BizSugar Blog » Project Management Tips Contest

Project Management Tips Contest

Have you ever had a project that you were excited about being a part of and performing only to find that when you completed it, it fell short of your expectations? Don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all been there. As the old saying goes, “That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger” – and wiser.

So what happened? Chances are, there were many factors that were not completely thought through. Maybe you didn’t allot yourself a realistic time frame or maybe you didn’t do enough research. There were, most likely, many things you could’ve done – should’ve done – to make it a success. Hindsight is 20/20.

disappointed team

From each experience we have, we grow, we learn, we become more wise and more determined to get it right the next time. Disappointing people never feels good, disappointing a client feels even worse and disappointing yourself is dreadful. So what can you do to ensure that this never happens again? Project management is the answer.

So you’re not a project manager? No worries, you don’t have to be. Project management is simply a matter of putting some systems in place to create efficiency and ensure success. Two of the most important processes I feel you can put into place are:

1.) View the entire scope of the project and think it through to completion. Think ahead of every step necessary to make it a success and implement your plan of action. Calendar these actions throughout the project. Timing can be crucial.

2.) Get your team on board, delegate tasks and implement deadlines. This ensures that the actions necessary throughout the project are completed – and are on time.

Those are my top two, but we’re more interested in hearing yours. Leave us your project management tips (and your Twitter username) by September 29, 2011, in the comments section below and our team of moderators will pick the two best tips. The winners will each receive a $50 gift certificate to Amazon!

For more information on project management tips, be sure to check out “How Project Management Can Save Your Company.”

The owner of this site has an advertising relationship with Business on Main.

18 thoughts on “Project Management Tips Contest

  • I like to go a little “Old School” when working with a major project. Even though I track so many things virtually/digitally, whenever I work with a major project, I pull out a regular spiral bound notebook and keep it open on my desk. That way, anytime I have a quick note, idea, phone number, etc., I can just jot it down there instead of wondering if I have the right document or program open on my PC.

  • One of the things I prefer to do is benefit from the “post mortem analysis”, which a lot of people are euphemising as “lessons learned” nowadays as the lesson becomes apparent. If you know you’re overweight, there’s no reason to wait for the New Years to make a resolution to lose it. Similarly, if you’re messing stuff up because of a flawed process, there’s no need to religiously hold off until the end to review and amend broken processes.

  • In order to successfully complete a project, the team that is assigned to the project must work as a unit, more than anything else. Keep a welcoming attitude as a project manager without being the best friend figure. It’s important that those you are managing feel that they can approach you in times of crisis or question. In the same tune, though, it’s important that the team does not see you as a lax leader. There is a fine line between the two but once that line is met, the project will likely be successful.

  • My tip would be to speak up often. Never be afraid to speak your mind. If you have a good idea, share it. If you have a concern, bring it up. You never know when your comment might spark a breakthrough or develop into a much needed discussion. Often people fear saying anything because they don’t feel like they have the authority or it’s not part of their job. That’s crap. It is part of your job and you do have the right to say what’s on your mind.

    Twitter: @LBurns917

  • So many teams are distributed in multiple locations (if not multiple time zones) that a centralized team room is a must. If not Basecamp, which I swear by, then at the very least Google docs. A master project list with status that everyone can view. If you’re doing agile project management, a google spreadsheet can turn into a robust project management tool!

  • @ChrisRewards

    If you don’t have a goal, how can you be happy that you’ve achieved your goal?

    Breaking a goal down into digestible steps is how we reach it.

    Every deliverable takes place at a time, and that time is agreed on before we start.

    Acceptance Tests
    Every goal and every objective has a well-defined acceptance test written down and agreed upon before the project work starts.

    The four quantifiers of project apocalypse are Date-Time, Space (or “Geographic”), Boolean (“Yes/No”) and Numeric.

    Next steps
    At each step, enhancements come crawling out of the woodwork. Don’t kill them; File them.

  • I have been on both ends of a project. Good project management is what takes a project from a good idea to a successful, well executed campaign. It all starts with planning, motivation and delegating responsibilities. Planning doesn’t stop with an overview; good planning pin points the fine details to make a project run smoothly. My best tip is to always take responsibility and take charge. When the campaign goes well, praise the team behind you, and if it fails; take the blame. Never assume something is going to get done, even if it is delegated. Instead, follow up on each task. Maintaining a good balance of strategy and leadership is important and most importantly, motivation is a big key factor in getting your team on board. People are motivated differently, so paying attention to the details of the project, even to the point of adjusting to different learning curves and motivational factors. True leadership involves taking responsibility and maintaining integrity.

  • I find that too much energy is spent on focusing on the ultimate outcome instead of the individual processes. Yes, when you plan out your tasks, you need to periodically review the chances of meeting your outcome. But, all too often outcomes are micromanaged instead of focusing on the task at hand and letting things play out.

  • I believe in the power of the written word. Written – not typed or created by video or audio. Those help – especially when sharing. But, writing it down – your thoughts, your goals, and outline for progress, and referring to it often, will keep you on track or show you where you’re stumbling, and help you regroup. Write it down – with paper and pen!

  • Remember to take frequent short breaks when troubleshooting. I know that I get far less productive after about 90 minutes of working on a project without as much as 5 minutes to stretch.

  • I am self employed, and until recently I didn’t have good time management. Last week, I started a jornal to help me figure out how my time is spent. I also schedule tasks that had to be done each day. So far, these last few days have been some of my most productive. Keeping this journal helps keep myself accountable. Thank you for the good post. Definitly enjoyed the shared information.

  • My top two project management tips are sticking to goals and avoiding straying from one goal to another at one time. Set yourself up for goal number one, and only approach goal number two when goal number one is completed. This way, if you learn something new during goal number two that you perhaps didn’t know when you first attacked goal number one, you can always go back and improve. But the key is not getting ahead of yourself. Be patient, determined and positive.

  • My top 2 tips:
    1- reverse engineer the timeline. Thinking backwards from your goal can help ensure that you don’t miss any steps and that enough time is built into the process for each;
    2- close out email and social media (unplug!) so that distractions are minimized. When I have at least 2-3 hours of uninterrupted time, I really get things done.

  • I as a project manager am a very visual person and strongly believe that the brain registers and acts on what eyes see regularly.
    When working on projects and managing them with several people involved, it is very easy to loose track of the bigger picture and get more and more into details. This often leads to differences in understanding and expectations over a period of time, during the course of the project
    My trick for successfully managing projects is to generate a one-pager pin up card for every stakeholder and team member, so they can pin this card up at their respective desks and get to see the bigger picture every single day
    My card typically includes 3 things:
    1) End Goal
    2) Agreed Approach
    3) Major Milestones
    Having this card in front of everyone’s eyes, everyday, has helped me a lot with expectation management and successful project execution for most of my projects.

    Team always gets to remember the end goal, clients always get to see the agreed approach and then every single stakeholder knows about the major milestones (next steps )of the project.

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