The best project managers are the ones who can deliver high-quality projects consistently within the deadline and are also able to meet or exceed the client's expectation. However, managing a project is not a cakewalk and requires proper project management skills and coordination among the team members. Here are few tips that you can make use of for successful project management and delivery:
Understand Your Project Well
It's duty of the project manager to gather and understand project requirements and make sure to get them approved by the stakeholders. Ensure that it includes a timeline and budget which should be enough to cover the project requirements. Set an action plan as when to start the project, what to do when, and when to finish, but be flexible for any inevitable changes. Being flexible doesn't mean proactive planning but reactionary measures, which let you adapt to the change before it becomes too late.
You can give your team members the freedom to work the way they want to, to complete the tasks they've been assigned. But make sure to create an overall schedule and maintain it throughout.
Set Realistic Goals
It's really important to understand the limitation of the project not only for you but everyone in the team including your client as well. You also need to understand that you can deliver a project on time and within a budget, only when the expectations are reasonable. Unrealistic expectations can only lead to project failure.
Select Your Team Members Carefully
You may be working with a predetermined team or you might have to assemble your team yourself. Regardless of what the situation is, you need to keep in mind the strengths and weakness of each of your team members, while assigning them their tasks. This is one of the most important thing when it comes to project management and the success of your project depends on this. Ensure that your team members understand their deliverables and keep a tab of interdependencies among your team members and outside resources as well.
Encourage the team members to ask questions so that they can clarify anything they're uncertain about and to come to you when things seem going awry. Open and clear communication is important for success of your project.
Keep and Be On Track
One of the most important responsibilities you have is to ensure that your project on track. Interim milestones are important to help determine whether you're working toward your goals or straying from your path. If you fall behind a milestone, it's a sign that your project schedule is at risk. You'd need to ensure that the remaining milestones are crossed before the scheduled time to compensate for the missed one.
As the project manager, you also need to have foresight to see project risks and do whatever is necessary to minimize such risks.
Once you deliver the project successfully, sit back, relax, and spend some time in assessing how you can improve in your next projects. In many organisations, the project managers meet with the entire team after project delivery and celebrate success and also talk about what went wrong and how they can improve. Make sure to keep the tone of the meeting positive, if it's just a meeting.
Most effective project managers keep addressing all their concerns while the projects are going on. This keeps your team engaged and motivated. Either way, both are good and ensure that you and your team perform better in future undertakings.
Remember, you're the director of the project and so make sure to act that way—no other team member should be able to assert dominance over your position. It's your job to bring the best out of your team members and leave no stones unturned in the process. You're not just their project manager, but their mentor, coach, and motivator too. Be strong and remain calm during turbulent times, no matter how difficult it is. That is what a good leader needs to do.