How A Project Manager Should Handle Mistakes

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In the process of executing a project, mistakes do happen. It is how the project manager deals with the mistakes that matters. It is said that prevention is better than cure. This is applicable in project management where early detection of mistakes would prevent failure of completion of a project or presenting one with so many errors.

Here are a few ways that a project manager can use to identify mistakes early and make correction before a project fails:

• Set realistic timelines
Each project has a completion date. The project is also divided into stages that also need to be completed within the set time. It is prudent for the project manager to set timelines that can be achieved. Make sure you allocate enough time to completion of the stages to avoid mistakes such as exclusion of important information.
• Research
Projects have tasks that are identified during the planning stage. Ensure that the team carries out research on the tasks allocated them so that they know what is required of them.
• Communicate
The project manager should ensure there is constant communication with the team on matters relating to the project. Hold regular meetings to know the status and the progress of the different parts of the project. Ensure to pass relevant information about the project to the teams. Communication will ensure that if problems arise at any stage, they are identified and solved with immediate effect.
• Carry out risk management
This is done at the start of the project. Identify factors that could pose a risk to the implementation of the project. It will help in responding to these factors and ensure the project runs smoothly.
• Make use of lists
As mentioned above, projects have different tasks. List those tasks down, go through each of them after the completion of that stage, and ensure that each has been handled to completion. Do this for all the stages, as that will ensure the avoidance of mistakes in the project.
• Assess performance
After the completion of a phase assess the performance of the team. Performance assessment will ensure to keep the team players on their toes to avoid compromising the project by making mistakes.
• Plan the project
Having a project plan will help to identify a mistake when it occurs at any given stage. Involve your team in the planning of the project to make sure they own it. Include them also in the definition of the scope of the project.
• Competency tests
Make use of tools that test competence. This ensures that each team player is given work according to what their capabilities are. It will also help the project manager identify areas where they need to train the team in orders to achieve the desired results and avoid making mistakes.
• Follow set standards
Each project has rules and regulations that are set in the planning stage. As a project manager, ensure that during the implementation of the work, the set standards of project management are followed.

How Does Strategy Help In Executing Your Project?

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Strategy can be described as a decision taken by an organization, aimed at helping them achieve a certain goal. It can further be described as the decisions made to make an organization more outstanding than others in the same field or industry. Strategy and projects are interdependent meaning that a project without strategy is bound to fail. On the other hand, a strategy without a project can be compared to a phone without a battery to run it, and thus has no use to anybody. Strategy helps to avoid mistakes made in the process of executing the projects within a company.

Let us look at how strategy can be introduced in project management below:

• Budgetary allocations
As stated earlier, strategy is a decision taken by the organization. While making budgetary allocations as much as it is important to consider resources such as money, technology and human, it is also crucial to put in mind the strategy. The choice was made in order for the company to have an advantage over other companies and thus making it very important to consider the strategy in making budgets for the project. This ensures that budgetary allocations are not detrimental to the achievement of the goals of the company.
• Achieving the company’s set goals and objectives
Each organization has its aims. Inclusion of strategy will assist in achievement of these aims that are set out. Strategy aids in the identification of the needs of the organization. When these needs are identified, it becomes easier to plan on how to satisfy them and in the end, a greater outcome is achieved i.e. realizing the objectives of the company.
• Project planning
Strategy can be used in project planning. As mentioned above planning and strategies are interdependent, none can do without the other. Strategy is meant to keep a company ahead of its competitors. During the process of developing a plan, include the decisions made to help make that project successful in its objectives.
• Making of company decisions
As seen earlier strategy involves choices and decisions that an organization has taken. In day to day activities, the project manager is faced with situations where they have to make decisions. For a proper and informed decision to be reached at, they must consider the company’s strategy. This enables them to make decisions faster and easily and ones that are in line with the organization’s choices. Thus, strategy simplifies the process of making decisions.
• Strategy and productivity
It is common knowledge that there are certain hours of the day when one is most productive. For an organization to achieve its goals, it should incorporate strategy in the hours that its employees are most productive. In the project implementation, for instance, those tasks that touch on the fulfillment of the strategy must be dealt with in the morning hours where one is more alert and productive. This will not only see the company achieving its strategic plans but also the completion of the project on time.

How To Eradicate Stress From The Office

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Stress in the workplace can be due to different issues that arise from time to time. In most white collar jobs, it is common to find employees stressed in their offices.

Below, we look at 5 factors that cause stress in the workplace

1. Poor relations at the workplace

Relationships in the workplace play a big role in causing stress. Poor relations with your colleagues could lead to stress. Also, if one is being harassed by fellow employees, they would definitely feel pressured. If there are poor relations between the management and the employees say due to the style of management used, then it is inevitable that employees would be stressed. Poor relationships lead to seclusion. This is stressful as in an office, people are somewhat interdependent on each other, and hence if isolated then one feels lonely.

2. The workload

There are situations where one is assigned a lot of work, which they feel that is too much for them. Other times one is given work, which does not match their skills and finding difficulty in completing the work. In other cases, one is given work that is too little and they feel that their skills are underutilized leading to stress. Pressure in the workplace can also mount due to the deadlines fixed to submit the work given. If the deadlines are too rigid, one will feel weighed down with the work leading to pressure to complete it.

3. Balance between private life and work

There are those times that one has to work overtime leaving less time for one to spend with their family. Work may also get in the way of one’s individual life leading to stress and vice versa is true where personal life may meddle with your work causing stress.

4. Security of the job

Job security is very important to any employee. When one is employed on contract basis, one is stressed due to the fact that the job is temporary and they could be jobless at the end of the contract period. If a company is cutting down the size of its operation, then it will be required to lay off some employees. This leads to pressure among them due to the fact that they would be rendered jobless. The same case applies if an organization goes broke most employees become unemployed.

5. Working conditions

These range from the physical conditions to the welfare of the employees. Physical conditions will include things like the working space, that is, is it too squeezed or large enough? The office temperature whether it’s too cold, hot or just at room temperature, whether the light in the room is enough, are there machines to aid in day to day activities and so on. Welfare will include issues like the remuneration, whether they are well compensated for work done, availability of medical and education cover, safety for them in the workplace. If such things are not catered for, the employees start bowing under pressure.

Eights Steps for Successful Project Management

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detailingIt doesn’t matter whether you are leading a small project or a bigger one; planning is the key to nailing all milestones. From company trips to million dollar merger and acquisition deals, each project needs the right tools and efforts to streamline the path to success.

While you are never going to know how the project will pan out until you are halfway through, when you make informed decisions you can be sure that you keep your team focused on positive results.

Coming in from the pros, here are eight steps to successful project management:

#1-List down the tasks

List down all necessary tasks. Make sure that you have all the strategies in place to reach those goals.

Break down the tasks into simpler details so that you can fix them in your schedule. For example ‘identifying product requirements’ should be broken down to ‘focus groups’, ‘get in touch with sales department’, and/or ‘review correspondence’. Once you make your tasks specific, you will realize you don’t need to spend much time on them.

#2-Assess people

Next, you need to find out if you have enough people on your project and whether they are available. This is especially important if you are running on a tight budget and hiring more people doesn’t seem practical.

Also, this is where you try to match the skill set of people with the tasks. Do they have the skills you need? Do they have past experience with the same nature of projects?

#3-Planning with your team

This is where you need to involve the clients as well as your team – people who you are doing the project for and those who are helping you do it.

Planning with your team is more effective as each individual gets to have a share in the schedule of the project. This also helps you distribute the load evenly and not overload or underutilize people.

#4- Timing

Figuring out how much time a project will take can be tricky, but is necessary if you are planning to create a practical schedule.

Analyze your strategies to identify how much efforts need to be put in for each task. Take into account any public holidays and team member leaves. Just like in the last step, involving your team here can be highly effective as well.

#5-Analyze risks

When planning for a project, it is important to remember that not all plans would be carved in stone. There are risks that demand attention and can quickly change the planned schedule. In such cases, identify the problems and make appropriate changes to the schedule to facilitate them.

It is a sound decision to write down all problems you think you can face so that you have a clear idea of the risks involved.

overview#6-Set milestones

Setting goals and milestones plays a key role in keeping your team motivated and allows you to keep track of your progress.

Overburdening your team with heaps of tasks each week can drain them. Instead have milestones that mark the completion of a phase. This can put the project into perspective and provide a consistent track towards completion for everyone. Also make an effort to discuss milestones achieved and congratulate your team.

#7-Team calendaring helps

Team calendaring is a great way to increase efficiency and productivity. As a project manager, at times, it might be impossible to manage your own agenda, let alone your team’s.

Developing an understanding of shift days, timings, days off is critical to project completion. You can do this by team calendaring. It should be accessible by everyone to enable them to make informed decisions and stay updated with the progress of the project.

#8-Check progress and make changes regularly

Nothing goes according to plans and this is especially true when you are leading projects. This is why you should stay in touch with your team members and their progress. Any necessary changes should be made on the spot to eliminate chances of problems. If you can’t keep up with daily meetings, it is imperative that you conduct meetings on a weekly basis to ensure that everyone is on the same path.

There you have it; the eight important steps to successful project planning and management. If you still haven’t integrated the latest project management tools, browse through our blog to learn why you should start today!

5 Project Planning Tips To Adopt For Success

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Why Preparation Is Important For Project Success

For any project to be successful, meticulous planning is required. This will not only ensure that the project is successful but also that it is completed on time. What can you do to bring along that success? Actually, as you will see here, just take care of a few ends and you will be good to go.

Here are 5 tips that one can use in project planning

1. Set practical timelines

Your project should have a beginning and a completion date. This timeline will ensure that every step taken in the process of working on the project is within the time range given. It keeps all those working on the project on their feet to meet the set time. Ensure you set realistic completion date to avoid last minute rush to complete which may bring issues like work done not being of quality, omission of some documents that needed to be filed among other issues.

2. Include all of your team in the planning stage

Working on the project involves the project manager working with a team. During the planning process, bring in your team to share the different ideas they might have and combine them in order to come up with a solid plan. This will help the team to identify with and own the project as well as have confidence in it and ensure it is completed on time.

3. Create a communication network

There is a dire need to communicate to make the project successful. The manager and the team must establish methods through which they will communicate. This is to make sure the progress of the project is known. It can be done through e-mails, video conferencing, status reports as well as progress reports. Communication should be between the project manager and the team, the team members among each other, and with the stakeholders. Communication is also important since the project manager can ensure the team is well informed about the project and the various responsibilities they have to play.

4. Use technology in the planning process

With the world going digital, it is unavoidable to use technology in the day to day activities, especially in the workplace. Use technology tools that are relevant to project management in all stages of the project, even in the preparation stage. This means that you should make use of project management software. The software helps in the setting of realistic timeframes for completion of each stage of the project. Ensure that your team is conversant with the software chosen if not then training is required to enable them work well using it. In choosing the best software, consider factors such as cost, compatibility and simplicity.

5. Describe the scope of the project

Identify what project you are going to undertake. The project manager should involve the team in defining the scope of the project and stating what the project aims to achieve or solve in the end. Identify all the tasks and the responsibilities that need to be undertaken in completing the project and divide them into those that need to be completed first. Divide the roles among the team to ensure that the project will be completed on time.