Brigitte Werfel November 6, 2020 Project Management
Among all the tools at our disposal for managing projects, checklists are perhaps the simplest and most productive means of building consistency in work practices. Checklists are useful in almost every field of human endeavor, and in particular where repeatability and systematic action drive performance. Yet they are still much under-used in the planning and managing of projects.
All projects have control points and required deadlines, where progress is monitored and measured. In the event that a deadline is missed then the overall impact on project completion time can be assessed, and if necessary new timetables drawn up, re-negotiated and agreed. Action Plans are lists of tasks/individual actions that are carried out to achieve a single and objective or outcome - in this case, the specific project. Action Plans focus on the achievement of a single goal, the action may then be translated in to a to-do list/diary cum calendar which cover many goals.
All the documents prepared all along the execution of the scheme must be lucid and articulate, so that everyone in the team and the stakeholders get to understand, each and every issue of it. This is an essential ingredient for a successful project. The final issue in project management is getting the user to check on the plan and see to that they are satisfied. A disgruntled user will not only reject the plan, but would also leave a bad reputation for the organization. So assuming that the requirements are met the customer is made to sign a customer satisfaction form and then the project is declared closed. The resources used on it are released and the project manager gets a day off!
One of the challenges of explaining project management to people who are unfamiliar with the approach, is that descriptions are often either so high-level as to be meaningless, or so detailed that they are overwhelming. Over the years, I have come to use a model as a framework for introducing and discussing project management tools and techniques. It can be used as the basis for a five-minute explanation of what is involved in project management, but also as an outline for more detailed discussions. The actual model can be found on the Key Consulting website under free templates and info.
A methodology guides an organization or an individual from start to finish. A project management methodology probes deep in the various steps of the project management life cycle. It is a checklist of tasks to be performed in the various steps of the plan. The project management methodology gives the manager a definite control over the scheme, allowing him or her to maneuver the team toward the destination called success. A project without a methodology would be a train running without tracks. It further allows the project manager to standardize the protocols of a plan, thereby providing a general structure of the steps, which can be followed in all other future projects.
If you are a manager responsible for managing projects, you will eventually need to delegate tasks to individuals or teams. And so it is important that the tool yo are using to manage the project be able to keep track of who is performing what task, and also allow you to add new documents and notes with ease. Communication is important with any project. You should have the capability to have good communication with your team through email reminders and keep track of how the project is going at any moment. And a good project management tool will allow you to have online discussions with your project team no matter their location. A reliable tool for managing a project is essential and will serve you well.