Projects and programmes can sometimes have a mind of their own and go off in their own direction. Once you have lost the control of your projects it is extremely difficult to get it back.
Therefore it is good practice to have a process “set in stone” and to follow it from the planning phase right through to completion. This process, and being aware of possible challenges the project may face, will help you keep a tight hold of your projects. We have compiled a list of points to keep in mind during the planning phase and throughout.
Get the right person for the job: The Project Manager is the leader of the project and will ultimately be the person responsible if the project fails to deliver on its initial expectations. Therefore it is very important to make sure you have a PM that has the necessary skills and experience to manage the type of project you are planning to run. Picking the PM is a decision that shouldn’t be rushed and time should be put into this.
Building the team: It’s all well and good having a great Project Manager however it is necessary to have a strong team around them. A PM will only be able to deliver if they are equipped with a team that has the necessary skills and expertise to do the job instructed. It is important to allocate your project to the people that have the expertise and not just on the basis that they are available.
Scope creep: Scope creep is one of the main reasons how a PM can lose control of the project. To avoid this unnecessary disruption to your project it is important that you spend time at the beginning and clearly define the project scope to avoid scope creep.
Be aware of your weakness: There are going to be weaknesses, however once you are aware of them you can work with them rather than having them work against you.
People manage and project manage: Tight management is required across the project and also the people involved. It is important to keep a hold of both to ensure the upmost control.
Change is a given – work with it: Things will never go to plan and more often than none the original plan will change. The important thing here is embrace the change and manage it. If you manage the change correctly you will not lose control of your project.
Break it down: When you are managing a project that big, that has a substantial timeline it can be difficult to imagine the end result. This situation will mean that control will be more difficult. Creating milestones will keep you on track at all times.
Review: Have meetings to review the project regularly. This allows the team to come together and discuss any issues that could cause problems for the project further down the line.