Being a manager in any project is a big responsibility. It is up to you to organize everything and make sure the team is on the right track. And while no two projects are alike, if you are just starting out as a project manager, there are a few things to note.
Keep on reading and find out the 4 key steps on making your project a success!
Raise the Right Goals
First and foremost, before you can start doing actual work on a project, you should have your priorities straight. For that, it is important you have clear goals to achieve during the time of the project. While this step may seem foolish as you have a very clear priority of finishing the project, it is important to understand there is more to your success.
To run a successful project, you not only have to deliver the end result, but manage a mix of variables along the way. You have to keep your team motivated, clients happy, deadlines reachable and most of all be flexible to accommodate any unplanned events. So before you set out on a project figure out how to ensure all the previous. And keep track of them once you start going.
Another important thing in the role of a project manager is managing expectations. When you are sitting down at the negotiations table it is easy to promise the world to your client, but we both know that is not the way to go. Instead, you should know what your team can surely accomplish, where they maybe able to stretch and what is an absolute no-no.
This way, you have some leeway with the clients, but are not promising things that cannot be delivered in the end. When setting client expectations it would be a good idea to take a page from the Agile mindset. Define the minimum viable product that the client absolutely needs and treat all the additional features as add-ons. This way you will focus on the essentials and deliver the rest as an added value.
Choose Your Tools
We all know the importance of having the right tools to do our job. Yet, we keep on making the mistake of working with what we got or even worse – choosing the tools that work for others. While using the same project management tools you used on previous projects may be just fine, it is important to understand that your list of necessities can change form project to project.
My advice – sit down with the team, discuss the project and decide what you will need in order to complete it. This way, you will know if your current tools will work or if you need to look elsewhere to meet the requirements. It may not be a crucial step in every project, but once you are in a situation where a tool is slowing down your project, you may regret not thinking ahead.
Do not be afraid to change course
The last tip I am going to leave you with is this. Things will happen, deadlines will be missed and circumstances will change. What you have to do is stay on your feet and be ready to change course when needed. In most cases it is almost impossible to plan out the whole project ahead of time and chances are you will not be that lucky to do so.
Instead, be ready to adapt and change your plans as needed. The sooner you do, the easier it will be and the happier all parties will be in the end.
There is no way to fully prepare for your first project. But if you keep your mind on these four tips, you will do just fine!