3 Tips to Achieve Better Projects


A project manager’s main job is to bring a particular project to completion, both on-time and within budget. There are all kinds of factors that can cause a project to veer off its tracks, both internal and external, but steps can be taken to ensure that your project experiences as little disruption as possible.

With planning and preparation, you can put your project into the best shape even before you begin, and hopefully minimize the types of interruptions that can derail the best-laid plans. Proper work before beginning a project can also ensure that any unexpected occurrences can be dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

Here are three key tips to ensure for better quality projects:

1. The project schedule is your friend

A leading cause of project failures and missed dates is the lack of a detailed project schedule. The project manager may create milestone charts and pretty Gantt charts for executive management; however, if the project manager isn't tracking the schedule that justified the charts, there is no early warning indicator of project delivery problems.

The project schedule is your friend. Sure, it's a pain to put together and continually update, but it's a critical tool for project success.

Key takeaway: Build and manage to a project schedule.

2. You can't escape the project triangle even if you're an executive

In project management courses, we learn about the triple constraint of time, cost, and scope. We all passed the test that validates you can't hold all three sides of the project triangle fixed. In fact, you can't change one side of the triangle without impacting one of the other sides.

Key takeaway: Adopt a change management process early in the program that all stakeholders will follow.

3. Project heroics only lead to project failure

Heroes only look good in the movies. Trying to apply project heroics to rush a feature into production or thinking that one individual will successfully deliver a project can only lead to failure.

Key takeaway: Build and trust an effective team.

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Conclusion​​

Projects have successes and failures at different points in the project life cycle, which is why we follow an issue and risk management process. The key to successful projects is to learn from past project failures and to put those lessons learned into action.

Related reading: The Best Project Managers Are Ones Who Fail

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