Eventually, your company will need to take on a major cross-functional project. When that time comes, you or one of your co-workers will need to work on becoming a project manager for your business.
Even if you have no intention of becoming a project manager full time, you’ll want to know how the most successful members of the field navigate the complexities of project management. It’s no easy task; if you have little experience managing a budget or delegating assignments, it can feel nearly impossible to accomplish anything, let alone finish the project on time and within its budget.
Just knowing the basics, however, can help get you started as you become a project manager for your company. Before you get started, be sure to read over some of our quick tips.
- Make Sure to Define the Scope of the Project
Although it probably sounds like a no-brainer, many new project managers fail to evaluate what they have and what they don’t have. Failing to do such a survey of the scene can doom the project from its start.
First, think about the basics: What do I need to accomplish and by what date does it need to be completed? Once you have answers to those high level questions, begin zooming in on the finer details. One question for which you absolutely need an answer is whether there is a budget and, if so, how much is it.
From there, you can begin contemplating how many people are assigned to the project, what their roles should be and who will be affected by the project. This last point is, arguably, one of the most important. You need to know who you should go to if a slip up occurs during the project or if you need to report a potential delay in its completion.
- Understand Each of Your Teammates’ Communication Styles Well
If a failure to define the scope of a project isn’t the number cause of a project’s failure, poor communication almost certainly is.
As a project manager, you’re going to be delegating information on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Doing so requires you to place a great deal of trust in the people you’re managing, since you’re ultimately responsible for any suboptimal outcomes. In this case, trust starts with exceptional communication.
Many assume good communication entails telling the teammate exactly what you want and how you want it done. But that’s not actually the case. Good communication starts with understanding how a person best receives and transmits communication. Some people prefer having instructions written down. Others are auditory learners, who need to speak with you directly before getting started.
During your first meeting with the team, hand out a survey to get a better feel for who each of them are. Try to understand their communication style as well as how they prefer to receive feedback. Using this information, you can begin structuring your one-on-one meeting with each teammate to ensure each of them are clear on their responsibilities and that they’re making adequate progress toward completion.
- Use Project Management Software
In almost every case, processes we once did on paper can now be done using software. Project management is no exception.
Essentially, project management software helps you monitor the indices you outlined when you defined the scope of the project. From the budget you set to the teammates you assigned to various tasks, a good project management tool can make sure you keep on top of any potential issues.
What, specifically, can project management software do? Perhaps most importantly, it can make sure you know whether the project remains profitable or not. You can quickly access insights into which project areas you’re likely to go over budget and which resources aren’t being effectively utilized. It’s the easiest way to detect troubling signs and respond accordingly.
If you’re a small or medium sized business, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central has project management capabilities worth exploring. With just a few clicks, you can access real-time insights into the status of your project as well as its level of profitability and resource utilization.
Contact us today for a free consultation!