Here are some tips to speed up the implementation of your projects and manage them more effectively:
Following up with your team
In a perfect world you would never need to follow up with any of your team. You would simply plan your project, communicate the plan and wait for it to be executed. Unfortunately this is a totally unrealistic dream. You need to follow up with your team to make sure that they are executing effectively. To do this you must know what items you need to follow up with your team and when you need to follow up. Keeping a list of these things in your head and just trying to remember them is not effective. Instead, write down everything that you are following up on.
To be effective, try keeping track of this in three separate ways. First, list all the items you need to follow up on daily. Secondly, list all the items that you are following up on weekly. Also, there will be some items you need to follow up on a specific date. These items should go into your calendar or as part of your project management system so that you are reminded at the appropriate date to follow up or if you have a regular project meeting and this is the vehicle for follow up then make sure to have a list of the items that you will cover at this meeting.
Organizing your list of things to follow up on is very important and much more effective than a haphazard method of checking in whenever it crosses your mind. Note that if you have a long list of items you are following up on daily, this is not ideal. Your team should be autonomous enough that you do not have to check in with them daily on every thing they are doing. This could be an indication that you need to upgrade your team.
Do you have the appropriate team to get the job done?
If one of your team members does not seem to be capable of getting the job done, you need to handle this issue immediately, don't wait or hope it gets better. One way to handle the situation is to give the person twice as much work to do. Give them a lot more pressure until they either say they can't handle it and give up or they press on and improve what they are doing. This approach of giving the person more work to do is counter-intuitive, because the logical thing to do seems to be to give the person less to do so that they can cope more adequately. However, if you have doubts about the person's abilities, putting more pressure on them to perform will help you to see what they are made of and see if they can perform more effectively than they are currently. If the person still doesn't improve or are not capable, move them to a different area or let them go, because you can't afford to have people on your team that are not capable of getting the job done.
Inspire your team, management and customers
Continuously inspire your team about the project. Also, continuously sell the results you are achieving to your customer and to management. A successful project is not just about achieving the results but also about inspiring all people involved and continuing to sell them on the benefits.
Here are some other tips for effective project management:
- Be very clear on the outcome for the project and make sure everyone involved is aware of the outcome and in agreement with it.
- Also, be clear on what is the next step that needs to happen for each aspect of the project. Specifically, make a list of each component of the project and determine what is the next action that needs to take place and who is responsible for this next action.
- Overestimate the time and money that you budget for the project.