Project Tips from A Project Manager: A Guide to Ease and Efficiency
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to project management. Though no two projects are the same, there are a few tips and tricks you can carry over to make sure any project is executed well. If you can work through these, your team, clients – and budget – will thank you every time.
Tip #1: Know what you – and the client – want.
Is it a new website? A new TV concept? Or maybe a new suite of print work you've never done before? Whatever the project may be, defining a scope at the beginning of a new project allows you to clearly see what team members need to be involved and how best to resource for the project. At VI, we define the "scope" of a job as the defined parameters of a project - the who, what, where and how. This helps to keep the project on track and from incurring the dreaded "scope creep", which adds unexpected cost and time. The earlier a project manager has the full scope, the sooner you can communicate schedules and timelines to keep your team up to speed.
Tip #2: Stay on schedule
Schedules are a necessity for any project, but making sure they are accurate will make them even more critical. When building a schedule, ask yourself if there are any dates to be wary of – Any vacation dates for project stakeholders? Any major holidays when you have feedback due? Any specific milestone dates to be aware of? Asking these questions up-front will help you build most accurate schedule, and will make it easier to communicate (and follow!) for every team member.
Tip #3: Above all else – Communicate.
No matter if schedules go awry, the scope of the project changes, or you encounter Murphy’s Law, your best offense AND defense is communication. If you have clear and consistent communication with your team, no amount of curve balls will steer you off course. If time and budget allow, a weekly check-in meeting is a great place to ask and answer questions. At minimum a weekly email to you team will help keep everyone on task and on time for the best results.
Every project is different and none of them will be perfect. Remembering these three tips will help any project run more smoothly, and ultimately, help with your bottom line. Happy scheduling!