11 Project Management Strategies for Successful Execution
Project management is not rocket science, but it’s quite tough at times. No matter the hard work that project managers and project teams put into their projects, they are not always successful. Sometimes deadlines aren’t met, other times the budget is exceeded, or the end results just did not meet expectations.
It’s daunting and demotivating, we know that. Fortunately, there are project management strategies you can apply to your project management process to close the gap between strategy and execution.
From choosing the right team to maintaining a culture of accountability, in this blog, we review 11 project management strategies for successful execution that you can put into practice right away.
Table of contents:
- What is strategic planning?
- What are project management strategies?
- Why use project management strategies?
- 11 project management strategies
- Should you use project management software for successful execution?
What Is Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning is the process of creating a specific business strategy that is used to set a mission, long-term goals, and actionable plans. It integrates different departments like marketing and sales, or accounting and finance, and ensures that everyone is working towards common goals. A well-established and effective strategic plan can play a pivotal role in the growth and success of your business as it clearly defines where an organization is going, and the actions needed to make progress.
What Are Project Management Strategies?
In the project management sphere is pretty much the same. Project management strategies are project managers’ methods to unite their teams and help everyone understand the goals and needs of the project, as well as how the manager wants each part of the project to progress.
Why Use Project Management Strategies?
A project management strategy provides a clear plan for better teamwork, increasing productivity and efficiency. It helps teams be agile, address project challenges, keep track of what’s going on and reach the project’s goals.
11 Project Management Strategies
It takes more than a bright idea to successfully manage and complete projects, as well as achieve the project’s strategic goals. Project management strategies assist the entire process from start to finish and ensure better end results.
These 11 project management strategies will help you manage and stay on top of every future project:
If you haven’t set project success criteria, even if you delivered it on time and budget, can you truly say your project is successful? Ultimately, project success is defined by the goals and objectives that it reached but there are a couple of factors to account for to define whether it has done that or not.
Here are the 6 metrics by which project success is measured:
- Scope – achieving the intended results of the project.
- Schedule – meeting the deadline.
- Budget – delivering the project for the budget agreed upon launch.
- Team satisfaction – is the team satisfied with what they have developed?
- Customer satisfaction – are customers happy with the final result?
- Quality – does it meet stakeholders’ expectations?
Writing smart goals and setting up project success criteria are two things that you can’ develop the project without, but you cannot complete successfully. Take time, go through that step, and just after you’ve done that, you can think about implementing any of the other strategies.
2.Understand the Risks That Could Impact Your Project’s Success
There are always risks involved in projects that can impact the overall outcome. Consider performing a risk analysis before the project launch to identify any risks and create potential solutions. When you are aware of the possible risks at the start, you can manage them and prevent them from happening.
3.Choose the Right Team/s
One of the most vital project management strategies for successful execution is to assemble the perfect team. Not everyone will be a great fit for every project, so you need to choose wisely. Each team member should be chosen for the skills and expertise that they can bring to the project. Keep in mind the project needs and gather a team of people who can align with the specific project requirements.
4.Finalize the Project Details Before You Get Started
Often underestimated and neglected, this project management strategy can go a long way. Before you begin a project, make sure that you finalize all the details, lay down all the plans, define the various roles and responsibilities of all team members. When you do that and present it to the team before you get started, you won’t need to manage each employee’s daily work – if they are aware of plans and details and know what they are expected to do, the process will be smooth and ultimately, successful.
5.Set Achievale Milestones to Track Progress
Without specific and measurable milestones, projects often run behind schedule. Setting milestones breaks a project into phases making it easier to track progress. This process keeps you informed about any issues or challenges that arise while ensuring that each phase is successfully completed.
6.Manage the Project’s Tasks in Sprints
You can do what the members of a parallel agile team do. In that team, everyone’s job changes per sprint (short, time-boxed period when a team works to complete a set amount of work). For example, in one sprint everyone will write code and then in the next sprint, everyone will be testing it.
And yes, not all employees working on a common project will have the same skills and abilities to do that. However, you still borrow the idea and adjust it to the project. Time management is essential for each project, so setting up specific times for different activities and tasks that need to be completed in a day is a smart thing to do – just allow enough time for each and don’t let them interfere with each other.
7.Have a Central Communication Tool & Establish Clear Communication
Investing in a team communication app is no longer optional. Communication can make or break an entire project. Communication and collaboration in person are great, but when that’s not possible online tools like collaboration software help us keep up the flow of conversations, feedback, and ideas. Efficient communication not only boosts productivity but also helps prevent and resolve problems.
8.Maintain a Culture of Accountability
Every single member of the project has been brought on board with specific responsibilities and each one should be accountable for their performance. But how to achieve and maintain a culture of accountability? Start with yourself. Meet your own commitments and admit your own mistakes says Steve Pao from Hillwork, LLC. Be open to feedback and teach employees how to be accountable.
A culture of accountability is not about pointing a finger when someone makes a mistake, it’s about taking responsibility for your actions, understanding the consequences, solving the problem, and learning from mistakes.
9.Avoid Any Kind of Micromanagement
Micromanaging your team is a bad idea. Even if sometimes you’re tempted to do it in a good will, of course – don’t. Standing over someone’s shoulder, observing every move they make is not effective and distracts from successful project completion. Employees that are being micromanaged often freeze and panic, which results in high levels of stress and even errors.
So, don’t be a micromanager, be a leader. Work on building trust in your team and keep up the communication and two-way feedback going. If you feel like someone on the team is not on the right track, instead of breathing down his neck, open a discussion, share your thoughts and find the best solution together.
10.Stay Flexible & Adaptable
Connie Emerson, faculty member in Northeastern’s project management program notes that it’s important to remember that a project plan is not a static document, but a living one that should have the ability to evolve, change and adapt to meet the emerging needs or challenges of the project.
“Successful project managers recognize that the most effective project management strategies will change throughout the project,” she says. “He or she needs to continually be thinking: What’s going on? What do I need to be going on? What needs to get done at this point in time? What is supporting or hindering me? And what tools, skills, or competencies of project management will help me? How do I put these into action? This requires knowing not only the theories of project management but also how to apply them.”
11.Evaluate the Project After Completion
Even if you put all these project management strategies in place, it’s very likely that you’ll still fail sometimes. That is why it is important to review each project after completion. Go beyond success or failure. From each project, you can extract information that you can utilize in the future.
What went well, what didn’t? Note the areas for improvement and be sure to look for places and stages in the process where something broke down. What can you do to avoid the same mistake happening again?
When project managers find the answers to these questions, they can refine their project management processes and develop better practices for the projects to come.
Should You Use Project Management Software for Successful Execution?
Project management software is software for project planning, tracking, and execution that helps project managers, users, and stakeholders keep track of project tasks, meet deadlines and remain on budget. Its primary purpose is to assist a team throughout the different project stages and simultaneously simplify and improve the overall project management process.
Some of the project management software benefits include effortless project planning, improved team collaboration, and standardization of the entire work process. Having all the tools needed to successfully plan and develop a project visible and accessible on one screen makes project managers work better, smarter, and stress-free. Collaboration is another huge benefit. Project management solutions enable and ease the collaboration between different teams and departments that might sometimes need to work together on projects. And the best thing is that they can do that from the same system without having to switch or jump around different applications.
So, should you use project management software for successful project execution?
The fact that you’re reading this means that you consider the option because likely something in your current project management process doesn’t work as you would like or perhaps you don’t successfully complete your projects.
Here’s a troubling statistic. A study by Gallup conducted on 10,640 project management teams from 200 companies in 30 countries across various industries found that only 2.5% of the teams successfully completed 100% of their projects.
These equated to over $50 billion to $150 billion in losses!
The other 97.5% of teams failed to meet their original goals, missed deadlines, misaligned, and had dependency and accountability issues, as well as exceeding their budgets.
Project management features can help put all this in order and create the perfect project roadmap. They are the different components of project management software that actually make it simpler and easier to manage your workspace. There are many different solutions on the market and all of them range in functionalities and capabilities. For example, one solution might have integrated chat features in the app, while others won’t have this feature.
But do you need it? After you determine what your projects and teams need to best perform their job and stay on track with the project’s stages, you can find the best solution to serve these needs and help you get into these 2.5% that complete 100% of their projects successfully.
How Can Slingshot Help You?
Slingshot comes ready to take your project management strategies to the next level. By keeping everyone in the know, teams can stay on top of projects even across different time zones, meaning productivity doesn’t suffer even though team members can’t be physically present with one another.
Slingshot simplifies collaboration by incorporating modern project and team file management, chat, and data analytics all within one app. When you can easily share all these elements in one place with team members and share projects with external team members, calmness is restored. With robust productivity flows out of the box and is designed to work seamlessly to enable continuous collaboration workflows. This helps teams cut across collaboration silos, prevents work disruptions, and makes it easier for teams to work better together.
Are you ready to transform the way your team works? Try it today and see how Slingshot can help your teams deliver extraordinary results that drive business growth.Categories: Project Management, Team Productivity