Important Rules of Project Management

Project management is more like a straightforward approach. After a project is assigned, we list the requirements, set a deadline, and start working on it. Nobody plans the project, especially smaller tasks that can be finished within a week or a month. That’s how our ancestors accomplished projects and got good results. That’s not how it works in reality, though. It’s important that you follow a standard or a proven procedure for completing projects — whether they are small or complex.

What are Project Management Rules?

Project management consists of several steps, and each must be completed before moving on to the next step. Despite several project management methodologies and tools that claim to make the management part easier, the percentage of failed projects seems pretty disappointing. Projects usually fail when the principles aren’t applied and followed correctly. That’s where project management rules come into the picture. In this post, we are going to discuss everything you should know about these rules, how to implement them, and how they can help speed up your project completion.

Set clear objectives

You don’t want your team or the stakeholders asking you about the project's objectives while you are in the middle of the project. It’s important to set clear objectives before starting work and communicate these goals to each individual involved.

Clarify what you’d like to achieve from this project. How will it benefit your organization? And how is it going to drive your team toward the final objectives? It’s easier to track progress and set realistic expectations when you have a clear goal in place.

Have a clear project scope

A project manager sets a clear and detailed scope for the project before starting work. This helps them identify when the project is to be finished and delivered. It saves you future headaches. Outlining a scope doesn’t mean you are going to follow it till the end. In fact, most project scopes are amended multiple times before the team is satisfied. But this will give you a good place to start.

The project scope includes the details, deadlines, breakdown of the project into several small tasks, and budget worksheets. These must be sent to the stakeholders for approval. The better and more detailed your project scope looks, the easier it is to work on a project. Creating a project scope is the most challenging part of any project, as you need to consider the stakeholder’s wants and come up with a plan that fits each stakeholder’s needs while staying within budget and finishing each task by the deadline.

Frequent communication

Once the project scope gets the green light from the stakeholders, you can start work. But, make sure communication is effective for successful project management. You need to keep your employees and stakeholders up-to-date with the changes in the plans or your progress. Keeping your team informed about the project's current status will ensure that they are on the right track.

It also helps managers identify potential problems, such as budget constraints, that might arise later. As a project manager, you must know the importance of open communication. Allow your team to share their creative ideas and concerns. Remember, the success of any project depends on the team that executes it. So, if you listen to your employees and work on their feedback, you will have your desired results.

Set milestones

Milestones serve as several points that you’d achieve until you complete the project. Of course, the last and the biggest milestone would be a successful project completion and delivery within the timeline. Dividing your project into these small milestones will motivate you and your team to work harder to achieve the final goals. Milestones also help you track your progress at different intervals. For example, if your project has a deadline of 6 months, set milestones for every month.

Suppose it’s a mobile development project, and you’ve set a deadline for finishing the UI and UX within 2 months. Check if you have finished the interface design by the end of the second month. Then, set the next milestone. It boosts your morale and is an excellent way to know how far you’ve come and how long it takes until your project is finished. After hitting these milestones, you must conduct a team meeting to discuss the follow-up plan.

Reward your teams

Just achieving the milestones won’t motivate your employees. You need to set incentives to encourage your team to achieve different milestones. The rewards at each stage of the project completion will make your team feel empowered. They will be more focused on the project. They will show better productivity. You can reward the team as a whole or each employee separately (whatever works for you).

Risk management

Risk is an inevitable part of any project, no matter how simple or small it is. Identifying these risks ahead of time and planning solutions for them can help mitigate these risks. A professional project manager knows how to plan risk management strategies during the planning stage. It’s not possible to forecast all possible risks before starting a project. For example, customer trends change frequently. You can never know whether your audience will want your upcoming product when it’s launched as much as they do now.

Work with your stakeholders, clients, business associates, and the team to identify these risks. You should at least consider the risks in areas like lack of resources, technical delays, technology failure, or communication failure. You can also assign this part of project management to someone who specializes in assessing risks and handling them.

Bottom Line

For successful project management, it’s essential that you organize all resources effectively and plan everything ahead of time. Choose your team wisely and delegate the responsibilities based on your employee’s specialization. The above golden rules are applicable to each type and complexity of the project, whether you are working on a technical task or a management-related project. Keep your team and stakeholders always in the loop. The above tips will help you achieve your objectives.