At a quick glance, the main goal of project management is, it might seem, the end result. That’s, after all, what the point is and that’s what the clients wants.
However, although the product of all that hard work and all the hours and resources invested is a huge indication of the success of a project, what counts just as much is how you get there. It’s called project management and not project completion for a reason.
So what checkboxes need to be ticked it order to be justified in saying that project management was well-executed? And why does it matter anyway?
We’ll start by addressing the second question and then we’ll have the rest of this article to discuss the first. The importance of good project management is not only in helping you cross that finish line, but also in helping you do it on time, with the right amount of resources and without leading your employees to quit on you.
And now, we’ll take a closer look at what factors play a role in making this happen and how to use project management time tracking software to track tasks and projects.
Communication is Key
The single most important thing you have to make sure is absolutely flawless is team communication. If you don’t know who does what and how everyone’s getting along, all the project tracking tools in the world won’t help you get far.
Team communication needs to go both ways - you need to give out clear directions and specific assignments, but employees should also be encouraged to give their opinions along the way. Make sure each of them is heard.
And try to create an atmosphere of trust where employees are free to ask any questions they have about the project or any specific part of the task and ask for help if they’re struggling. As a Team Lead effectively you’re there as a guide and support, not a dictator.
Define the Scope and Stick to It
The guidelines and boundaries you set for the project at the beginning will determine how that project will ultimately go. If you clearly define what needs to be done and how, as well as set appropriate deadlines and milestones, that roadmap has a greater chance of providing smooth sailing throughout the whole project.
This is where project management time tracking software can really help. Using software for project tracking will help you monitor who does what, how long it takes them, which apps they’re using, what the ratio of billable to non-billable hours is and it can offer many more benefits.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you should never deviate from the initial project plan. In fact, you should constantly re-evaluate your progress and methods with project tracking software, and if you detect any problems, you should be able to adapt.
But project tracking is crucial because it’s so easy to get sidetracked without a concrete plan of action and end up using time and resources on something that doesn’t define success for that particular project. This is what you should steer clear of.
Manage People, Not Just the Project
Don’t forget that a project doesn’t just include tasks - it includes people, too. Managing people means, first and foremost, knowing their capabilities and devising a plan that plays to everyone’s strengths. It also includes proper work delegation.
If you’ve already used project management time tracking software, by now you should have ample data on each employee’s efficiency when it comes to doing certain tasks. Use this project tracking data to delegate effectively and create optimized workflow for maximum efficiency.
Smart work delegation and awareness of how everyone on the team works and what they’re good at will prevent stress and burnout.
One More Thing to Manage - Client’s Expectations
Communication with your client throughout the whole project management process is just as important as communication within your team. You need to make sure you’re always on the same page about what needs to be done.
A big part of maintaining this mutual understanding is being as accurate as you possibly can in detailing all the steps the project includes and estimating the time your team will take to get it done. Project management time tracking software can help a great deal here because you have data from your past projects according to which you can form precise estimates. This will not only make the task achievable for you team, but also give you more credibility with the client.
And finally, keep the communication going. Regularly report to you client on your progress and provide an accurate report on all the billable hours at the end of the project. Task management software with time tracking can do the latter automatically for you, but you can also give your client gated access to their project’s tracking data so that they know where your team is at all times.
Some things are necessary when it comes to managing a project. Communication with your team and your client, good delegation and project tracking are all going to determine whether you had a good ride. Ultimately, successful project management is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination.