10 strategies for punctual, budget-friendly project management
Projects often go over budget, take longer than expected, or outright fail. As a
project manager, what can you do to tip the scales toward success?
Project management can be compared to juggling, but instead of a few balls, you've
got a hundred (or more!) variables up in the air. Between the ever-changing business
environment, the vagaries of your company's procedures and requirements, and even
your management and users - who are real, unpredictable human beings as well as cogs
in this massive equation - it's almost a wonder that any project is completed on time
or under budget.
Many projects fall victim to cost overruns, prolonged delays, or outright failure.
So what's the secret to success? If you're looking for more effective ways to keep
your cool, plan ahead, and deliver more of your projects in a timely and cost-effective
manner, read on for some proven expert tips:
10 steps to a successful project
- Methodologies and standards: Laying the groundwork for a successfully delivered
project also requires clear standards and vocabulary that will be shared by the
entire team. This also makes it possible to introduce new members into the project
without a protracted delay as they learn the terminology.
- Defined roles: The foundation of a punctual, economical project is in its
groundwork. Defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member and the
communication strategies among the team as a whole can prevent massive problems
further down the line.
- Documented policies: As far as early blueprints go, it's important to set
out control measures and a system for auditing the progress, checkpoints, and risk
factors as you work toward project completion.
- Evaluation and approval: There are always great ideas floating around, but
which ones do you choose to execute? When you adopt a formalised system for assessing
proposals, projects that do move forward will have a better chance of success.
- Human resources: A project is only as strong as the people working on it,
so consider your team wisely - both in hiring and in appointing them to positions
that suit their skills and capabilities.
- Goals: Does every team member understand the project's overall objectives?
Do you set smaller targets for individuals or based on incremental time frames,
such as weekly or monthly goals? Clearly defining the goals of your project will
more effectively motivate and direct your team.
- Control: Lack of control over a project's scope or budget is one of the surest
predictors of trouble ahead. Even small changes in the timeline, scope, or details
of a project can spell disaster unless they're carefully accommodated.
- Tracking: Do you know the status of every part of your project? Many businesses
don't, and are therefore unable to make the key decisions that will ensure success - and
prevent disaster. It's equally important to track your budget, deliverables, long-range
schedules, and weekly/monthly goals.
- Quantifiable results: Have your project objectives been met? Without measurements
and quantified results, you might never know! Only by examining thoroughly detailed
information can you accurately determine whether (and how effectively) all project
objectives have been met.
- Continual enhancement: Even in a successful project, there is always room
for enhancement. Top project managers are constantly investing in new technology,
learning and modeling systems and, most importantly, in people.
Businesses aren't always eager to embrace new approaches. If your company doesn't
already have a strong and stable project management model in place, some of these
steps can require monumental changes. Even so, there's no better way to ensure project
success and to achieve results on time and under budget - two accomplishments that
are sure to impress any team of executives or managers.
How can we help you? Email us at