If you work in project management then you will know that the ultimate goal of any project is to deliver it on time and within the planned budget.
Obviously this is a lot easier said than done. Even the most detailed project plan can be sent astray due to a wide variety of unforeseen factors. The most successful of project managers will be skilled problem solvers and risk managers, being able to deal with any obstacle thrown at them whilst still keeping the project on track and within its financial margins. Read on to discover our key advice for consistently hitting your deadlines and numbers:
- Make sure you are planning the RIGHT project. Do a cost analysis and ROI calculation. Make sure you are taking on projects that benefit your company and are aligned with your company’s strategy. A project must not only be successful for your customer but also has to be beneficial to your bottom line. If you’re unsure how to work out the true costs and profit margins of your projects then it could be worth investing in project management software, such as PJC, which will remove a lot of the time consuming number crunching.
- Plan and scope the whole project. Prepare for the unexpected and plan for uncertainty. Plan to evaluate how the project is running at certain points throughout its lifecycle so you know if you are on track. Take a snapshot of the time and resources used and see if this matches your plan. If it doesn’t then put a plan in place to manage the change. Identify smaller project milestones throughout the project’s lifecycle and work towards these smaller goals as well as the final project deadline.
- Having a prepared and skilled team. This is the basis for any successful project. Putting people in place with the correct expertise at the start of a project is a lot easier than panic hiring someone to fire-fight halfway through. The correct team might be more expensive, but that is always cheaper than the problems and risks involved with crisis management. Remember, you get what you pay for.
- Feedback and communication. Make sure you have systems in place to identify risks to the project early and before they escalate. Watch out for recurring problems which could signify a need to change your project planning template. Make sure there is an open and honest flow of information at all levels of the project so that problems aren’t buried and identified too late.
- Analyse and improve. Conduct a careful review, at the end of a project, to enable your next project plan to be even better. You can see where the risks occurred and plan for these in the future. Continuingly analysing and reviewing will mean your project management is consistently improving with every project.
The key to a successful project is having the correct resources, managing time effectively and being able to mitigate risk. The best way to manage all of these is to ensure you have defined systems and processes in place for managing your project throughout the whole lifecycle. Using a software such as PJC enables you to plan multiple projects to a standardized project template, take a snapshot of a projects finances at any point throughout its lifecycle and provides detailed financial analyses of a projects costs and revenue.
Find out more about PJC here.