Every organisation runs projects. It is how you upgrade systems, procedures, locations, services, and products. To be successful, all projects need planning, commitment, and management – whatever their scale.
In project management, the general responsibility of a project manager and their team is to ensure that internal and external resources work together effectively and efficiently. Projects must be planned, scheduled, monitored and maintained to achieve their expected outcomes.
If your organisation wants to build on its success of 2017, it’s imperative to ensure that every project you have on the table runs smoothly. There are multiple factors you need to consider. We’ve gathered together five of these, and packaged them as the following New Year’s resolutions for organisations with a project focus.
1. Know your market
Make sure that you know – and understand – your market. What is it that your customers want, and how are your competitors delivering to their customers’ needs? Are there regulatory changes approaching that will affect the way your business operates? The answers to questions such as these will help you identify future opportunities to exploit. Talk to customers, suppliers, and employees – you’ll be surprised what insight you achieve.
2. Take advantage of new technology
The rate of technological advance is astounding. People are more connected now than ever, and the Internet of Things is changing how even whole cities work.
Listen to your employees when they tell you that efficiency is being hampered because of your current systems. Seek ways to improve operations with technology, and get the buy-in of all stakeholders before you implement the solution.
3. Ensure that project goals align with project strategy
Most projects that fail do so because of a lack of understanding of project strategy, and how it complements project goals. It is imperative that all stakeholders understand how the project strategy will enable the project’s goals to be achieved.
Measurement, monitoring, and KPIs are all tools that help to engage people in the project, and ensure that each milestone achieved is a clear step through the project strategy towards project goals.
4. Remember ROI
All projects, whatever their size, should be evaluated with reference to their return on investment (ROI). The time, money, and effort spent on a project should produce positive results. These results may be returned in terms of operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, new product capacity, etc.
Maintain reference to ROI throughout a project lifecycle by referencing the process of managing product delivery, and ensuring each work package during a project delivers the project products at each product stage.
5. Ensure that senior management is a visible sponsor of projects
Your people, your suppliers, your customers, and your external resources will climb on board with your project if they believe it is important to senior management. Yes, you need to delegate work, but you must also be seen on site at the ‘coalface’. As well as reaffirming commitment to the project, your senior managers will get a feel for how well the project is being run, and how well it is progressing towards its goals.
What projects have you planned for this year? Do you have the tools to manage them effectively? How will you measure progress? Is your project team ready to deal with the unexpected, and keep your project on track?
In our next article, we’ll examine how to handle issues in project management, and make sure that project outcomes aren’t adversely affected by managing the unexpected. In the meantime, enjoy your New Year celebrations, and don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your project management needs: