The most important role of a project manager is to ensure the successful completion of a project within a particular budget and time frame. A project can deviate from its intended path for a number of reasons and a variety of factors, but there are certain steps you can take to ensure it doesn’t veer off its tracks.
Collect all the details of the project before you begin
It is necessary to have all the details of the project, together with the stakeholders’ approval, up front. The scope of the project must include a budget large enough to cover all the expenses, a detailed timetable and interim milestones. Having everything written down on paper at the start of the project is a solid base to build upon. Inevitably, there will be some changes in the course of the project, but you must remain in control and intervene when it veers off its intended course. This helps prevent disaster as the clients continuously tend to ask for “just one more final thing” to be done.
Have realistic expectations
Each project has limitations and these must be clearly understood by everyone in the team and the client. If the expectations are reasonable, the project can be completed both within budget and on time. In case of unrealistic expectations, it will be hard for you to perform miracles and you would most likely set yourself up for failing. Don’t doom your project to failure from the start!
Determine the criteria for success
You must ensure your success is measurable and reportable, otherwise you can’t claim to be successful. If the project spans over a long period, you will need to have interim milestone so that it is easy to determine whether you are on track or are veering from the intended goals.
It is important to have both client checkpoints and internal checkpoints. Don’t leave the feedback of the client until the completion of the project, otherwise you may have to re-work a substantial part of it when it turns out that your client is unhappy.
Assign responsibilities to team members selectively
Make sure that the skills of each member of your team align with their intended responsibilities. This initial first step is important. Having the wrong person assigned to a task reduces your chances of completing the project successfully even before it commences.
Ensure each member of the team knows what is expected of him and within what timeframe. Try to clarify everything that looks uncertain or is out of place. The success of the mission requires an open and clear communication between the team members.
Adopt your role as a leader
As the project leader, you must assert your authority. This is necessary in order to act as a mentor, coach and motivator in your team. Sometimes it is required to include team-building activities to cultivate a healthy atmosphere among team members who haven’t worked together previously.
If your project faces problems down the road, be sure to provide calm and strong leadership.
John Constantinides is an experienced digital marketer, entrepreneur and SEO expert. Throughout his years of cutting-edge work in the SEO, SMO, web design PPC, he has successfully developed multiple business ventures and become an authority on search engine optimization, SMO, PPC and projects management.