Join Britt Andreatta for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing project performance, part of Management Foundations (2013).
Another part of your role as manager is keeping track of projects, both your own and your team's. Just like managing your time, you'll want to establish a system for tracking the progress of your projects. Because projects involve a lot of people, use the strategies we've covered in previous chapters about managing team performance, addressing conflict, and having productive meetings. Again there are a lot of systems and strategies you can choose from and you'll want to find something that supports how you work and meets the needs of your organization. There are some industry standards that may govern your choices, such as the Scrum model used with software development, and some organizations have invested in certain procedures or systems, thereby determining what you'll be doing.
If that's the case, you'll want to get up to speed as quickly as you can, and make sure that your team has the training and support they need to use the system effectively too. Ultimately, project management relies heavily on your ability to plan and organize work. You'll be orchestrating multiple activities, and establishing courses of action to ensure that work is completed efficiently. Project management is also a group effort, so you need to find a system that will meet your team's needs and that you can all use correctly and consistently. There a couple of great courses at Lynda dot com, check out Project Management Fundamentals, Managing Small Projects, and Managing Project Schedules, all by Bonniie Biafore.
Here are key things for you to consider. First, how are you tracking your projects? You'll need to quickly and easily identify where any project stands. This includes timing and whether it's on track to meet milestones and deadlines. Second, how will you assess the quality of work? A project completed on time is not really an accomplishment if the work is substandard. How can you assess the quality of work and make necessary adjustments? Third, how do you stay within budget? I'll cover managing budgets in an upcoming video, but part of project management is making sure that your project is completed within its budget.
One of the tensions that many managers face with project management is known as the quality triangle. This essentially states that the quality of a project is the function of three things, one, how big the project is or its scope, two, how much time you have to complete the project, and three, the budget you've been given, or the cost of the project, which includes staffing. Also known as the triple constraint, this triangle illustrates that most organizations want their teams to produce stuff that is good, fast, and cheap.
The theory of the quality triangle is that you can only get two of the three. If you want it fast and good, it will cost more. If you want it fast and cheap, then the quality will not be as good. Or if you want it cheap and good, then it will take longer. There's an ongoing discussion about the validity of this model between project managers and the leaders of organizations. You may find yourself in the middle of this discussion, so part of project management will require you to not only understand these elements, but communicate effectively about them. And that brings us to communication skills.
At the heart of project management is your ability to communicate up and down the organization. You'll need to be able to accurately and quickly share information to those above and below you, often acting as a translator and mediator. As a result, you need to become well-versed in speaking and writing clearly. You'll also need a system for tracking communication, knowing when information has been sent and received, as well as identifying when people are not on the same page. Take the time to learn and hone your project management and communication skills.
This will not only set you up for success, but will set you apart from your peers.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- Choosing a management style
- Hiring employees
- Coaching employees
- Managing team performance
- Establishing trust
- Motivating and engaging others
- Delegating responsibilities
- Avoiding micromanagement
- Managing remote employees
- Knowing HR regulations<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.