I’ve been successfully managing projects since past 15 years with little to no formal training in the same; a fact that I often use to inspire entrepreneurs-in-the-making.
What I’ve realized is that there are no textbook rules or hard-fast mantras to it, you just have to understand your team and your work well enough, rest all comes to you with experience.
So, here are some useful lessons that I’ve learnt along the way. I call them the building blocks of effective project management.
Managing projects will make you meet new kind of problems each day. Especially, if you belong to the IT sector, you never know what will go wrong and when, for which I suggest you to be as dynamic as possible. with your approach.
If you follow a fixed set of strategies to face each and every issue, you’ll soon start running into more problems than you originally had. Molding, adapting and changing your course of action according to the situation is inevitable for efficient project management.
For instance, you can take a look at our portfolio and the kind of projects we have done. They are all highly divergent business domains but I have been able to manage all of them as good as the other.
Micro-managing refers to when you are trying to manage an excel sheet rather than a human team. Numerical data points are important but being always adamant on them makes you lose out on your team’s efficiency and makes you seem like a dictator, while you are trying hard to be leader.
Allow yourself to move forward by creating a balance and give priority to the project’s overall progress, rather than enforcing extraneous detail.
A wise man once said that,
“Innovation is the key to success”
And I can’t agree more with this statement. You don’t have to be an innovator yourself for this but you have to provide a free playground for your team members to try out new things and see how it goes.
This will make the whole process much more interesting, side by side, keeping the window of opportunity open for truly amazing things to happen.
I constantly encourage my team members for new ideas as I know they can carve out things are beyond my conception, but yes, I can make sure that these ideas meet proper realization. That’s my job.
Let’s face it, you don’t have all the time in the world to finish the project, which makes your project something that is very urgent. Working with a sense of urgency in your team will make sure that milestones, checkpoints and routine tasks are carried out on time. It helps you get things done at a constant pace and allows your team members to subtly challenge themselves with deadlines.
After all, a deadline is a deadline.
It’s often said that, “a manager has an eye on every desk.” While this may feel drilling but in reality its very pragmatic. The manager acts as the center of gravity of the project and it is necessary that she is even from all of its points.
This can be achieved by being on-your-toes while you’re taking status reports from concerned employees. You don’t have to press anyone to complete more tasks in a day than they can but you have to make sure that you know how many they are completing.
A comprehensive knowledge of the ‘n’ number of things going on in the project will help you in planning ahead wisely. Also, this will help you stay on the top of the progress chart and handle it appropriately in case it starts to topple.
A lack of unabound communication between you and the team members could lead to disasters real quick. In a professional environment, communication is the only thing that doesn’t come naturally.
You have to try and create an atmosphere where people don’t find it difficult to communicate with each other and with you. Everyone should be able to chip in when a discussion is held. If challenges are being faced by certain employees for certain tasks, you should be the first one to know about them, or they will convert themselves into flaws in the project.
For this, I suggest:
Gamble is an irreplaceable aspect of project management but also something that comes at the last. You shouldn’t as much as obsess with risks but learn to take them when the need arises.
In my case, working on an enterprise level project with a concise team was a risk to start with, but in the end I was able to convert into success. Your scenario can and in most cases, will be different from mine, and I suggest you to calculate risks with utmost accuracy.
At the end, I’d like to say that everyone is shaped by their experiences and management is a practical art rather than a textual factsheet. I am sure that the above mentioned points will definitely help you at some points of life, if not all.
So, all the best and keep managing your team with prowess!
Chhavi is the Founder and Partner at Dikonia. She is passionate about delivering beyond expectations and crafting rewarding experiences. Her company provides innovative IT solutions including custom SaaS offerings that streamline workflow as well as development and design services in keeping with latest buying and market trends. Chhavi holds a Master of Computer Applications from Punjabi University.