7 Project Management Best Practices
When it comes to project management, we’ve developed some best practices based on Trinity’s extensive work with our clients. Projects are by definition unique undertakings. No one project will be identical to the next.
Thus, having tried and true general guidelines can provide a lot of support in making sure projects are handled successfully.
What is Project Management?
Project management is defined as planning and executing an undertaking with a team to attain specific goals in a defined window of time. Thus, a project manager has a lot of constraints to work within.
Efficiency, service, and quality are paramount to any project’s success. Companies that value business agility are always evolving their methods and tools to increase the efficiency of critical business processes.
Depending on a project’s key processes, a project manager can either establish themselves a competitive edge or find themselves failing to meet imperative deadlines. Over-allocated resources, poor communication, unreliable estimates, and poor monitoring are all things to guard against.
7 Best Practices to Ensure Great Project Management
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 7 project management best practices that will aid in your project management success.
Set Clear and Realistic Goals
Setting realistic and clear objectives is essential for a project’s success. It’s important that key stakeholders are aware of the goals from the get-go. If the chosen goals are unattainable, even the best efforts will result in failure.
Likewise, if the team isn’t on the same page about what the objectives are, setbacks are surely going to occur. From the onset, clearly defined goals will help a team focus and make educated decisions.
Each process should be designed and implemented with the goals in mind. By keeping the goals realistic and developing the right processes, success will follow.
Accurate Resource Forecasting
Resource forecasting is a vital aspect for allocating human capital and financial resources. Since each project is different, there is not always a lot of uniformity when it comes to constraints and deadlines. However, that doesn’t mean forecasts can’t be done accurately.
A good project manager will use the right analytic data to forecast estimates. The more past data that’s available, the more accurate a forecast will be. However, if you are new to project management, there are always business consulting experts, like Trinity, who have extensive
experience across a wide range of businesses.
By scheduling your team effectively and optimizing your resource utilization, you will stay on budget and on time. This, of course, is every project manager’s goal.
Accurate Time Estimation
There’s a common saying that every project takes double the time and double the money than anticipated. However, with great project management, this isn’t the case. Similar to resource forecasting, timelines can be predicted accurately with data and analysis.
Unexpected events can happen to anyone, but this is much less likely to happen if each task is tied to a project timeline. This way, every task is accounted for, and nothing is susceptible to falling through the cracks.
By setting attainable goals and deadlines (going back to Best Practice #1) the prospect of accurately estimating a projects length becomes much more realistic.
As I’m sure you know, money doesn’t grow on trees. This is especially true with projects. Since a project involves many stages, you must make sure you manage your money effectively.
Budgets will almost always be a notable constraint of project management. Thus, from the beginning, it’s important to map out where your money is going to go. A well-planned budget takes into account every necessary task.
Reference past budgets, track all adjustments, and plan for some unexpected costs along the way. This way, you know you are covered.
Utilize the Right Reporting Capabilities
A well-executed project involves a lot of reporting. The team will develop periodic reports to the project manager. And the project manager has to report to the stakeholders.
The right reporting software makes sure all data is being collected and presented properly, in order to keep everyone involved accountable. As previously mentioned, these reports are a gold mine of data for future projects.
There are various types of reporting commonly seen in strong project management.
- Status reports
- Risk reports
- Board reports
- Resource reports
- Tasks Overdue reports
- Expense reports
- Budget reports
- Role-specific Dashboards
Using a tool that allows for automation can save a lot of time when creating your reports. Trinity offers a Quick Base reporting application, called TrinityDashboards+. It’s a flexible reporting software that allows for filtering through multiple reports at once.
Define and Evaluate Quality Standards Throughout the Project
A common problem in working through a project is adherence to quality. What might be an outstanding result for one project can be mediocre for another. The definition of what constitutes quality will change, but what remains constant is its’ importance.
Quality standards must be based on criteria acceptable to every stakeholder, especially the executives who have the responsibility of signing off on the closure of the project. Maintaining the proper quality standards from initiation through completion will pay dividends in the long run.
Consolidate and Streamline the Project Data
Place all project-related data in one easily accessible location. The last thing you want dragging down your timeline is required documents missing in action. These templates and tools will help you stay organized and keep everyone on track.
A cloud-based workspace, as provided by Quick Base, is a great tool for improving accessibility. Templates, schedules, budgets and documents should be easily accessible to relevant team members. Past project data is another resource you want to keep handy.
Trinity Wants to Share Our Project Management Insights With You
It’s common for companies to struggle to find software applications to meet their needs and help with the best practices we’ve outlined. Since every business is different, generic solutions just don’t cut it anymore.
That’s why, for over 21 years, Trinity has worked closely with our clients to provide the right business software solutions that “fit like a glove.” We are trained to identify which processes need improvement and to develop the perfect solution in response.
Using flexible tools, Trinity can rapidly and efficiently add new processes for a growing business. Trinity is also passionate about customer service. If your project management could use a boost in efficiency, service, and quality, Trinity has the solution, regardless of which industry you compete in.