The golden rule of project management is the same whether you are developing a new website or planing to take over the world: assemble a great team and give them the best tools available to accomplish the task. However to truly make the end product excellent you must make sure that every step from planning to final execution is examined carefully both to enhance the final product and reduce inefficiencies. Here are 5 performance management tips for establishing an agile project management strategy that will help you and your team tackle any goal, large or small, with finesse.
Being able to track a project through its various stages of development is essential to be able to optimise your efficiency and place your resources where they are most needed. Being one step ahead of the game enables you to foresee future problems and plan the next stages with ease, so making sure you know exactly where each element of the plan is at is crucial. Whether tracking takes place by a daily conversation with team members or by an electronic system off checking off goals, keeping note of where your project stands is key to success.
Low response time
Circumstances can change at the drop of a hat, so if you have a query or a problem then you often need a lightening fast response. Integrating your project into a system that allows for email updates or desktop notifications is the best way to ensure any problems are dealt with efficiently before they escalate.. For example, professional project management websites like Basecamp improve response times due to the slew of email notifications any change or conversation provides.
If you have not planned a project well then you are liable to fall at any hurdle. Critically assess every part of your plan for the three Fs: feasibility, funding and function. Is your plan realistic? Do you have the necessary funds and resources to realise it? And how does your plan lead to the realisation of your final product or goal?
Sometimes it simply is not possible to know all the variables a project will contain before it begins, so you therefore should always build in a generic fall-back system. Always allocate slightly more time and resources than a project needs. Although in some cases this can be wasteful, overall most projects will actually require the extra legroom (and then some) to achieve completion by the required date.
‘Agile’ is the current buzzword in the business world for a reason: flexibility is key in our fast moving times and those that cannot change in an instant will more likely sink than swim. Project management should be simultaneously interactive and flexible: those working on a project should be able not only to truly interact with the variables and ideas but also be able to realign themselves and shift responsibilities, deadlines and roles in order to achieve maximum efficiency. While basic constraints should be used to frame a project, flexibilities allows not just for optimisation of resources but also greater creativity and imagination.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you or your team simply don’t have the skills or expertise needed to complete your project. Outsourcing or bring in new team members can be costly but it also can simply be the right move to either finish your project on time or at the needed quality. Assess the skill set of people available to you and if you need a helping hand think of the quickest and easiest ways to reach out to obtain the workforce you need. For example, if you suddenly find yourself in need of a Ruby coder then it is easy to pick up a short-term developer on websites like Toptal. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box to get yourself the tools you need to build the perfect project.
Project management is not the complicated art that some business books would have you believe. As long as you make sure you have a sound plan, trusted helpers and controlled variables then you can be assured that with a little hard work any project can come to fruition.