How can you make your life easier?
This article is all about making work easier and getting team members to work with you to accomplish your end goals. Subsequent articles will cover various aspects of understanding behaviors of the team members and dynamics of the team and how communicating and educating the members further help you with your work while making their lives easier also. If you have questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to bring them up at the end of this article and I will address them in subsequent articles as quickly as possible.
In today’s organizational environment, more and more work takes shape as projects. With management structures becoming more and more flat with fewer layers of managers, projects are an effectiveway to get work done and evaluate it. Whether you have the words project manager or project leader in your title or not, most likely you manage at least one project.
Actually, most people find themselves managing multiple projects. The managing of these multiple projects may or may not be in addition to their “regular” job, making life just that much more complicated. On top of that, when they get home at night and on weekends, they manage even more projects. So it is the case that many forms of work take shape as projects.
The nature of projects includes tasks never done before and teams that don’t have enough time and resources. Project management should be a tool to help project teams produce their product faster and easier. Too many people get into the details of the project management process and spend way too much time, effort, and money managing the process rather than the project. Project Management should be in the background and make your job easier not harder.
So now that we have determined that an easy way to accomplish work in the organizational environment is projects, let’s talk about how to make your projects easier and more effective to manage. This article will cover the initial step in creating easy to manage projects. More will come later in subsequent articles.
Have you ever had this happen? Your boss comes into your office cheerfully and announces he has a great new project he would like you to do. “It shouldn’t be a big deal”, he says (always scary!) “It should only take a couple of weeks at the most, and you probably already have the staff to do it.” Then the kicker! He gives you his idea an d what you hear is the “trumpet” like sounds coming out of his mouth, completely foreign to you. You have no idea what he really wants!
Before you even begin the project, you have been given a schedule, staff, and his idea of what the project is. Good Luck completing this project to his satisfaction!
With any project you have to understand the end result that your customer and/or stakeholders have for the project. A lot of the time they are not sure when first thinking about the project. That means you will have to get buy-in from them on what exactly they want and need. This step is often skipped over or not completely rung out at the beginning of the project.
The first step is to ask what the desired results for the project are. Ask your management and stakeholders what they want. Get a dialogue going about it. You will be amazed how this first step will help both you and your project community learn more about the project and give you guidance for the next steps. This will help you create the project end result.
The Project End Result
Being able to answer 3 questions about the project is important. They are 1) What is the project expressed as an end result, 2) Why are you doing the project, (Is the project going to produce a product or will it save money or create an easier more effective way to work?) and 3) How will you know when the project is successful? (What I call “projects from hell” are those projects that never seem to end. That’s because the end of the project was not adequately defined up front.)
Working on these questions will help you build the project team and get buy-in and influence potential team members. It’s all about relationships and that is what will make or break satisfactory completion of the project.
Soon we will cover critical success factors and risks for your project. Stay tuned!