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25 Project Management Tips

By: | Date: 26 May 2014

25 Project Management Tips New article

Develop a team consensus on the nature of the problem. Otherwise, you can develop the right solution to the wrong problem or wind up with paralyzing bickering about goals. 

Remember and follow the mission statement throughout the course of the project. 

Develop a project strategy that will meet all project objectives. 

Check back periodically to make sure the project stays within the original scope of work. 

Determine milestones and benchmarks: the desired outcome, obstacles to achieving it, guidelines that will let you know you have achieved the desired result. 
Get buy-in from all stakeholders on a project to avoid running into conflicts of interest later on. 

Choose the right people for the project team—people who bring insights and information to the effort, not only available to work on the team. 

Work as a team. If all members of a team operate individually, the end product will be as disjointed as the team was. 

Be realistic about the number of projects your organization can undertake and the goals set. 

Plan the project by answering questions: what must be done, by whom, for how much, how, when, etc. 

Brainstorm solution options, then choose the most suitable choice based on parameters set early on (e.g., based on cost, time, goals). 

Negotiate for scarce resources. 

Have a deliverable at each major project milestone so that progress can be measured more easily. 

Qualify estimates, specifying any factors that might affect their validity. 

Don't schedule any task with a duration greater than four to six weeks—subdivide longer tasks to monitor progress. 

Continually ask questions. The more you ask, the more you'll discover how to solve problems or uncover issues about what's needed versus what's been defined. 

Avoid the temptation to perfect everything—that's what the next generation product or service is all about. 

Keep float or extra time in reserve in case of unexpected problems or bad estimates. 

Do whatever you can to keep critical tasks on schedule-a slip up here can stall the entire project. 

Be alert to roadblocks and be very pro-active, not reactive, to help project members complete their tasks. 

Consider co-locating team members on critical tasks so that they aren't constantly being pulled off to do other jobs.
Identify team members who will champion various parts of the project management process. 

Don't let project members wait until the latest possible start time to begin tasks. Then, when problems occur, there is no float left and they wind up missing the end take. 

Remember the Triple Constraint: to complete the project at cost, on time, and in keeping with the scope set and customer expectations. 

Do a post mortem review of projects—review both group dynamics and task implementation.

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