Avoid Project Management Pitfalls: 6 Best Practices for Best Teamwork, Tracking and Accountability
Best practices for Project Management involve developing the best team and keeping everyone involved in a positive and effective fashion. Here are some questions and lessons learned to keep in mind as you manage your critical projects:
1. Set the tone to answer: “Why are we here?”
Start with getting the team on the same page. What are we trying to solve? What do we know about it? What are the contributing factors and subsequent repercussions? What is our deadline? Don’t assume everyone knows all the details and purpose of the project.
2. Avoid “campfire talk”
Give your team time to digest project information before seeking proposed solutions. Too many times an entire group tries to think on the fly and the meeting ends up being what can be called “campfire talk.” Sure it’s fun to sit around and bounce ideas off of each other — but if nothing of value and no action items come out of it, what have you accomplished? Only campfire talk. When people have time to formulate their own ideas and speak intelligently, the odds of a productive meeting increase exponentially.
3. Keep everyone on track
Tracking and accountability are crucial. Have the milestones been met? Is everything working? Is the level of quality as expected? If not, why not and what can be done to recover? Be well aware of risks, watch for them and be prepared to address them.
4. Communication is key
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Some surprises are fun; when they pertain to work projects, not so much. Communicate with all project participants and as earlier stated, make sure they’re all on the same page. There should not be any false assumptions about who’s doing what and when.
5. Get the right resources
Not every project can be completed internally. Where third-party resources are required, be sure to have them thoroughly vetted. A contract should be in place that contains the description of efforts, hours, costs, termination clause and performance expectations. There should also be a section that describes your recourse should the contractor not deliver per the agreement.
6. Use the best people
So much of a successful project comes right down to the people involved. Do they have the right skill set? Are they producing as needed? Can they play well with others?
Being able to work well with others is sometimes underrated. A team member who can’t tends to be disruptive and creates drama that can undermine a project in so many ways. Don’t wait for the project to lose traction and go awry; move that person off the team. Chances are, someone else is waiting for the opportunity to contribute.
Using all of these best practices on all of your projects will help you to deliver outstanding results and solid team efforts. Be sure to review the past Project Management blogs before starting your next project:
- Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Project Manager to Stay On Track, On Budget
- Project Management Checklist: 4 Ways to Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
- Project Management: How to Keep Control of Actual Project Costs and Avoid Scope Creep
- Stay Competitive Through Project Management: Impact, Results and Key Performance Indicators