This article is for those candidates who already are or about to step into the role of Project Manger and are looking at ways to improve or introduce new project management practices. This will be suited more in small sized company/startups which are in the phase of setting up processes and this can be incorporated in initial days.
If you have been recently given a promotion to a post of project manager, then following are some points which will help you in organizing your procedures in better way.
1) Understand the project well
I know its a cliché but Yes! Its very important as it is very important to understand as much detail as possible. If you are a new member to the team and have come in as a Project Manager, then put in efforts to understand the core of the project. Get well versed with the project as much as possible in initial days, as later you will be the one who will be making decisions on the project. Although it’s a known fact that with time you will understand it better.
2) Create a milestone list.
For every functionality change or a whole New feature, break it up into smaller tasks and allocate it time. Simple option to start will be creating a google sheet with the tasks mentioned and having a ‘start date’ and ‘expected completion date’, you can also have an ‘actual completion date’ to then measure the delay between expected vs actual.
This will also help you in future while giving estimates for similar tasks.
3) Allocating tasks.
While allocating tasks it would be sensible approach to give it to that resource who has either previously worked on it or on something similar to it. This will help you save up time on research and understanding of doability of that task.
4) Having a staging phase.
If your project is web based, you can create a staging site where you can place the functionality/feature for a review by the client. It’s always better to do tweaks if required at the staging level only rather than once is up live. Although again there will be chances of changes coming in after the code is live.
5) Keeping the client updated.
Let the client know about the progress of the project. Eg: start of the week you can send out the mail mentioning what all features/changes are picked up for the current week. Incase client is expecting some other feature it can be pointed out at the very beginning and necessary changes can be done to the schedule and estimates.
6) Creating documents per feature/change requests.
This can be a little boring/extra time consuming but always beneficial in long run. Create documents based on the discussion with client and get them approved. Share it with the team members so that all have the documented copy of the bigger picture. Team members can also update/comment the document which you can further discuss with the client and probably make a final copy of the document before proceeding.
7) Clear your doubts/queries as early as possible.
If you ever have a doubt on any task, get them cleared by the client as soon as possible. Never assume anything in a project. Also do not keep mailing very often to clients as that may annoy them. Best way would be clubbing up all queries and sending across, but yes do make a decision if you have a critical query, based on which you need to proceed and you are running short on time. In such a case it will be best to get it answered from the client right away.
That’s our two cents on Project Management for you!
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