For what its worth, I believe effective project management is one of the most important aspects of any successful business. Seeing a project through from beginning to end and recruiting the right people for the job are crucial to project success. Project Management is a skill that many people gain through experience and but can now be enhanced through education and qualifications.
While the ability to project manage is crucial, even more important is how you ensure the team collaborates and interacts. Involving the team from the beginning and using them to resolve issues is often very motivational. Never underestimate your team and the way in which they can enhance everything: methods, standards, processes and overall effectiveness of a project.
Programs and projects are becoming more complicated and complex, with team sizes becoming larger and more diverse. Changes that have led to different styles, techniques and tools being utilised by managers who want to ensure the team pull together and work collaboratively to achieve success.
Many of the tasks to be completed in a project involve the complex process of people working together in a coordinated approach. When managing a team in this environment, make sure that the project is:
- Carefully planned and organised with up to date documentation that everyone can access;
- Effectively executed – meet your deadlines and milestones
- Precisely monitored – regular reporting and feedback
- Ensure contingencies and changes are planned for – play “what if” and have Plans B, C and D ready to go.
Your management of others will be jeopardised by the way you organise the work and communicate to them as a team.
Below is a few ways you can help with, and support team collaboration:
- Allow team members wanting to work on a problem to get together away from the hubbub of daily project work. Find space and time for this to happen and let them manage themselves to a point to resolve issues. Only get involved when there is a need to escalate.
- Conduct daily/weekly chats with everyone on the team. Facilitate this meeting and concentrate on getting the team working in the right direction.
- Provide a visual overview of the project and its progress. Present graphs and information, highlight milestones, completion rates, potential risks and known issues all aimed at creating transparency.
- Allow time for the team to vent and find their pressure release. Projects with tight timelines or poorly organised can put team members under undue pressure which can impact their performance. Make sure you are observing for signs the team is struggling.
- Highlight and recognise when the project is going well and milestones are being achieved.