Most business owners dread the idea of project management. They connect this to more work and more expenses, failing to realize how important the process is for its growth. Project management doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. It’s about working smarter, not about working more.
Proper project management includes everything from meeting deadlines to building solid relationships with employees to boosting the company culture. If done right, this can bring tremendous success to your company as a whole – and help complete a project faster.
Why You Need Project Management
Project management is effective, but it requires a lot of effort. However, the numbers point out how important this is and make it an incredible opportunity for your brand.
WorkplaceInsight, for example, has reported that 73% of employees experience burnout. It says that 88% of remote workers face inconsistency in communication and leadership with team members and employers.
Such issues kill off the motivation and focus required to get a project done. Miscommunications equal higher expenses, many errors, and in some cases, failures for a project.
Despite this being the case, only 21% of companies have project management systems in place. For you, this is excellent news – you have a shot to get ahead of the competition.
Tips and tools for boosting project management processes
Knowing what you know now, it is time to start working on your project management. Here are some great tips and tools to get you started.
1. Organize your documents
No matter how big or small your business is, you’ll have to handle various documents in project management and software development. As their leader, you need to provide your team with all the information they need in real-time, as clearly as you can, to make their process more accessible and less confusing.
Not to mention, good software where you’ll keep and organize your data can come in handy when you need to find some files fast.
One excellent tool for this purpose is Slite, where you can tidy up both your documents and your teamwork. With all the data organized in a single place, you’ll have no trouble finding things. You can forget about misunderstandings, lost files and documents, and chaotic folders.
For example, Slite offers companies software documentation templates. Proper software documentation includes tutorials, how-to guides, user guides, explanations, software design documents, reference documents, software requirements, system documentation, API documentation, etc. It also offers you and your team an opportunity to join forces and work together – even if they work remotely.
2. Use a quality CRM
You might be wondering – what good will a CRM do in terms of managing a team? Essentially, you and your team work together to attract and amaze the target audience. As their leader, you must make sure that your team has everything at their disposal to make this possible. Now that businesses have to juggle online and offline sales and have a wider reach than ever, it is vital to use a good CRM.
There are plenty of reasons why businesses use CRM these days. These begin at cross-team alignment, which is essential for the success of a company. The CRM can help you align marketing and sales and allows your team to streamline every stage of the customer’s journey.
To make it possible for the team to work cohesively, you need to provide them with a CRM to share customer information and other critical data. On top of that, other benefits of CRM include sharing data with ease and automation of day-to-day tasks, therefore saving tons of money and time.
3. Focus extensively on communication
Team management revolves around communication. It must include healthy and professional communication between team members and team members with leaders to be successful. Simply put, you cannot expect your team to work well unless they know what to do – or learn how to communicate with each other.
According to ProjectTimes, 2 out of 5 business projects fail due to poor communication. As a leader, it is your job to delegate tasks, involve your team members, listen to them, and basically – guide them.
People won’t just walk into their office and know how to do it. They won’t know how to work with others instantly without some guidance or communication. To complete a project with minimal hassle, you need to implement proper leadership.
It all starts with communication.
4. Be prepared for challenges
Most projects fail because of a lack of preparation. You’ve had a great idea that you turned into a project, but did you stop to consider organizational problems and challenges?
In a rush to accomplish our final goal, we often don’t stop to consider that there will be barriers along the way. You need to consider them as soon as possible – and be ready if they occur.
When managing a team project, you must consider everything. What if your team members have health issues or family emergencies? Do you have a backup member for everyone, or will your project stop altogether?
What happens if a team member misinterprets something and makes a huge mistake? What if they do something unique? Do you have awards or penalties in mind?
At the point where you’re creating a plan for your project, you need to consider everything. Ideally, your plan needs to be flexible and solution-driven. More importantly, you must share with the right people. Team members should know what you expect and what you anticipate.
5. Don’t rush and over-promise
Success starts with small accomplishments. If you set too big a goal for your team and your company, it will be hard to keep everyone motivated, especially with long-term projects.
Instead of looking solely at the final goal, create small milestones for your team to complete. People should know that they’ve succeeded and progressed to be motivated to keep going. Share with them your plans on when you want to accomplish each stage, and reward them once they get to a certain point.
Never, ever over-promise and rush things. You never know where your project will take you. Many projects don’t even resemble the initial plan of the company.
6. Get everything on paper
That documentation software and templates will come in handy with this tip. To keep yourself safe legally, as well as avoid misunderstandings, get things on paper.
During a project, try and handle the essential matters and conversations to have proof or something to reference. Send informational emails, summaries of meetings, and highlight the most important things discussed.
This way, if someone meant something different or misunderstood you, both sides have a chance to understand better before this causes an error.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have face-to-face meetings or verbal conversations over the phone. These are always a good idea since they boost the relationship with your employees but try and follow up with an email to confirm things afterward.
The trail of communication can come in handy when you least expect it. Perhaps it’s uncovering an error after a product; you check the documents to see where it happened. Or, you can use your emails to confront unsatisfied clients that make unrealistic claims.
7. Examine the productivity levels
Projects get delayed, and mistakes happen. But it is your job to find the weak link in the chain, i.e., the person who slows down the project. This way, you can relocate them to a position that suits them better, train them more if you have the time and means, and make the project run more smoothly.
Some many apps and tools can help you track the productivity of your team. Even when you don’t have the time or opportunity to follow everyone’s work, such tools can help you do it – and report back in real-time.
8. Choose the right people
You cannot manage a project successfully unless you have the right people for the job. Your team needs to be qualified, informed, communicative, and work together to complete the project.
When you’re searching for talent, consider all your options. First, consider the people around you. Perhaps you can train them a bit and prepare them for the job. They already know your company and some team members, so it will be easier for them to fit in. Not to mention, this will reduce those onboarding costs.
If you have to hire new people, be wise about this. Offer them excellent conditions, fight to get the most talented people, and maybe even consider hiring remote employees if your project allows for it.
Project management demands a lot of work on behalf of businesses. The work you put into managing your team and the project will determine its success, length, and things such as expenses. The better you handle this, the more success it will bring for your company. So, start working on these tips as soon as possible.
Guest Post: Jack Bowen, Skale.