If your company is growing, then you must have new projects popping up. If it’s not growing, lack of innovation might be why. Either way, project management is essential for any business. It’s also a common question I get asked. I’m an ideas guy, and many entrepreneurs are that way as well. I hire people to execute the projects that I develop, but it’s important that I also know what is happening inside my company. Today’s blog post will cover how to supervise and how to manage new projects.
The Path of Project Management
Defining the goal in exact terms
The first step to accomplishing a project is to define the goal. You need to be as specific as possible when you do this. Consider questions like
- What do I want to accomplish overall?
- How will I measure success?
- How much time will this project take?
- Will I need to pull other staff members in on this project, and if so, how many?
- Why am I trying to achieve this goal or why is it necessary for my/my company’s success?
- How much will this project cost?
Asking these questions will create a solid foundation for work to begin.
Selecting key team members of the project
This includes a capable project manager and staff for each task. It’s important that you know the strengths and weaknesses of your team because that will make it easier to plug them into any project.
You want to be as clear with what you expect from staff as you were when you defined your goal. Make it clear who reports to who, what timeline you expect things to be done by, and the quality of the work you’re looking for.
Breaking the big job into manageable stages
How do you eat an elephant? The answer is piece by piece. You need to set up “task units” so that your staff can fully grasp not only the big idea of the project but how it will get done effectively. My team uses software called SmartSheets which allows you to break down projects by task units, set a deadline, and assign it to a member of your team. Once each stage is complete, you can move onto the next one.
Tracking the progress of the project
Depending on what your role is in your company, I encourage you to assign a project manager to the task. It is their responsibility to make sure everyone is on track with completing their task units, and they handle any of the personnel details. However, I like to keep an eye on big projects we have going on in our company, even though I’m not the project manager. Another reason I like SmartSheets is that I can see my team’s progress as they cross stuff off their list or add notes. Again, if you’re not the project manager, you don’t want to be getting into the nitty-gritty, but you do need to be tracking the progress.
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