Smart Project Management: Best Practices of Good Managers

by HSG on Apr 23, 2014 in Articles from Software Fans

Smart Project Management –Best Practices of Good Managers

Project management could be one of the easiest jobs on the planet, and could also be the worst nightmare. The difference between the two extremes depends on smart management of a project. According to the project management institute, there are five phases in project management - Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing.

Every manager has his own style of project management. But there are a lot of contributing factors that result in a successfully managed project. These factors vary from project to project, but they all contain some common elements.

1. Setting SMART Goals

For a project to be successful, it is vital to set some SMART goals for the project. SMART is a well-known acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Every goal that is set for the project could be reachable when adhered to these SMART goals.

This means that instead of giving blanket statements, there should be explicit goals set with precise and realistic end dates (deadlines) that could also be quantified. There are numerous apps available which could be used for effective goal setting.

2. Use of Project Management Tools

Any job is made easy with the use of right tool. This saying is especially true in case of project management.  There are basically three most important constraints in a project – they are Scope, time as well as cost.

Managers who can assert proper control on all these three constraints (popularly known as the project management triangle) are closer to reach the threshold of successful project management. The use of various project management tools help immensely in this process.  Some of the popular tools available for use are discussed here. Popular tools in project management include smartsheet, asana, wrike, teambox, confluence etc. These project management tools help in standardizing the work and routine of a project manager. The use of these tools could be done for various aspects of the project like creating project plan, checking milestones, creating Gantt chart (for tracking the project schedule), creating score cards for team member performances etc.

3. Use of Checklists

One of the lesser known aspects of project management that has proved to be a huge help for all project managers is the project manager checklist. Checklist does not deal with only a specific area of the project, instead, it is a list created by managers to ensure that they keep a close track of all aspects of the project.

                    

A checklist could be created just by jolting down to the things to be done on a notepad, or by simply by using an excel spreadsheet. This blog by a successful project manager provides an intriguing view about the use of his project management checklist. 

Conclusion

Even though project management is one of the most stressful professions among its peers, it is also one of the most rewarding one. The quality management is also paramount for successful project execution. This article on Deming’s 14 Points and Quality Project Leadership proves to be a good read in that regard. A successful project management could be done by proper setting of goals, use of project management tools, and proper monitoring using checklist.

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