Project management is the process of planning, organizing and managing tasks and resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.
It's a critical part of any business, but can be especially challenging for small businesses, startups and anyone new to the field.
In this guide, we'll discuss project management best practices for beginners, and share tips on how to choose the right project management tool for your business and for effective project management on the whole.
We'll also highlight the importance of integrating your project management tool with your shared inbox tool, so you can enjoy better collaboration with your team and provide better service to your customers.
What are project management best practices for a project manager who's just starting out?
A project team looking to amp up their project success? Let's find out!
A project management plan is a document that outlines how you will manage the resources, risks and challenges associated with your project.
This document should include your project's goals, objectives, timeline, budget, deliverables and more.
Creating a project plan will help you to better understand your project, and identify any potential risks or challenges that could impact its success. It will also help improve task management on the whole.
For effective project management, here's a quick framework you can follow to start building your project plan:
Briefly explain at a high level what you're tackling with this project.
-Project description. Describe in detail what the project is all about, its objectives and goals.
Define what's included and excluded from the project.
Break down your project into smaller to-dos that can be assigned to individuals or teams.
Create a timeline for your project, and identify key milestones.
Determine how much money you will need to complete your project.
Describe how you will communicate with stakeholders throughout the project.
Describe how you will manage changes to the scope, schedule or budget of your project.
Describe the process you will use to get approval for your project from stakeholders.
Once you've created your integrated project plan, it's time to put it into action.
There are a few key steps you'll need to take to implement your plan and keep your project on track:
Identify the individuals or teams who will be responsible for completing each task in your project.
Assign specific to-dos to individuals or teams, and make sure they have the resources they need to complete them.
Track the progress of your project, and identify any areas that are falling behind.
Keep stakeholders updated on the progress of your project, and solicit their feedback.
As your project progresses, you may need to make changes to the scope, schedule or budget.
Document these changes in your change management plan.
The above steps are just a few of the things you'll need to do to manage your project effectively.
A kickoff meeting is a great way to start off any project on the right foot.
This is the time when you'll bring together your team, stakeholders and any other key players to discuss the project goals, objectives, timeline and deliverables.
Make sure everyone is on the same page from the start, so there are no surprises later on.
No project is complete without the right assets. And your project process won't stay on track until you develop a project brief.
These could include images, videos, text documents or anything else that you need to complete your project.
Developing a brief for these assets will help ensure that you get exactly what you need, when you need it—and it'll better equip you for project success.
By following these steps, you can be sure that you'll get the assets you need to maintain project progress and achieve a successful project overall.
One of the most important aspects of project management is maintaining a schedule and cadence.
This means setting deadlines for deliverables, and making sure that everyone involved in the project is aware of these deadlines.
It also means following up with team members to ensure that to-dos are being completed on time.
In any project, it's important to mind the workload of your team.
This means making sure that everyone is aware of their tasks and deliverables, and that no one is being overloaded with work.
It's also important to provide adequate resources for your team, so they can manage and complete their work on time and to the best of their ability.
It may sound easy, but workflow can fluctuate and team member's may not always be the first to flag something when it's becoming overwhelming.
Scope creep is one of the most common problems in project management.
It happens when the scope of a project starts to increase, without a corresponding increase in resources or time.
This can lead to deadlines being missed and projects going over budget.
To avoid going outside your project scope, it's important to closely monitor your project for any signs of it.
One of the most common mistakes project managers make is adding unrealistic milestones.
This happens when you set a deadline that's either too soon or too late.
It can also happen when you try to cram too much into one project.
To avoid adding unrealistic milestones, it's important to be realistic about what your team can achieve.
It's important to establish clear and consistent communication channels with your team. This is a soft skill that every project manager should have, as it will help everyone stay on the same page, and avoid any misunderstandings.
Another common mistake in project management is not expecting or accommodating change requests.
Change requests are a normal part of any project, and should be expected.
To avoid problems with change requests, it's important to have a process for handling them.
It's important to keep project documents up to date, so everyone on the team is working from the same information. Here are a few tips for keeping project documents up to date:
Once your project is complete, it's important to take some time to review and reflect on the performance of your project.
This will help you identify any areas that need improvement, and make sure you're using best practices in future projects. Here are a few tips for reviewing your project:
Finally, it's important to ask for feedback from your team, and then actually use that feedback to improve the project. Here are a few tips for asking for and using feedback:
Now that we've gone over some project management best practices, let's focus specifically on choosing the right project management tool.
There are a lot of different project management software options out there, so how do you know which one is right for you?
When you're looking for tools or software, there are a few key features you'll want to look for.
Choosing the right tool can be a challenge, but it's worth taking the time to find a tool that meets your needs.
By following these tips project managers, you'll be well on your way to managing your projects effectively and your project team will thank you for it.
We've covered a lot in this post. From project management best practices to choosing the right project management tool, there's a lot to think about when it comes to managing projects.
By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to managing your projects effectively.
Do you have any project management best practices to share? Let us know! Or simply give DoneDone a try. It's free project tracking software that's loved by project managers and project teams alike. If you enjoyed this post, we think you'll like it, too.