How to ‘wing it’ as an ‘accidental’ project manager
You get into the elevator and your boss says, “Can you just run this project?”. You say yes, of course, but now what? Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could snap our fingers and Voila! things – just – happen? In the real world, it doesn’t work that way. Organisations must use projects to drive change, step-by-carefully-planned-and-implemented-step.
What is project management?
Projects are how organisations make things happen. They process and deliver the changes that improve services to customers and increase organisational and operational effectiveness.
More formally defined, project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints (usually scope, budget and time).
What is the role of the project manager?
A project manager is a person who has the overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project. Construction, petrochemical, architecture, information technology and many different industries that produce products and services use this job title.
While there is no single way to ensure project management success, we have managed to scrape together these tips for you from proofhub.com. We have summarised them for you here:
- Know the project inside out
Identify the clients and the stakeholders and understand their interests and expectations regarding the project. Then develop a solid project plan where the roles and the job responsibilities are clearly defined. To make planning more effective, you can establish measurable and trackable success criteria to make sure if the project is on the track or not.
- Identify the project requirements
Project resources are the key factors that contribute in making a project successful. Once the plan is developed, create a team capable of implementing the plan effectively.
- Get a qualified project manager
In order to make sure the project is progressing in the right direction, it’s essential to appoint a qualified project manager. A project manager who is credible enough will leave no stone unturned to make the project a success. With the right training, this could be you!
- Define critical milestones
The success of the project depends upon the identification of the defining moments throughout the project. This can be done by providing the life cycle of a project which includes the main phases such as initiation, planning, execution and closure. You can perform an evaluation test after every phase.
- Communication is the key
To run a project smoothly, consistent effective communication needs to take place between the stakeholders and clients and new changes should be communicated to the team members to avoid ‘surprise attacks’.
- Tap into team members strengths and weaknesses
An effective manager will always make an effort to get to know about his team members inherent strengths and weaknesses so that he can allocate work accordingly. Tapping into the strengths of team members will definitely ensure faster task completion and better time management. With everyone in a team putting their best foot forward and making the most of their strengths, the project will be nothing less than a success.
- Use a Project management tool
Technology has given many gifts to the project managers with online project management software topping the list. The software acts as a big store-house of all the relevant project information. From files to documents, file-sharing to giving feedback, effective communication to seamless collaboration — project management software acts as a centralized platform for everything and everyone in the team.
- Manage potential risks
Risk management being one of the imperative project management practices today is essential for project success. Risks are the potential threats that can creep anytime and can jeopardize the whole progress in a project. To make sure your project is successful, potential risks need to be identified beforehand so that effective measures can be taken if they arise in the need of the hour.
- Test deliverables
To guarantee project management success, the deliverables should be tested at every critical milestone. Doing this gives you a fair idea whether the project is what it was planned to be. Testing deliverables are crucial to determine whether it is meeting or exceeding the expectations. If any fallacies are encountered, corrective measures can be taken immediately to bring it back on track.
- Evaluation of project
Each project can be a learning tool. An effective manager will always review the project as a whole, as well as analyse various project components. By doing so, he can note down the successes in a project, what went wrong in the project, and what can be improved for future projects.
If you want to take your project management career a little more seriously, then it’s time to upskill with the IMM Graduate School’s online short course in Project Management. This online short course will give you a broad understanding of project management, taking you through the cycle of a project (from conception to completion) and the requirements needed at each stage. You’ll explore a range of tools, techniques and standards developed by professional organisations for effective project management and you’ll take a look at your own organisation’s project implementation process. With a focus on the harder skills required in project management, you’ll master the practical capabilities necessary to define, create, plan, implement, control and complete a project successfully.
Because employees in all types of roles participate in projects, this course is suitable for people across the workforce. So, if you’re new to project management and wanting to lead or to contribute to projects more effectively, this course is for you. It’s presented by The Open University, a UK-based online learning and research university and an industry leader in executive education and upskilling the workforce. Their ultimate goal is to be world leaders in the design, content and delivery of supported open learning. How about making your next project personal…? You! Sign up, invest in yourself and learn to implement change personally and professionally with the IMM Graduate School. Go to:
During this course you will have the capable Christa Bonnet to mentor you.
Christa Bonnet: Head Tutor, Executive and Business Management Professional, Business Strategist and Transformative Trainer
While you study this course, you will be supported by your head tutor Christa Bonnet, an industry leader and trainer extraordinaire. Christa will be your go-to person, facilitating online tutorials and discussions with your fellow students in your group, as well as, being available for individual queries and help if you need it. She’ll also be the one carefully marking your work-based activity.