ExecutiveChronicles.com | 7 Key Tips for Managing Big Projects | Managing a project from start to finish is not a job for the faint of heart.
When it comes to IT-based projects, you’ll find that 48% are completed, but don’t actually meet their own functional requirements. Also, 23% of projects are outright abandoned when it came time for their execution. Well, that’s disheartening, to say the least.
But, that doesn’t need to be your project’s fate. By implementing a variety of strategies, you can mitigate your big projects’ risks, and increase your chances of success all in one go.
Keep on reading for our critical seven tips on how to not only manage big projects but also have them a pleasure to manage in the first place.
Big Projects 101: What Are Your Requirements?
The very first step should be printing a million copies of your essential initiation documentation, and ensure that you’re keeping up with the documentation as the project moves along.
This will help you place a bigger part of your focus on the clear-cut business requirements. Without following the original prompt of the whole project, you won’t be able to conduct a good-quality business analysis at varying stages of the project.
Besides, you’ll also want to confirm that you have a thorough understanding of the business requirements before beginning your work. After all, it’s ever-so-easy to let your customer needs to slip through the cracks, as well as your time.
Thus, to avoid all of those unpleasant consequences, you’ll want to convert your project’s business requirements into a process, instead of just filling out a random template or creating a separate document.
Moreover, you’ll want to take advantage of customer feedback throughout the process to make sure your project is going well and aligning with your business requirement through performing all the required traceability. In short, trace your scope, design, and testing requirements to confirm that you’re on the right track to success.
Set up Realistic Deadlines
We understand that you’re dreaming of finishing your project way ahead of schedule. However, without the ability to set realistic deadlines, which are heavily tied to your project’s requirement, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Once you’ve clearly defined your project’s requirements, as well as the scope of work, you’ll be able to gauge your project’s reasonable solution expectations and make it realistic.
Make sure you don’t overpromise. It’s always better to underpromise and overdeliver. You can also do an analysis of comparable projects and the assigned employee timesheet data. This way you can create realistic deadlines and estimates.
Furthermore, you’ll have to keep in mind that you might have to revise your deadlines or even amend your project’s solution designs as your project grows. You’ll want to keep the necessary resources to build and successfully deploy your project on hand, if not haggle for some extra resources just in case your project design requires more than your original estimates.
It’s all about being light on your feet and having enough flexibility to move with the punches. If your project faces changes (and it will) and you don’t address them on time and manage them correctly, they can cause your whole project to spin out of control.
Create the Right Team for the Job
If you don’t have the right team for your project on hand, your project is -almost- doomed right from the start. Starting a big project needs people who are qualified to handle the stress and the huge amounts of planning and execution required for the job.
In the simplest terms, pick competent staff who are rather good at teamwork and collaboration.
It’s critical to have effective communication channels on every level of your project.
You can start by ensuring that your product owners and your business analysts have good contact with the targeted customers, fully understand the customer’s needs, as well as apt at managing customer’s expectations of your project solution.
The second step would be establishing concrete communication between the members of your project team. Integrate frequent status meetings, as well as set some time aside for any team member who’s facing a specific problem that needs some extra brainpower to solve.
All of these actions will lead to better collaboration. However, make sure you’re not having too much of a good thing. You don’t want those swift check-ins to turn into day-long events.
Get Sponsor and Executive Support
Without having project sponsors and executives who are rather engaged and invested in the project’s success, then your project will be facing some problems, one way or another.
For instance, your team’s motivation can be tied directly to the amount of support they’re shown, or lack thereof. By having a solid sponsor and executive support in the wings, you’ll have an easier time identifying and mitigating risks in your projects.
In addition to having an easier time getting the right resources allocated, you’ll also be able to get all the skill sets you to need on your team.
Implement Effective Time Management Strategies
You can have the best employees on hand, as well as all the resources you need for your project. However, if you can’t manage your time, you’re project won’t be able to meet its own deadlines.
It’s always a good idea to try to save as much time as possible, and better allocate your time across your team members, so make sure you’re using this platform to help you nail down some of your wasted time: https://setapp.com/lifestyle/how-to-save-time.
Continuously Track Your Progress
For your project to flourish, you’ll want to track your progress through every milestone and conduct an analysis on how well your performing.
This way you can ask for extra resources if you need them, as well as implement necessary tweaks to your project as you go.
Unlocking Project Management Success
Big projects can bring a lot of stress to any person’s shoulders.
However, without manning and having big projects running in the background, what business is expected to grow?
We hope that our main seven strategies on how to properly manage a big project were of help to you. Just remember that there’s no perfect project, and you can always improve as you go.