Intelligent, decisive, and effective project management is at the core of every thriving business. As the business landscape evolves and projects become more complex, business leaders must proactively and continuously update the way they manage projects.
Following effective project management principles can transform your business and help keep up with customers’ needs. Injecting project management practices in your business process can also make your performance better, faster, and more efficient. You’ll stay ahead of the game and continue to meet the organization’s goals and milestones.
Let’s jump right into a few project management principles that can lead to significant changes in your organization.
9 Project Management Principles for Project Success
1. Follow a formal project management structure
Projects need a formalized structure that clarifies roles, streamlines processes, anticipates risks, and creates checks and balances to ensure the project is continually aligned with the overall strategy. A formal structure can make a massive difference as the team knows who’s doing what, when, and how.
Lack of a proper project management structure could lead to fractured teams and task duplication. Without an orderly, easily understood process of managing projects, companies risk project failure, weakened business relationships, and resource wastage.
How this leads to transformation: A formalized structure gives projects direction, increases resource utilization, and managers can stay on top of things. This, in return, increases the chances of delivering successful projects over and over again.
2. Create a resource plan
No project team has unlimited resources and when juggling multiple projects, staying on top of all resources could be challenging. Effective resource planning and management is thus very necessary. Resource planning gives you an overview of all your available resources and their utilization.
Resource planning ensures the right resources are allocated to the right projects hence increasing project efficiency.
Make resource planning even more effortless by utilizing project management software with features that illustrate how your resources are allocated and their availability in a clear and understandable format.
How this leads to transformation: Effective resource planning ensures that you have enough resources for ongoing and future projects. With enough resources in your pipeline, your business can take on more projects and generate more revenue.
3. Communicate effectively
It’s crucial for all stakeholders to stay updated on the project’s progress throughout its lifecycle. Efficient communication helps in:
- Keeping stakeholders engaged
- Coordinating tasks and schedules
- Decision-making and problem-solving
- Identifying and resolving conflicts
- Escalating risks and issues
How this leads to transformation: Effective team communication ensures that each stakeholder working on the project is aware of the goals and expectations. It also allows them to share ideas and opinions. This helps teams work more efficiently and often improves the quality of their work as well.
4. Have well-defined and realistic project goals and objectives
Setting realistic goals and objectives before the project kicks off ensures all stakeholders are on the same page. Without precise goals and objectives, projects lack focus and leave the team unsure of what they’re supposed to be doing or why. This helps avoid future misunderstandings.
Goals and objectives need to be realistic in the sense that teams can accomplish them within the allotted time and resources available to them. You also need to ensure that they’re clear and that everybody understands what is being asked of them. Additionally, make sure your goals and objectives are measurable. Determine the parameters you will use to decide whether you achieved your goals or not at the end of the project.
How this leads to transformation: Objectives establish standards of performance and help identify the successes and failures of an organization and its projects. Performance reporting helps project managers identify non-performing areas and to take corrective actions and improve the success of future projects.
5. Avoid adding unrealistic milestones
Every business wants to go above and beyond to keep its customers happy. Sometimes, this desire could lead to businesses wanting to do more than its teams can handle.
A project manager needs to be aware of their team’s capacity and take on only what the team can chew. Identify priorities and milestones ahead of time. Priorities show you what you need to focus on, and project milestones tell you whether you’re sticking to your priorities and not getting distracted by less important details that feel urgent at the moment.
How this leads to transformation: Having realistic milestones helps teams to stay on course and schedule, consequently saving the business money and increasing ROI.
6. Adapt to circumstances
It’s not unusual for the scope of a project to change. Even with a project plan in place, you won’t always be able to stick to your plan to a T. What makes a difference is how you manage the change. If not properly managed, the slightest change requests could cause the project to spiral out of control. This is called scope creep, and about 50% of projects experience it.
To prevent scope creep, document every single change request from clients and allow a bit of flexibility to alter some of the milestones whenever necessary.
How this leads to transformation: By reducing scope creep, a project team devotes time to the original project scope enabling it to complete tasks within the original time and budget estimates. This way, approved features get completed, and the end-product is what was chartered. Additionally, the business avoids the time and cost overruns.
7. Create a risk response plan
Risks are an intrinsic part of any project, and the best way to deal with them is to prepare a contingency plan—just in case! Having an active risk response plan will save you from unnecessary project delays as your team is equipped to tackle any risky situation as soon as it occurs.
How this leads to transformation: Creating a risk management plan will help you brainstorm and identify key risks impacting your business now, and emerging risks that may have an impact at a future time.
8. Have a system of accountability and responsibility
One of the best ways to motivate your team members is empowering them with a sense of responsibility and accountability. Doing so, removes micro-management in your management process and encourages teams to exercise more creativity.
To encourage accountability, communicate constantly with your teams and provide them with tools to collaborate and offer and receive feedback.
How this leads to transformation: High rates of individual and organizational accountability drive better top-line results and encourage teams to seek out solutions that will promote your company’s overall goals.
9. Be transparent
Transparency and accountability go hand in hand. Transparency enables teams to see the big picture and collaborate to achieve the project’s goal. This translates to teams that perform better, leading to better project outcomes.
To evoke transparency, have a system that enables team members to access all relevant information about a project quickly and efficiently.
How this leads to transformation: When transparency is added to projects, teams will be more engaged and committed to the vision of the company.
Final Thoughts on Project Management Principles
Adhering to a set of defined project management principles can help to simplify things and transform your business. Effective project management practices can improve performance, make projects progress faster and result in successful projects that enable your business to continue to meet its bottom line.
Mission Control, is a leading project management software, native to Salesforce. Head to our website to discover more great content and project management thought leadership.