If your company is having a difficult time getting projects completed on time, then you might benefit from studying effective project management. John Gizowski of La Grange, Illinois, a project manager with a proven track record of getting projects across the finish line on time and under budget, shares below his pro tips to achieve just that.
Be Clear About the Mission
Your team needs to keep a clear understanding of the mission in mind. You must clearly spell out the overall project goal, as well as all the smaller obstacles that are involved. Each goal you set needs to be attainable and realistic as well as adhere to a pragmatic schedule. Remember to never indulge in wishful thinking about either your goals or your schedule, and never rely on lucky breaks.
Lead by Example
Good leaders don’t just give orders and set timetables. Instead, they set examples through dynamic leadership and inspire their team members throughout the project. A good leader should never ask team members to do something they won’t do themselves. If you prove that you are not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you will find that your team will go to great lengths for you. Furthermore, if you show that you will take on extra work for the good of the project and the team, you will have the moral authority to ask your team members to do the same. These actions and mindsets will set you as well as the team up for success and help ensure that you meet the company’s expectations.
Recruit People with the Right Attitudes
Although you need people with specific skills that will benefit your team, you need people with more than just the right skills. You should only recruit people who have demonstrated that they can act in accordance with the company’s and your team’s values. In the long-run, a candidate with the right values and work ethic will ultimately trump a candidate with superior skills but isn’t a culture fit.
Promote All Ideas
You need to foster an environment which encourages team members to share their ideas and be open to constructive feedback. This concept allows employees to discuss thoughts openly and choose which approach is the correct path forward. While team members should be allowed to voice their concerns with new proposals, the group, alongside your guidance, should focus on how the project may benefit from different ideas rather than get stuck on the negative aspects. Ideally, this will encourage a group of problem solvers and risk takers, rather than yes-men.
You also need to depersonalize failure. Whenever someone’s ideas are shot down, and whenever someone’s efforts do not work out as planned, avoid the temptation to point fingers. Instead, praise a good try and remind everyone how trying things and sometimes failing is a critical part of discovering the things that work.
Create an Accountability Log
You need to keep track of all of the tasks that you have assigned. The easiest way to do this is to create an accountability log. Keeping track of the progress toward the various team goals will keep everyone focused and give you a good idea of what your team’s strengths and weaknesses are.
Competent project teams and project managers are essential to completing projects on time and without cost over-runs. So, get your hands dirty, keep your ego out of the way, pay attention to details, and you will find that your team can accomplish anything.
About John Gizowski: As an engineer project manager located in La Grange, John Gizowski has earned recognition and respect among his colleagues for his hands-on approach, timely implementation, and return on investment in all of his projects. Beyond the office, he serves as an academic advisor to his alma mater and is a member of the society of automotive engineers.