You have your scope change process, right? It’s working well, and everyone follows it. There are standard forms for people to submit their change requests and a proper process for evaluating the impact of each change. Then recommendations are put to a project board who make the decision about whether or not to make the change, based on a full understanding of the additional time, cost, quality or resource implications of doing so.
Even if your change process doesn’t work exactly like a textbook, you probably have something that enables you to get changes approved on your project. The trouble is, some people don’t or won’t follow the process for small changs – and that can apply to your project sponsor too, who is just as likely to ask you to do something without a full analysis.
Is there a better way? Maybe a process for handling small changes that does not have the bureaucracy of the full change management approach? Before we answer that, it’s worth looking at what counts as a small scope change. Read more »
When you’ve got a deadline coming up for a project, it can be difficult to avoid nagging your team. But, as you probably realize, nagging is rarely a good way to make sure something important gets done. In fact, it can have the opposite effect and instead ensure that your team members will be resentful, and it could even slow them down.
Instead of bugging your team members to get cracking, use these tips to motivate your team before your deadline hits:
Work in milestones
When possible, break up the larger project into several smaller pieces, and set deadlines for each milestone. Sometimes, a team can get bogged down because a project seems overwhelming. Setting deadlines for smaller milestones helps alleviate this problem. It also helps you use some of the following motivational tactics, which are better used throughout the course of a project instead of just at the end.
Give immediate recognition
Each time a team or team member meets a milestone on deadline – or, better yet, does so ahead of the deadline – implement a recognition program. Recognizing employees for their hard work through monetary or non-monetary rewards – even just an appreciative “thank you” – will motivate them to continue meeting milestone deadlines.
Provide early completion incentives
One article from the San Francisco Chronicle notes the benefits of early completion incentives as motivation for employees to meet deadlines or finish work early. If every person on the team is integral to a project, you can scale this for the entire team. For instance, if the project is completed early, everyone gets a bonus. If not, no one gets it. This can help motivate individual team members and give them a reason to motivate one another.
Project managers earned a median salary of $105,000 in 2011, according to the Project Management Institute. With that kind of salary and the increasing need for managers for team projects, it’s not surprising that more project managers competing for jobs.
If you’re in the market for a project management job, these interviewing tips will help you stand out in the crowd and land that coveted position.
Be open to new methodology
Whether you’re interviewing with a small business or a large company, project management methodology may be different from what you’ve been trained to follow. Before the interview, research the people who’ll speaking with and the company’s executives, including the head of project management, the CIO, and the COO, to see if you tell ahead of time if they prefer a certain methodology, such as PMI or Agile development.
Distinguish between project management and people management
When you’re preparing examples for your interview, be sure to have some examples of both project management and people management. Although both are involved in the process of project management, the two really are separate things. You want to show you make a distinction between the two.
Before your interview, think of times when you’ve dealt well with the “hard” side of project management – budgets, deadlines, etc. – and times when you’ve dealt well with the “people” side of project management – interpersonal issues, motivation, etc.
One of the most important things when you are managing a project is making sure that you include everyone on your stakeholder register, and I mean everyone. There are always more people affected by a project than you first think.
Doing the stakeholder identification exercise is relatively straightforward. Sit down with your team and work out who is going to be affected by the project. It can take a bit of time, and a lot of thought, but it isn’t a difficult job to do. Most people do this as part of their work in the early stages of a project, so that a version of the stakeholder register can be included in the project charter or other project documentation that sets the scene for the project.
Getting a comprehensive list is one thing, but how do you go about prioritising that list so that you can work effectively with all the relevant people? After all, you don’t want to spend too much time on low priority stakeholders at the expense of stakeholders who would be really valuable to engage thoroughly. Here are four types of stakeholders, and this framework will give you an idea about how to prioritise your different stakeholder groups.
- A. A. Milne
At some point, even if an individual’s chosen profession is not that of a project manager, he or she will manage a project in some capacity. Professionals must exhibit project management and organizational skills in order to stay on track, and this goes far beyond creating a simple spreadsheet and to-do list.
Project management is a very serious and often complicated task, which is often an integral part of most people’s everyday work experience. Although there are advanced degrees and certifications in the project management field these are not essential, as long as one has a strong grasp of the basic principles.
It is quite easy for a complex project to spiral out of control, which can ultimately lead to missed deadlines and loss of profit; however, keeping these general, tactical, and practical best practices in mind will help prevent a professional disaster from happening in the long run.
Making the most of meetings
A professional project management team that doesn’t hold meetings will be disjointed and unable to accomplish much. It is therefore important to schedule regular meetings with everyone involved in a given project, whether it is just a weekly check-in or more detailed discussions; meetings help keep everyone on the same page and the job moving forward.
There is a trick to holding effective meetings because every project is different. The frequency of the meeting will depend on the magnitude of the project and how well it is all going. Weekly meetings or conference calls are the norm, but some projects may require more regular communication. But it is essential to remember that the meetings must achieve something – have an agenda and stick to it.