Planning a Successful Project: The Project Manager’s Guide

Taking on new projects and completing them on time and on budget can sometimes be no more than a rosy idea.

Nearly 40% of project management failures are caused by a lack of defined goals. These 5 phases of project management are all critical aspects to keeping your team on track and moving towards the same goals.

1. Initiating a New Project

The beginning stages of a new project can be both exciting and a bit overwhelming. If your team doesn’t already have an established project management process, you’ll want to take the time to plan out every detail.

  1. Financial Feasibility: The first thing you need to figure out before taking on a particular project is whether or not it’s financially feasible. Ideally, profitable projects are the ones that are also the most fun and exciting to work on, but in the long run, profitable projects are the only ones that keep the doors open.
  2. Project Alignment: Instead of rushing into a new project, take the time to do market research. With the results from this research, you can figure out if a particular project (and client) is the right fit for your company.

2. Project Planning

One of the key components to successful project completion is adequate planning. Starting a new project with a number of “what ifs” can cause lots of confusion and may lead to various tasks going undone. Instead, start planning by:

  1. Setting specific goals
  2. Determining a way to measure results
  3. Identifying the milestones that will help you achieve your goals

Some teams make the mistake of getting a bit overzealous with the goals they have set. Ideally, you want to set goals that are within grasp. Setting a series of unrealistic goals will not only lead to failure, but it can also bring down team morale as well.

3. Getting Deliverables Developed and Completed

As any experienced business owner will tell you, the most important part of a project is the phase where deliverables are created and completed.

Performing routine meetings and getting status reports from your team is essential during this phase of the project. Getting regular status reports can help you see where problems are occurring. The faster you can detect these issues, the easier you will find it to fix them before any real damage is done.

4. Monitoring Project Performance

Having a team of knowledgeable and hard-working employees is the only way to take your business from a startup to a success story. You need to realize that even the best employees will need guidance and feedback from time to time.

Often times, using tools like those provided by Papertrail will help you detect errors and fix them in a timely manner.

You will also need to look at a few key performance indicators when trying to assess how well your team is performing. Creative agency project management software helps you evaluate the health of your jobs, as well as how your business is fairing. Having a constant pulse on your projects will help you nip any problems in the bud.

Related: 4 Key Financial Reports to Manage Your Advertising Agency

5. Closing a Project

Completing a project can be a thrilling experience. For most teams, the completion of a project means that all of the goals and plans developed have been executed properly. Once a project is closed out, take a look back at which team members went above and beyond.

Awarding these employees with either a pat on the back or a bonus is a good idea. By doing this, you’re showing your team you recognize how hard they work and that you are appreciative. Failing to show this type of appreciation can lead to morale issues and other employee engagement issues.

Project Management is a Team Effort

Trying to handle the development and completion of a project is a recipe for disaster. Making project management a team effort will increase productivity levels and decrease the amount of stress you have to deal with.

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