If you have noticed that many projects in your organization take a long time to complete or go unfinished altogether, you may need to rethink your project management strategies. Project management has a reputation of being a midpoint between an art and a science. In other words, it hinges on implementing robust processes while promoting collaboration and communication between teams and individuals. Here are some ways that you can improve project management in your company and ultimately achieve greater success.
1. Establish the Purpose, Scope, and Goals of Your Projects
The old saying of "proper preparation prevents poor performance" rings true for project management. Therefore, before beginning any project, you should make a concerted effort to establish what you wish to achieve and how you plan on doing this. In the project management industry, this is known as a Statement of Work.
When planning your projects, you must not try to tackle every problem at the same time. Over-exerting yourself and attempting to get everything done at once is a sure-fire way of not getting close to your goals. Additionally, scope creep is one of the top issues in project execution.
A hallmark of successful project management is appropriately identifying specific issues you want to tackle. Once you've outlined the problem, you can then consider the best approach to solving it and the timescale and cost to execute. This clarity will allow you to plan more effectively, ultimately resulting in more successful projects.
2. Be Regimented With Your Time Frames and Budgets
The overarching goal of successful project management is to ensure that things get done promptly without going significantly over budget. Therefore, if you want to improve the success of projects, this should be at the forefront of your mind.
Aim for laser-like focus when planning projects. Consider the key performance indicators (KPIs) you'll use to assess your progress, your overall budget, and the time it will take to complete each step. If there are consecutive or concurrent steps, factor this in.
Lastly, estimate the overall raw materials, resources, and team members you will require to complete the project on time.
Ultimately, even the best-laid plans falter sometimes, but that doesn't mean it's not worth it to try and be as detailed as possible before starting a project. These details will help you and your team to track the progress of the project and ensure that everyone is aware of deadlines and upcoming work that needs doing.
3. Start Using Jira
Jira is a widely used tool in the IT industry. Initially developed as a tool for tracking bugs and features in software development, Jira is still practical for such purposes to this day. However, many companies now employ Jira to improve project management across various aspects of their operations. In fact, more than 50% of the use cases for Jira are not IT-related these days.
The tool has been widely adopted in some of the largest and most successful companies. For example, according to the developer Atlassian, 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies use the tool in their day-to-day project management.
Jira is a flexible tool with a myriad of flexible functionalities. Some of its primary use cases are as follows.
Many project managers use Jira to coordinate the efforts of team members to reach an overarching goal. Jira includes features adapted to improve task management, workflow estimations, logging, project reporting, and analytics. As a result, the software offers robust solutions for streamlining, optimizing, and automating project management tasks. Additional functionality such as automated emailing and assigning permissions to team members make many of the time-consuming processes associated with project management a thing of the past.
Also, the tool is a valuable asset for many software engineers and testers. Jira is ideally suited for backlog tracking and release planning and features a host of integrated developer tools. The software allows individuals to track bugs and set tasks for testing instances, enabling multiple testers to collaborate when ironing out software issues.
Check out this Jira tutorial to learn more about using Jira and implementing it in your project management strategy.
4. Assess Your Performance Once the Project is Complete
A critical element of improving project management in a company is to assess your performance after finishing a task. Reviewing your successes and pitfalls once you've completed the project allows you to determine whether you successfully reached your goals and how to improve your process next time.
When you debrief after completion, you should assess whether you managed to progress at the rate you planned for before starting or whether you needed to deviate significantly. Additionally, take a look at the financial cost of the project. Take another look at your budget and ascertain whether the actual expenses differed substantially from those you planned for.
Overall, an end-of-project debrief will enable you to determine which elements of your project management strategy worked correctly and contributed to your success. Don't shy away from where you didn't meet your goals. Failures are an excellent learning opportunity, so by analyzing where you didn't reach your goals, you can plan better in the future. This guide offers strategies you can employ to better learn from mistakes and failures.
Overall, a successful project management strategy is a cornerstone of any successful business. Regardless of your industry, developing robust processes to enable you to hit your goals and targets more effectively is a worthy endeavor. Through detailed planning, flexible thinking, and the implementation of specialist software, you can drastically improve the success and completion of projects you undertake.
Still need some help? Reach out to us today to learn how BLM Technologies can assist in project management, technical outsourcing, and more.