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Determining the right level of project management

From: Managing Small Projects

Video: Determining the right level of project management

Planning and other project management activities help make a project a success. But too much, and the project might drown in bureaucracy; too little, and the project might not succeed. The key is, to determine how much project management it will take, no more, no less to ensure that the project achieves its goal. To find that sweet spot of just enough project management it pays to be smart and a little bit lazy.

Determining the right level of project management

Planning and other project management activities help make a project a success. But too much, and the project might drown in bureaucracy; too little, and the project might not succeed. The key is, to determine how much project management it will take, no more, no less to ensure that the project achieves its goal. To find that sweet spot of just enough project management it pays to be smart and a little bit lazy.

When you are smart you can identify what really needs to be done and when you are lazy you find the simplest and easy way to do those things. As a rule of thumb the time a project manager spends is about 15% of the project hours. That means out of 1000 hours, 850 hours would be for doing the actual work to achieve the project goal, and 150 hours would be project management to make sure the project is successful.

Small projects usually represent fewer total hours, so the hours for project management are less two. This just-enough style of project management also helps prevent unnecessary administrivia for team members, which means they have more of their time to work on their assignments. The good news is that smaller projects often have simpler goals more straightforward deliverables and smaller teams. So project management doesn't have to be cumbersome.

It can be more informal and intuitive as long as you still perform the crucial steps. Here are tips for running a project effectively. Track only the information you need, don't way down your team members with tracking and reporting too much detail. Make it as easy as possible for people to report what they're working on and the progress they've made. Stay on top of the information you do track, like action items or change requests.

That way you spend less time putting out fires. Small teams make communication easier so keep communication as simple as possible. A team e-mail list shared folders, tools like collaboration software, whatever makes the most sense for your project and your people. Last, but not least, run effective meetings, because meetings involve participants, you can save tons of time and money by holding as few meetings as necessary, and keeping the ones you run as short as possible.

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Managing Small Projects

38 video lessons · 16990 viewers

Bonnie Biafore
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