How To Lead And Manage A Project?

Have you faced the experience of being asked to lead a project? Initially, you may be excited, but mostly, soon you may face the sinking feeling of not knowing where to begin and how to proceed.

What is the role of Project Manager?

Project management happens to be a total profession with its numerous tools, methodologies, certifications, several approaches and dedicated professionals. It can be helped by project management software like Microsoft project online.

Here are some tips to guide you when you assume charge as Project Manager:

Focus and Don’t Panic

The first lesson is not to panic. Focus on the task at hand and just work on the problem. Begin with the big picture and don’t get entangled in minor details which will become obvious in due course.

For instance, when dealing with the website project, it is easier to start worrying about new pages, new images, wording or other details. Such an attitude will only cause problems, prove fruitless and slow the momentum.

It is not necessary to figure it all out, immediately. You can develop a plan and do the necessary adjustment. The plan you prepare need not be final. It is only a goal to guide you. A plan which cannot be modified is not a good plan.

Clearly Define Objectives of Project

Before planning, you need to have a clear idea of what you need to accomplish. Your overall goals must be defined. The goal must be:

  • Defined as per date or time
  • Fairly ambitious
  • Authentically realistic

Respect Needs, Dependencies, and Milestones

When a goal is well defined, it is possible to soon see some basic needs, dependencies, and milestones.  Some of these involve:

  • Shifting goals and changing plans:

Do the relevant analysis to discover potential areas for change.

  • Be ready for a compromise

When you develop your plans, you will quickly notice that there are very few wrong or right answers. Mostly it is a compromise; something can be done the right way or wrong way, but always at a cost.

Do matching of the plan to overall goal and regularly refer back to this goal. In case, the plan begins to deviate from the achievement of the goal, you must change the plan. Sometimes, you may want to redefine goal, because of the experience gained in the project.

Determine Time for Completion of Phases and Tasks

Well defined goals help in identifying needs, milestones and phases. But there are other aspects of managing a project, which is crucial. Two of them are:

  • Estimating time for particular tasks:

One must decide on the time to be taken for completion of phases and tasks of a project. These are your goals within the overall goal of your project. In case you do not set deadlines, don’t be amazed if nothing is done.

  • Determine what is critical

Plans need to be flexible. A Project Manager must say- “Tell me when you have identified the problem and we can discuss a solution and how long it will take for implementation”.

In case, such an issue emerges, it is really the responsibility of the project manager to ascertain how vital the issue is to the overall project. In case the issue is critical, it will surely cause a delay. If not, let it run parallel to the remaining project, using other resources.

These are all some facts you need to deal with while donning the role of project manager.