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7 Project Management Best Practices

7 Project Management Best Practices
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Effective project management is one of the crucial things for the success of any company. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of project management best practices is essential. IT projects are notoriously difficult to keep on schedule and on budget. 

Let’s have some mind boggling stats related to project management: 

  • 97% of organizations believe project management is critical to organizational success
  • Businesses identified “capturing time/costs against projects” as their biggest project management challenge

Source: TheAccessGroup

  • High-performing organizations successfully complete 89% of their projects, while low performers complete only 36%.
  • 49% of organizations have a project management training program in place
  • The United States economy loses $50-$150 billion per year due to failed IT projects
  • 75% of business and IT executives anticipate their software projects will fail.
  • 50% of all Project Management Offices (PMOs) close within just three years.
  • 33% of projects fail because of a lack of involvement from senior management

 

Here are some key challenges faced by IT companies in effective project management: 

  • Undefined Goals
  • Inadequate Skills for the Project
  • Lack of Accountability
  • Improper Risk Management
  • Ambiguous Contingency Plans
  • Poor Communication
  • Impossible Deadlines
  • Inefficient time tracking 
  • Resource Deprivation
  • Lack of Stakeholder Engagement


So, what are the best practices for effective and efficient project management that can lead your company to success? In this blog, we will try to find answer of this question:  


1) Make a “practical” strategy in the starting of project  

A research from Geneca says-

      “75% of IT executives believe their projects are ‘doomed’ from the start.”

Hence, to wipe out the negativity, the start of your project should be perfect. Make a project planner first and define the basic steps and strategies that you have in mind. Make sure that all the strategies should be practical. Later on, keep updating them situation wise. Here are some steps for effective planning of your project:

Step 1– Create a roadmap with clearly defined goals that should not change after the first phase of the project has been completed

Step 2– Develop a list of all deliverables, make sure all project team members are familiar with this list

Step 3– A document that clearly outlines all project milestones and activities required to complete the project should be created and maintained

Step 4– Establish reasonable deadlines, taking into account project team members’ productivity, availability and efficiency.

Step 5– Create a budget for your project

Step 6– Choose skilled team members who work well together and their roles and responsibilities on the project should be described in detail

Step 7– Set progress reporting guidelines – monthly, weekly or daily reports

Step 8– Identify the risks involved in your project and discuss alternatives if new requirements will be added to your project.


2) Effectively communicate with all stakeholders of you project

“57% of Projects fail due to breakdown in communication” – It-Cortex

From the very first day, if you want to kick the project off, you need to be communicating. Not only to selected few, but to all the project stakeholders. This includes key people like team members, clients, managers, project sponsors, and valued users/customers so that you never land up in a massive miscommunication. You can also use various tools for easy communication, such as   


3) Ongoing budget forecasting and analysis: 

Review and revise the project budget every week to never lose control of it. When you observe budgets it closely – weekly – you can correct your forcasts 10% more quickly. On the other hand when a project is not being watched closely and has suddenly gone 50 or 60% over the original forecast,  is more likely cannot be corrected. It may be far gone. That is why Harvard Business Review reported-

    “One in six IT projects have an average cost overrun of 200%” 


4) Choose Agile development methodology for project management success

According to IT Project Success Rates Survey:

Success rates for Agile projects 72%, success rate for traditional approaches 63%

Agile means ‘ability to move quickly and easily’ and responding swiftly to change – this is a key aspect of Agile software development as well. It’s a value-driven approach that allows Project Managers to deliver high-priority, high-quality work €“ and look like rock stars to their stakeholders. 

Agile Project Management reduces complexity by breaking down the many-months-long cycle of building requirements for the whole project, building the entire product and then testing to find hundreds of product flaws. Instead small, usable segments of the software product are specified, developed and tested in manageable, two- to four-week cycles.

Difference between Agile model and Non-Agile models


5) Use a collaborative project management tool

As per a report from PriceWaterCooper-

“56% of project managers use a software, also the use of commercially available PM software increases performance and satisfaction. “

A project management tool is very crucial when you are managing a project. Your project staff would be able to share information, documents, and progress status of assigned tasks without coming individually to you. Since these reportings need to be an almost daily concern, a software will help free-up your valuable hours.

There are many excellent project management tools that you can use, some of them are: Zoho Projects, Trello, Zira, MeisterTask, and Freedcamp. Further, you can also use time tracking tools of Invoicera to effectively measure time on different activities of tasks.  


6) Keep a risk management team:

 “Only 64% of projects meet their goals” -Pulse of the Profession

Hence, every project and task are subject to different levels of risk. That is why you should always have a risk management team. They can always help your project remain in the green zone and avoid going in the yellow or the dreaded red zone. Think of a risk management team as the first line of defense when anything negative occurs.


7) Hold a wrap-up meeting:

“60% of companies don’t measure ROI on projects.”- KPMG New Zeland

Once you complete your project, it’s time to analyse and see how you can optimize the next projects for success. Holding a wrap-up meeting is the perfect opportunity to get all of your project members together for ROI discussion. Go through the lessons learned and ways to improve the ROI next time.


— Here I’ve summerised project management best practices in an infographic:

source: wrike.com

 


Wrapping Up:

At one time or another we were all new to project management. Some of us became Project Managers as they wanted to do great things while others had greatness thrust upon them – at least initially – unwillingly. However, at the end the result and learning matters. Hence, if you follow the above mentioned points, I hope it will do some help.

If you are searching for a web & mobile development company with dedicated Project Managers, then PixelCrayons is there for you. You may contact us for all your project management needs.

 

Hailing from the heart of India, Prateek Tiwari is an IT enthusiast who loves to write blogs on latest IT trends and technologies.

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