As a project manager, your daily calendar is more than likely full to bursting with project planning goals.
You are relied upon by many people at all levels of the enterprise to deliver on projects.
Your time is limited and valuable – but there are ways that you can plan for strategic alignment and ensure quality outcomes.
Here are 10 tips for guidance:
Establish an EPMO
Project managers possess a powerful database of knowledge, skills and experience. If you haven’t already done so, you should discuss the benefits of setting up an EPMO (Enterprise Project Management Office) within your organization, with the purpose of ensuring that all areas within the business initiate only those projects that provide the organization with quantifiable benefits. These activities need be aligned directly to company-wide strategic objectives.
Wherever possible, work with management to establish key performance indicators in order to effectively communicate and measure important matters to the company.
Measure project success
Upon conclusion of each project, project managers and senior executives should quantify the success rates of projects in relation to company-wide objectives and identify any changes that need to be implemented in order for future projects to further propel the business. Planning is vital to avoid making the same mistakes again, in fact, it is estimated that as much as 70 percent of a project manager’s time should be spent on the planning phase.
Open up communications
Ask management to get involved with the creation of planning sessions. Use the sessions to transform the traditional PMO into a high-performing team that can deliver significant value. This will help to establish a shared vision – reducing the risk of missed objectives and misunderstandings, while boosting a projects’ chance of success.
Work on your personal qualities
Lead by example – aim to be trustworthy, transparent, objective, focused, energetic, motivational, consistent, flexible, accessible, clear, respectful and confident.
Re-assess team structure
If your project team is too large, break it down into smaller, more focused groups – this will make communications much easier to manage. Make sure that you send out formal communications on updates to the entire project team (or as applicable).
Get engaged first
As a project manager, you must be fully engaged, before you can expect stakeholder engagement. Always strive to remain transparent, provide timely communications, clarify individual team members roles, areas of responsibility and expectations.
Resolve problems quickly
If conflict arises, address it immediately and directly. Determine the root cause – and, whenever possible, provide opportunities for stakeholders to take part in the resolution – they will very likely take much swifter action if perceived as part of a solution, rather than as part the problem.
Plan your tools
Identify the tools, techniques and methodologies that will help to ensure project success – and make sure that it is done frequently. Make a note to regularly communicate the results and required actions with the project team, stakeholders and management – delegating responsibilities to appropriate parties. Always follow this up, to ensure that action was taken.
Check tool availability
During the initial stage of a project, make sure that all of the required internal or external tools are available in order to successfully execute the project. Don’t be tempted to skip this step – if you wait until you are part way through a project, and then discover that important resources aren’t available, this could change the outcome of a phase or even the entire project.
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