Planning and Monitoring/Controlling a project is so paramount in meeting Project Targets. In this article we are going to work through ten ways to effectively meet Project Targets. Planning though seemingly a minor phase dictates the direction and sets the pace for the entire project’s success.
1. Develop a Project Charter Document and get sign-offs. A Project Charter is a high-level document that explains the project requirements, scope, and key deliverables. Production of this document is the number one way to promote project success. It is impossible to keep a project on target when there is no defined and agreed upon target. The Project Charter document helps the team and stakeholders develop a common understanding of the project.
2. Have one high-level Project Sponsor or Project Champion identified. The sponsor will be the champion for the project effort, providing the enthusiasm for the project and its benefits that will drive progress forward.
3. Draw up your WBS (Work Breakdown Structure).How do you eat an elephant? By cutting it into different part(no pun intended) Rather than having one massively big distant target, try creating several smaller and more easily-defined targets to be attained as the project progresses. Identify all the work in phases that need to be carried out to completely finish the project successfully.
4. Be proactive about identifying risk and preventing it. It is one thing to simply identify potential risks to the project and another to actively work to prevent them. Always have risk quantified in view of probability of occurrence with plans setup on how to tackle it.
5. How much will the project really cost Be sure to plan and estimate cost building in contingencies to capture ‘unknown unknowns’ in your project. How many Human resources will you need, will you be procuring from vendors, contractors etc.
6. Have a change control procedure and use it. This strategy prevents a target from moving without first analyzing it, logging it, and agreeing to move it by all affected stakeholders. Have templates that you can reuse readily available for similar future projects to serve as lessons learned.
7. Make sure everyone(Key stakeholders) are on the same page as regards to Project Status. Don’t keep stakeholders in the dark as regards to what is going on, as much as possible for key project influencers let them have a weekly status report, issues log reports for the week etc
8. Keep a close watch on the Project’s critical path. On the critical path to the target, certain delayed tasks will delay the end date of the project. Many project scheduling tools can highlight these tasks, which form the critical path. Critical path tasks should be assigned to the most trusted team members. Always identify who is working on the critical path tasks and help them accomplish it faster with help from other team members
9. Motivate your team. Projects are typically carried out by people. Use team building activities like picnics, golfing ,swimming etc to make them bond. Try and motivate them as a project manager. Incorporate rewards into the lifecycle of the project.
In closing do you have any other strategies we haven’t discussed here? Do tell and share!
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