The way you manage a project depend on the methodology you are using (most popular being waterfall and agile), but what you should look out in projects do not change. You should use this article as guide on projects:
Understanding the brief, make sure the brief is clear to you and the team so you understand what is the ask.
- Review the brief with your team and ask for clarifications.
- Have an understanding of the budget , you want to be sure you can deliver the brief within budget or propose alternative way of delivering.
you need to have a view of what is your final product in order to plan and deliver it.
- Once the final product is clear and well defined check for feasibility with your team before committing to it.
- Define deliverables and if possible plan/estimate each of them separately.
Estimate and plan resources around the deliverables you have identified. You will always need to have delivery dates to focus on, few tips:
- Ask the person that will do the job for estimates, do not guess, this is also a commitment from the person doing the job.
- Make sure you have mapped all the dependencies on the project – internal and external
- Add some contingency, usually 10-15% on the estimate to plan for the unplanned. Remember the aim is to deliver the final project with the necessary, not minimum, amount of resources.
- Allow time for feedback from the stakeholders, client or internal.
- You need to tailor the approach within the budget and time constraints. You need to have alternative approaches to the delivery:
- MVP: the minimum valuable product you can deliver within the budget/time you have.
- Phased approach: have phased delivery in order to deliver earlier and agree on what is included in each phase.
4)MAKE IT HAPPEN
Now this is when your project management skills are tested.
- Manage the team:
- Motivate and protect the team from external pressure, you are the buffer between the team and the stakeholders.
- Communication: is key to manage expectation and be clear when briefing a team,
- The more transparent you are with the stakeholders on the challenges you have the easier is going to be to manage them.
- All team need to understand and commit to the plan, it helps to make the team part of the whole project not just the bit they are working on.
- Manage the project
- Tracking :Track people and money weekly to understand the budget and delivery status.
- Forecast : use effort tracking and forecast (budget and resources), manage and deliver the project within budget.
- Deliver: deliver the final project and get a final sign off.
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I am a problem solver, a communicator and a digital entrepreneur. I have more than 20 years experience in digital and advertising, I went through all the digital revolution / evolution, starting my career as a developer and ending up on the dark side as a Manager.