Saturday, December 20, 2014

Top 20 Tips for Project Managers

Project managers are responsible for the successful initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, controlling and closure of projects. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), a project is temporary in that it has a defined timeframe, and therefore defined scope and resources. Also, a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. Project teams often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. The following 20 tips (not necessarily in any particular order) are good references while managing a project.

  1. Take good care of your project team and your team will take care of client, which in turn will take care of business
  2. The project is all about delivery and keeping stakeholders (internal/external) informed
  3. At any given point of time a project manager should know what tasks need to be done, who should do it and have an ETA
  4. Always be on top of the RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues, & Dependencies) log as RAID is a critical factor for a successful project outcome
  5. No plan is perfect so always have Plan B. Circumstances change frequently so always consider the alternatives
  6. Projects are 90% planning and 10% implementation
  7. Plan, Execute, Review and Adjust
  8. Be adaptable and flexible while thinking outside the box
  9. A good communicator is a good listener. By listening you may learn something new while speaking repeats what you already know
  10. Always remember the 80/20 rule (Pareto Principle), which means by executing 20% of the work you can get 80% of the benefit
  11. Break the whole plan into milestones and scope them accordingly including the development of checklists for each milestone to verify quality as project work incrementally iterates
  12. Understand the dynamics of 'Definition of Ready' and 'Definition of Done'
  13. Design a robust feedback loop to learn lessons along the way and strive to continuously improve
  14. Negotiate achievable commitments by separating people from problems
  15. You cannot manage and improve what you cannot measure
  16. 6 P's of Project Management: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Project Performance (If i had 4 hours to cut down a tree, i would take 3 hours to sharpen the axe)
  17. Get the right people involved including the experts you need and proactively seek guidance 
  18. Trust but always verify. Direct communication is a key for forging trustworthy relationships
  19. Plans are nothing; planning is everything. Planning is a continuous process including progressive elaboration or rolling wave planning
  20. The difference between a good project manager and a great project manager are the leadership skills they possess
What are your top tips for a project manager? Please leave a comment to share your tips.

Top 20 Tips for Project Managers was originally posted under Prokarma blog on Dec 10th 2014