Are you a project manager who fears unfulfilled deadlines, budget constraints, and project failures? Well, we’ve got you covered with our effective project management strategies.
Project management can be a tricky and stressful task, but with the right set of strategies and modern software, it can get manageable even for beginners. The success of a business project depends on an effective project management strategy that includes all aspects, like budget, scope, and deliverables.
Suppose you’re a business owner, project manager, or team leader. This article will cover the nine essential strategies you can incorporate into your project management plan to get more output in less time and with the lowest possible budget.
Not only will you learn how to set SMART goals and prepare for sudden project changes, but you’d also prevent project discrepancies, team conflicts, and micromanagement issues after getting insights from this article.
Let’s get started.
Here’s our take on nine essential project management strategies to reach your business goals while maintaining a healthy workflow in 2023.
1. Set Achievable Goals
The key to successful project management is setting clear goals that align with your mission. It’s better to split a project into a wide range of smaller milestones and achieve them one by one. Smaller goals are easier to achieve and create a sense of well-being among team members upon completion.
A survey reveals that unclear goals are one of the top barriers to reaching productivity in the workplace. Make thorough project planning beforehand to ensure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-specific). Here are a few ways to create profitable goals:
- Defined ROI expectation
- Realistic project objectives
- Measurable metrics for the goal
- Aligned with your project budget
- Can be split into smaller milestones
- Project schedule that’s achievable in a set time frame
Once a business goal is set, it’s time to organize and allocate tasks to relevant team members. An effective project manager must keep track of the performance and look for discrepancies.
For example, if a startup business like this solar kits eCommerce store sets a goal to sell 1000 kits per month, it would be considered unrealistic. This goal not only puts extra pressure on the marketing team but is also unrealistic for the budget and time of a startup business. However, setting SMART goals considering the discussed points can be more fruitful in this scenario.
2. Encourage Team Members
One of the key factors determining effective project management is your team’s motivation towards reaching milestones. Encouraging your team members to produce quality work or reach a milestone on time can boost their confidence. According to Harvard Business Review’s research, companies that invested in employee engagement achieved better revenues than those that didn’t.
It’s human nature that we feel more motivated once we are rewarded and appreciated for our efforts. Simple statements like “Keep up the good work” or “I’m proud of my team” will help elevate morale.
It’s challenging to keep the team motivated during times of high workload. While it can be challenging to organize fun activities at the workplace during the peak workload seasons, project managers can reward the team in many ways after reaching the milestone. Here are some of the ways to motivate employees at work:
- Giving flexibility of remote work
- Giving bonuses on performance
- Offering free stays at luxury hotels
- Organizing project celebration dinners
- Encouraging games and outdoor sports
- Organizing movie/theatre day for the team
- Giving awards like “Performer of the Month.”
- Allowing several small breaks during the day
- Setting up a healthy snack bar for employees
- Organizing international or national holiday trips
- Giving a day off to the best performers of the project
As a rule of thumb, an employee with a passion for growth will work for the company’s growth. Hence, career mapping is another great way to keep employees motivated and engaged in their work. It’s a defined outline of where an employee is in this career and how far he has to go to achieve his career milestones.
A project manager can support the team with a solid career path model and steps to reach their desired success. It’s important to motivate employees to improve and excel in their careers.
3. Work On Building Your Team’s Skills
Motivation, relevant skills, and consistency can help employees and the company grow and thrive in the market. Keep your team updated with modern concepts relevant to a project. Similarly, an efficient project manager encourages employees to learn if a project demands new skills.
Organizing learning workshops, in-house training, and study programs for field-specific, technical, interpersonal, and soft skills can help polish your team members. Keeping your team up-to-date, relevant, and motivated can help scale up businesses faster and more conveniently.
However, some projects are time-sensitive and give a little margin for employees to learn relevant new skills before working on them. In such instances, hire professionals with the required skill set for an entire project. Similarly, there’s always an option for outsourcing work depending on the budget and time availability.
Always encourage your team to adapt to modern workplace practices and skills to face the changes in global trends and cater to employee turnovers. Software and tools for personal productivity, career assessment, aptitude tests, and online resume builders come in handy to keep your skills up-to-date.
4. Make Your Team Accountable
Each member of the workforce has a defined set of roles and responsibilities. When an individual feels accountable for his performance, he’s more willing to accept and rectify his mistakes to meet the project goals. A culture of accountability is difficult to achieve in a workplace where the higher authorities and project managers are unwilling to collaborate.
A project manager should connect with each team member, provide individual feedback, and hold them accountable for their actions. Surprisingly, 82% of managers must make their team responsible for their actions. It makes sense as it’s challenging to confront your team without the fear of counterblast.
An effective project manager needs to have leadership skills to point out project mistakes and demand team members to correct them in the set project timeline.
Here are a few ways you can instil an accountability culture in the workplace:
- Scheduling team meetings
- Promoting entire team collaboration
- Improving team communication
- Setting clear work expectations
- Celebrating your team’s success
- Mediating conflicts among team members
- Promoting transparency among team members
- Training teams for goal-setting and problem-solving
- Creating a sense of purpose among team members
5. Prevent Micromanagement
Giving excessive instructions to team members and constant supervision can negatively impact a project’s success. When team members are working under a constant fear that they’re judged, their performance is interrupted, and the chances for errors and panic increase.
On the contrary, building a trust-worthy relationship with your team members can bring positive outcomes on their efficiency, motivation, and productivity. Assign projects to employees after accessing their skills and schedule and letting them take ownership of the task.
Frequent criticism can also demotivate team members and hinders their creativity at work. Instead of criticism, communicate with your team for disparities and mutually come to a suitable solution. Here are some forms of micromanagement that must be prevented for efficient team management:
- Being the CCs on each email
- Frequently asking for updates
- Stressing on irrelevant details
- Looking over the team’s shoulders
- Non-appreciative of the deliverables
- Dictating each step to team members
- Involving in others’ work more frequently
- Always asking what each member is working on
- Frequently sending deadline alerts to team members
6. Effective Communication
Project managers spend 17%-90% of their time communicating with team members, clients, and authorities. The correct form of communication is needed to understand the project requirements and the challenges that come with it. Effective communication must check the following points:
- Verbal and Non-verbal
- Assisted with visual aids/presentations
Communication among team members is crucial for understanding the project challenges and developing innovative solutions. Have highly engaging team members that’s agile, motivated, and productive. A project manager can create a collaborative environment at the workplace that promotes discussion and debate.
A lack of team alignment can negatively impact a project’s success. Here are a few ways to make communication efficient among team members:
- Holding meetings to ensure the team is on the same page
- Asking the team for project feedback, challenges, and wins
- Reporting the project progress across team members and key stakeholders
- Encouraging the team to input their ideas, creativity, and opinions regarding the project
7. Use Project Management Tools
In real-time, leverage modern project management tools to monitor work progress, employees’ performance, and expected project outcome. A central project management system makes it easier to keep a check on loopholes, errors, and disruptions in projects across all business departments. A project manager can then identify and correct the problem.
Instead of manually monitoring each team member and their assigned tasks, digital software makes project management efficient. Routine tasks like data entry become more accessible, and team members get more time on their hands to get creative with business ideas.
Make sure to choose the right project management tool for your business needs. Take the example of this wholesale business site Vivion. It can benefit from a smart tool offering a multitude of operations, including real-time tracking of sales, conversions, smart logistics, customer insights, analytics, and competitor analysis. Some examples are Asana, nTask, and Celoxis.
Similarly, a small-scale business like GreenSupply can benefit from professional communication tools like Trello, Slack, and Basecamp for online meetings and collaboration of teams and relevant stakeholders.
Not only is the team given more time to work on expanding business while also improving customer service and efficiency.
Similarly, modern project management tools come with data analytics to keep a check on multiple goals, including marketing, financial, and organizational. Using data analytics can help improve business operations and employee efficiency. These tools leverage data pipelines that allow businesses to keep their data moving through different systems within an organization.
However, while picking a project management software for your business needs, make sure it checks the following points:
- It’s easier to operate
- It aligns with your budget
- Your team enjoys using it
- It has all the required features
- It can scale with your business
- It streamlines the repetitive tasks
- It has a clean, modern, and simple design
- Whether you want an online or offline tool
- It is compatible with all mobile devices (Android and iOS)
- It increases workplace productivity, efficiency, and margins
8. Plan For Suspected Changes
Another key strategy for project management is being prepared for upcoming changes. A project manager must keep an eye on identifying incoming changes in an ongoing project. In case of any changes, involve the team members and relevant stakeholders in the new project scope, clear communication, and proposed alterations.
For example, if you’re a web development service provider and your client requests to change the design of a digital product while keeping the deadline the same. It gets tricky as your team has already set their foot on the task, and you’ve invested time and money in building the previous design.
Here, a project manager works as a mediator, and the team will still meet the deadline if the project manager has already added a buffer time to the deadline. Similarly, the project manager will negotiate with the client to compensate for the team’s time and effort in designing the previous product.
It’s always great to have contingency plans for suspected changes in the project so that the team is not put off balance. Similarly, an effective project management platform can maintain timely lines of communication among all stakeholders and teams.
9. Evaluate Project Performance
The last and most important strategy for effective project management is project evaluation. After you’re finished the project, compare it to the prototype and see if the product is exactly what you proposed and expected in the first place. Also, make sure that the final product aligns with your goals.
Any errors, dissimilarities, and gaps are identified and mitigated during the evaluation process. The failure and success of the project are evaluated, and the key takeaways, challenges, and wins are noted for future products.
Here are a few of the questions to ask yourself for quality assurance of a project:
- Is the project successful?
- What are the areas for improvement?
- What strategies worked for the project’s success?
- What are the stages/processes where things broke down?
- Which solutions worked to tackle specific project challenges?
- What steps should be taken to avoid the same mistakes in the future?
Thankfully, online business assessment tools keep the burden off the shoulders of a project manager. Using the correct assessment tools can refine project management and help you identify the key areas of improvement. It enables you to reach your business goals while being competitive, agile, and effective. Project quality assessments also work as a pillar to help you grow in your industry.
Effective project management relies on best practices and strategies that align with the company’s goals and helps businesses thrive in the market. From setting clear goals, having the right skill set for a particular job, adjusting to critical project changes, and monitoring project performance.
Now that you’ve learned how smart project managers and leaders tackle the stressful task of project management, you can start your business project. You’d manage and monitor teams, project stakeholders, and processes across different business departments by implementing the proper workplace practices, project management skills, and modern tools.
Last but not least, remember to monitor the success and failure of your project, as the key findings will serve as the roadmap to your next project as a successful project manager.
Looking for a smart project management tool to cater to your business needs? Look no further than Celoxis to manage your projects to meet your KPIs and boost business success. It’ll also help you manage resources, processes, and business demand, as well as project accounting and tracking. Start your free trial now or sign up for a personalized demo on your website.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. He helps innovative B2B companies implement revenue-driven SEO strategies to scale their organic traffic to 1,000,000+ visitors per month. Curious about what your true traffic potential is?