How To Set Realistic Expectations For A Project

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Project managers have a hard task in setting realistic expectations for a project because they all want it to be a success at the end. The following are a few ways in which the leader and his team can set realistic expectations for the project.

Involve all stakeholders in the planning stage

At the planning stage, the stakeholders need to be involved as well so that they clearly define what their expectations are. Involving the stakeholders ensures that the team members do not set unrealistic goals that cannot be managed. Once they know what the stakeholders expect, they can be able to set their own expectations within the scope of that of the stakeholders. This is the time to let everyone speak their mind because once the project gets going, it may be hard to change some things.

Good communication

Communicating constantly with the team members during the project work will ensure that they know what is expected of them, thus set realistic goals to help them keep their focus throughout the project work. Lack of communication results to the team members making their own goals which in most cases are unrealistic because they are not aware of what they are expected to do. Keeping good communication with the clients enables the team working on a project to know of their expectations and then they will make realistic goals thereafter.

Set realistic timelines

Everyone wants to finish the project as soon as possible having achieved all the goals set out in the project plan. However, having unrealistic deadlines will only pressure the team and subsequently they will do a hurriedly and shoddy work. Therefore, timelines and deadlines should be set realistically so that the different teams working on the same project can set realistic expectations as well. This way, they will complete the project on time or even sooner and it will be a great success.

Keep track of the project

Tracking the project ensures that the leader sets out realistic expectation depending on how the work is progressing. This ensures that the team members know their small successes and failures while working for the project and they will set out to improve on the same.
The stakeholders may also remind the project manager of their expectations and the team members will adhere to these. They will set expectations for themselves in line with those of the manager and the stakeholders, and eventually they will have a successful project.

Identify potential risks and challenges

At the planning stage and as the project work progresses, identifying potential obstacles and risks will help in setting realistic expectations. The team members should know that problems will always arise and that they should solve them as soon as possible. In the planning stage, it will be easy to predict some of the problems that may arise in future and set countermeasures for them. This way, they will not expect the project to run smoothly and perfectly hence will set realistic expectations. In case a problem arises, they will know how to handle it without wasting too much time on it.

How To Keep Discipline In A Large Team Working On A Project

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A large team consists of many members that can be very difficult to manage in maintaining a high level of discipline and ethics. However, it is not impossible and the following are some of the ways that the discipline of a large team can be maintained.

Get the right people to work with

The first and most important aspect is to recruit the right members who are up to the task of working on the particular project. Their qualifications and experience are quite important because they will know exactly what they are expected to do. Therefore, they will be focused and not waste time in other irrelevant matters. Therefore, their discipline will be of the highest standard and maintaining it will not be a problem.

Build and nurture the team

The team leader must have a dynamic understanding of each member of the group. This way, they get to learn the development of the team and how they work and develop high leveled skills that they use to build and sustain the group. A good rapport will subsequently develop and the members will respect their team leader and other members of the team as well. Respect goes hand in hand with good discipline.

Have clear set out rules

After getting the right people and building the team, a clear set of rules to govern the project is necessary. The team players must be aware of these rules and the consequences which will accrue if they do not adhere to them. This will maintain a high level of discipline between the members and they will work efficiently.

Constant meetings

The team manager must meet the team members frequently to discuss matters concerning the project and to remind them of the goals and objectives of the project. Meetings also help the leader interact with the members and encourage them to come up with new ideas to be incorporated into the project. This makes the members embrace the project and set their minds to put in their best foot forward. Therefore, with mindset goals, chances of drifting away from the project and not doing what is required of them will be minimal.

Collaboration in planning and decision-making

Planning and decision-making should involve all the members of the team so that they also share their thoughts on certain matters. Giving the team feedback also helps them in knowing how they are progressing in their work. This way, they will not wander off from the project work and start engaging themselves in other activities that would lead to indiscipline.

Establish a standard methodology

With a large team, the manager will most likely group the members into smaller teams for effective management. In doing this, the leader must establish a standard system of how all the small teams will work consecutively without veering off from the project. This way, the members will maintain discipline in that they will adopt these standards in their small groups and it will help them work effectively with other members of the team.

Technology Makes Project Work Easier – Here Is How

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In any business, small or large, in the modern world, information technology has become a necessity. It is quite important to manage the business wisely and to know how to conduct the business. This is because of the increasing competition from other businesses in all angles. The success of the business depends on many factors and these include information technology to help the project manager and his teams to improve their productivity for the project to be completed on time and within the budget.

Here is how information technology assists in the running of a project

1. Effective planning of the project

Planning at the onset of the project is the most important part of project management. This is because at the stage, the manager wants to set the goals for the project, seek resources for the project and allocate the funds effectively. This is not an easy task but with information technology, the manager’s work can be eased because the software can help in estimating the resources needed and allocate the funds to different departments of the work.

2. Good communication

Efficient communication is very important in every project work between the manager and his members and between the members as well. It can therefore be difficult and time wasting to meet physically to discuss issues, which could be discussed in another platform without necessarily having to meet.
Information technology provides this platform and the project manager is able to communicate to his members to give them instructions or when something new comes up. The members are also able to share innovations with the members and implement them to improve the project work.

3. Organization of documents and files

Projects generate data, large files and documents in the course of the work and they can become quite cumbersome to handle and manage as the work progresses. Information technology helps you to organize the files efficiently such that you can access them faster. The technology also helps you to access the files from any devise and not only the desktop at your workplace. Therefore, if you need to send any file, it is possible to do so even at the comfort of your home.

4. Tracking progress of project

It is important to keep track of the project to identify the challenges it is facing and addressing these issues as soon as possible. Tracking also helps the manager to always have a report to present to internal and external stakeholders when they ask for the progress of the project. Information technology helps in tracking the project from time to time.

5. Time management

Time is a very important element in project work. All the teams and individuals working on the project have to keep up with deadlines and finish the project on time. Information technology makes this possible because things can be done much faster without having to do the work manually. It also helps them keep track of what the aim of their work is. Consequently, the project is completed on time or even sooner.

8 Reasons Why You Need Good People More Than You Need Software

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Project management software is good and essential in very many ways and it reduces costs with managing complex matters at the workplace.

It is not enough as you still need human resources to do various tasks as well

• Planning
The project management software is effective but in planning for the project, you need the input of the team members as the software cannot do everything for you. The team needs to set out clear goals and define them before they embark to work on the project. Therefore, in planning, human resource is required. You should involve at least the team leaders of every team. If you like, you can listen to the input of everyone who will be working on the project.
• Estimating budget
The budget estimation that will be made in due consideration of several factors, including risks and challenges that the projects may face will need human resource in order to make these decisions. The software does not make decisions but only facilitates these decisions. Therefore, human input is highly required for financial planning. The software can only calculate using whatever data you feed it. Thus, you need to involve the right people to create a budget for the project.
• Recruitment of employees
The qualifications for the employees needed to undertake the project work can only be decided using human resource. The software may only help in organizing the qualifications in accordance to the persons, but the final decision lines with the team manager.
• Assigning tasks
The assigning of various tasks to be done during the project can only be done by the person in charge of the project. Project management software in this case cannot be of much help hence human resource is required.
• Managing the team
The team management cannot be done through software. It only aids the team manager in carrying out their duties diligently and timely. Therefore, for the team to be properly managed, human resource cannot be avoided.
• Team work
The team is comprised of people who work together in order to achieve the purposes and objectives of the projects. The team cannot be comprised of management software only. The software helps the team members to do their work comfortably and easily. However, the actual work is done by the team members. This is a clear indication that human resource is highly needed.
• Someone to operate the software
The project management software needs someone who is competent in IT to operate it and even integrate it within the network infrastructure of the organization. The software cannot run on its own, it requires human resource to manage it for it to be effective to the project.
• Innovations and new ideas
The software cannot think of new ideas in the project. Human resource is required for new innovations to be brought up during the project. The team members need to think and brainstorm each other in order to come up with new ideas that can be useful to the project. Human resource is necessary.

Why Poor Planning Can Lead To Project Failure

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Poor planning in project management is the number one mistake that leads to project failure. If something does not start right, it would be delusional to think that it will end right.

The results of poor planning are discussed below

1. Poor time management

Poor planning means that the schedule that the team members are supposed to follow is not set out. The members will have no clear picture of what is expected of them as they work on the projects. There will be no deadlines to meet hence creating a lazy atmosphere among the team members. This means that the project will not be completed on time and the result will be a shoddily done work.

2. Poor clear definitions of project’s objectives

The aim of the project is set out at the onset of planning for the project. Therefore, if the planning is not at done right, the team members will not know what exactly they are working on and this will make them not to work efficiently for the project. Their productivity and output will be very low, leading to the failure of the project.

3. Budget not set out

At the planning stage, the budget that is required for the project and the means in which the funds will be sort is set out. Poor planning will result to the budget being left out of the projects main agenda. Additionally, the estimation of the funds that will be used is not made due to poor planning. This means that funds will be misused and wasted. The completion of the project will record tremendous losses and the project will have failed.

4. Dissatisfied customers

Poor planning of a project will not meet the expectations of the customers. They will be dissatisfied with the work that has been done and they will not consider the business for any job in the future. This will be a huge loss of business for the company or organization. The project will have failed in establishing good relations with potential clients.

5. Lack of support from stakeholders

The stakeholders usually have expectations from a presentation of the plan of the project to be worked on. If the planning is poor, the stakeholders will not support the project as they will have different expectations, which will be negative. People who intended to sponsor the project may not do so because they do not have a clear picture of what they are sponsoring.

6. Failing to plan exposes the project to unpredicted high risks and problems

This leads to time wastage in trying to figure out how to solve the challenges that the project faces. Time is money hence the funds of the project will be used in solving the issues that arise from the project due to poor planning. Subsequently, the project will be destined for failure.
The people assigned to do various tasks on the project may not be the ones suitable for that because the planning was poorly done. This limits the members from fully exploiting their full potential hence the project fails.