Now that the project plan is complete, it’s time to get to work. Each team member has their marching orders to get the ball rolling. So, what is the project manager to do? This is where you monitor the team, stay in contact with the sponsor and communicate with the client (or high-level decision makers).
What are “Best Practices”?
Best practices are steps that you, as the project manager, can take to ensure that your team’s project runs as smoothly as possible from start to finish. They are not project-dependent. Every plan can benefit from these “rules of thumb”.
For one, they can help avoid what is called “project scope creep”. It occurs when new ideas or needs come from the team and/or clients. They may be good ideas but many are non-essential and can be attended to later on. The project manager decides if any new wrinkle will extend the timeframe of the scheme. If so, objectives, tasks and therefore milestones may need to be adjusted.
5 Best Practices to Manage your Project
- Monitor project activity with regular checks – Each team member has a different task or tasks during the phases of the project. Keep in touch with them to ensure everyone is on point. It could be as simple as a midweek visit to their desk to ask what they are working on at the moment. This is a crucial step for project managers with team members who have to prioritize work on several projects at a time. Status checks ensure your work is not getting lost in the mix.
- Hold status meetings – Depending on your milestones, a weekly meeting with the entire team may be in order. It is a period to hear their concerns, report on what has been completed, air your concerns and set next week’s tasks.
- Observe short and long-term trends – Good or bad, if you see patterns forming concerning team member performance, address them before it becomes a problem. Any good changes you notice also need to be recognized, as they boost team morale.
- Take corrective action as soon as a deadline is missed – Sometimes, no matter what you do, a deadline can go unmet. Assess the reason for the missed deadline and ask for possible solutions that you can consider in addition to ones you have come up with. Decide on a course of action.
- Celebrate regular milestones within the project – While missed deadlines can be demoralizing, passing milestones is a reason to take a moment to celebrate. Get the team together and let them know what a great job they are accomplishing. Also relay positive feedback from clients.