Managing a project will turn into a slippery slope if your organization doesn’t have a solid grip on all the moving places. The fact cannot be denied that project management is a complex discipline and this is quite obvious as there are a number of phases, knowledge areas, and project management related terms.
There are many reasons behind a project failure – unrealistic expectations, inadequate resources, untrained team members, poor project management and so on…
All these things can be avoided by adopting effective practices, project management software, and techniques.
Being good at managing projects is usually about following project management best practices. These “project management best practices” are usually derived from project management methodologies, international standards, industry conventions etc.
These practices vary from organization to organization, however few of them exists that is applicable to every organization and can improve the project performance.
12 Effective Project Management Best Practices
1. Plan An Initial Kick-Off Meeting
Holding a project Kick-off meeting will be beneficial as these will align all the associated stakeholders with the project goals. This is the best time to keep up with the expectations of all those who have a stake in the project. It is advantageous to undertake this meeting as soon as possible and communicate with the team members the smaller tasks and assignments before they take a bigger leap.
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2. Plan And Document Everything Possible
Plan the project scope and objective. Clearly explain everything to the team members and document it so that it can be used in future projects if applicable. Define who will be responsible for which tasks. A detailed project document management is the essence of successful project management. Don’t forget to define the upfront procedures so that your team members are aware of what to expect and what is expected out of them.
3. Prepare A Full-Proof Work Plan
A work plan contains a schedule and is a critical document to meeting deadlines and milestones. It is an important document as it serves as a reference guide for team members while accomplishing a particular task.
4. Document The Evidence
Documentation is a good habit because when something goes wrong it will be easier to trace the source of the problem and if the same thing happens in the future we have everything documented which will help resolve the issue easily. Also if due to some circumstances any member leaves the project in between the new member can refer to these documents and know what is done, what is happening currently, and what needs to be done.
5. Communicate Effectively
One of the project management best practices is to communicate effectively with the team members. Their roles and responsibilities, deadlines, and milestones need to be shared with them properly to avoid misunderstanding due to lack of communication.
6. Track Project Progress
Monitor the progress made by every team member and guide them appropriately. Continuously track the progress reports and record the difference between the actual and planned cost. Manage the budget and timelines as these can hamper project management success. Take these factors under consideration and adjust the plan accordingly.
7. Check Warning Signs
Look for signs that might cause a problem with the project. These signs can be a variance in schedule or budget, a decline in team morale, or deterioration in the quality of deliverables.
8. Resolves Issues As They Come Up
Some issues if not properly taken care of can become huge and affect the project completion severely. Hence it is the project manager’s responsibility to resolve the issue at its onset.
9. Create A Risk Response Team
Things can and most often go wrong. A key resource drops out, stakeholders pulling up funding, or an important tech component breaks. A project management best practice in this situation is to have a risk response team. The team should comprise of experienced professionals who have a wide range of experience in planning, controlling, and managing risks in the projects.
10. Build A Powerful Team To Take Care Of The Repetitive Task
In most of the project, there are certain series of task that needs to be performed on regular basis. Project Management best practice is to create a “super team” of experts who are experts in performing a specific repetitive task. This team will not be associated with a single project or team instead they will move from project to project performing just the target task.
11. Consolidate All Project Related Information In One Place
Having all the project related information consolidated in one place can help you leverage this past knowledge to deal with future issues. Everyone that is associated with the project should be able to access this information freely. This can be a powerful resource for future project, hence to keep it up to date should be the topmost priority.
12. Practice Empathy
Last but not the least, Empathize with your clients, your team members, and the end users. Understand their needs, problems, and challenges.
There are infinite other project management best practices, in fact, you might already use some of them. Some may benefit your organization while others may not. The best thing you can do is track your own project management best practices, adopt and test new ones. Think out of the box and keep motivating your team to perform better. Celebrate the important milestone as this make your team member feel that their hard work is being appreciated. Share what you know, Continue exchanging insights and enjoy working.