May 29, 2012 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Project Management Best Practices
Top 10 Best Practices in Project Management
By Daniel Raymond
Given that a lot of projects fail for one reason or another, you would think that most companies would be happy just to get the project completed successfully. But when you look at the business landscape today, it seems that most expect future projects to be completed even faster, better, and cheaper than ever before. Are these expectations realistic? By adapting the 10 best practices in project management, you increase the probabilities that these expectations will be met:
- Plan the work by defining the project on paper
There is a tendency for key stakeholders to overlook the planning process and jump right into the work. This is a big mistake. Planning the project properly results to lower costs, better allocation of resources, and increased quality of work. It is important to define the project, its objective, scope, and assumptions at the very beginning.
Create the project horizon
Once the project definition is done, the next step is to create the work plan. It contains a step by step instruction on the division of tasks and deliverables in the project.
Define the project management procedures
The team members should know what to expect. Some concerns that need to be dealt with include how the project manager will manage issues, conflicts, quality control, and risks among others. Everyone needs to know what is expected of them.
The implementation stage requires careful monitoring on the part of the project manager. In theory, everything should proceed smoothly based on the work plan. During the actual work though, the issues will start to arise.
Identify warning signs
As small variances in the budget or schedule become bigger, it’s time to take a second look at the project. Even if you think you can make it up, there will come a point when it can become unrecoverable.
Ensure scope-changes are approved by management
In case you need to redefine the scope of the project, it’s important to get the go-ahead signal from the management or the sponsors.
Guard against unreasonable request for changes
In some cases, the sponsor may ask for an additional functionality or feature from the project. Small scope changes can add up over time and can risk the entire project. It is important to guard against the increase of project scope without the appropriate increase in resources.
Determine what the risks are early on
Specific risks can be hard to identify during the planning process. But it is important to know areas of weaknesses in the project. For example, in the critical stages of development, there should be “assumptions” about the level of risks it poses.
Continue to assess risks
As was mentioned earlier, the initial risk assessment is seldom complete. That’s why constant monitoring is important. The project manager should identify which areas he should focus on.
Resolve issues quickly
Issues such as the late delivery of the items you ordered, team conflicts, and poor performance must be identified quickly and resolved as soon as possible. The project manager should be available to take actions whenever required to resolve the problem.
Daniel Raymond is the Marketing Manager at Project-Management.com. Project-Management.com is a great site for everything related with Project Management. They are dedicated to provide the best articles on project management, and detailed software reviews of PM products.
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