum or other type of platform as long as these communication channels remain open. Project managers also need to be reachable and always in touch with stakeholders without appearing to micromanage.

Document your resources

Resources can mean team members, servers, meeting rooms, bandwidth and more. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have unlimited resources and managing what you have can be key to your project’s success.

With solid resource documentation, you’ll always have an idea of ​​what’s being used, how it’s being used, and how to use it more effectively. You should also create a resource plan so you know exactly how everything will be used during the project lifecycle.

Monitor workload

The last thing you need is to overload some team members or your team as a whole. You and your project managers should always keep a close eye on your project workload. When you find that a team member or team is overstretched, it’s time to distribute tasks to avoid burnout. The second someone burns out, they become ineffective for the project. By monitoring these workloads, you can avoid such an eventuality.

Use risk management

Risk is everywhere, and it takes a lot of effort to manage it. Using risk management means you can prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. To manage risks successfully, you must design a risk response team, identify all possible risks involved, perform a risk analysis, assign owners to each risk, and be prepared to take the necessary actions to address each risk. as it appears.

Prevent scope creep

It will be tempting at some point in your project life cycle to go beyond your project boundaries. You might discover along the way that a new feature might be needed. However, you didn’t plan for this feature, and trying to add it at this point could send the whole project into a tailspin.

Instead of adding this new feature mid-stream, think of it as a feature for a new release of the project or an add-on that can be created after the project ships. Stick to the original plan so it can run smoothly.

Hold regular but brief meetings

Consider having weekly or daily stand-up meetings so that everyone is always on the same page. These meetings should be brief and to the point. Don’t get off topic and hold your stakeholders up for long, or they’ll come to view these meetings as awkward. Come in, say what you have to say, let others chime in and get out. That’s it.

Keep complete documentation

One thing that I have always found missing is the documentation. This is a big mistake. Not only should you keep well-designed documentation for everything you build, but you should also keep thorough documentation for the project as a whole. Note who is doing what, what languages ​​are used, and just about every other aspect of the project you can. The more documentation you keep, the more efficiently the project will run and the more you will be able to repeat a successful project if you need to.

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