Getting and keeping a project on schedule might not be easy for a number of reasons. Keep reading and find out four key elements to making sure that your project meets the schedule.
Will my project head off-course?
At any given time a project manager has to consider the “big picture”. What happens if a team member is out sick but they are responsible for a task in the current phase of the project? As a leader, having other team members who are cross-trained can assist with filling in when someone else is absent. Using an interactive project communication system where team members can upload files, specs and such gives other team members access to use the information.
There are several things that a project manager juggles when it comes to the decision to make changes. Each team member is not the same, so dealing with them individually offers insight into behaviors that could be a problem down the road.
4 Keys to Keep your Project on Schedule
Use these four key points to assist with project appraisal. Head off any potential road blocks and speed bumps.
- Clear communication – You’d be surprised how many projects could have stayed on schedule with a few timely words between project manager and team member. Never assume that any team member knows what you are thinking or can infer the same conclusion from reading weekly notes. There is still need for close follow up if for no other reason than to give you peace of mind about the project’s status. Communicate with clients, top-level decision makers and your team members. Send out weekly tasks lists and project plans showing what has been completed thus far. Ask for questions or concerns.
- Confirmed commitments – When you send out status reports, assign a team member name to each task so no one is unsure of who is doing what. Reiterate time frames, milestones and smaller deadlines.
- Concrete milestones – There is not a set number of milestones you need to have built into your project plan. A smaller project, for example, may have fewer. A larger project, with more team members, may need more milestones to keep everyone positive about the progress of the larger vision. The key is to write them down so everyone knows exactly what they are working towards.
- Corrective actions – It’s not the favorite part of the job. When a team member is not performing up to standard for whatever reason, timely action is needed to avoid the problem getting out of hand. It would be nice if everyone realized their shortcomings and initiated self correction, but that just doesn’t happen most of the time. Intervention from the project manager is needed.