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10 strategies for punctual, budget-friendly project management
31 January 2020  |  By Hiend Software Pte. Ltd.
Projects often go over budget, take longer than expected, or outright fail. As a project manager, what can you do to tip the scales toward success?
Project management can be compared to juggling, but instead of a few balls, you've got a hundred (or more!) variables up in the air. Between the ever-changing business environment, the vagaries of your company's procedures and requirements, and even your management and users - who are real, unpredictable human beings as well as cogs in this massive equation - it's almost a wonder that any project is completed on time or under budget.

Many projects fall victim to cost overruns, prolonged delays, or outright failure. So what's the secret to success? If you're looking for more effective ways to keep your cool, plan ahead, and deliver more of your projects in a timely and cost-effective manner, read on for some proven expert tips:

10 steps to a successful project
  1. Methodologies and standards: Laying the groundwork for a successfully delivered project also requires clear standards and vocabulary that will be shared by the entire team. This also makes it possible to introduce new members into the project without a protracted delay as they learn the terminology.
  2. Defined roles: The foundation of a punctual, economical project is in its groundwork. Defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member and the communication strategies among the team as a whole can prevent massive problems further down the line.
  3. Documented policies: As far as early blueprints go, it's important to set out control measures and a system for auditing the progress, checkpoints, and risk factors as you work toward project completion.
  4. Evaluation and approval: There are always great ideas floating around, but which ones do you choose to execute? When you adopt a formalised system for assessing proposals, projects that do move forward will have a better chance of success.
  5. Human resources: A project is only as strong as the people working on it, so consider your team wisely - both in hiring and in appointing them to positions that suit their skills and capabilities.
  6. Goals: Does every team member understand the project's overall objectives? Do you set smaller targets for individuals or based on incremental time frames, such as weekly or monthly goals? Clearly defining the goals of your project will more effectively motivate and direct your team.
  7. Control: Lack of control over a project's scope or budget is one of the surest predictors of trouble ahead. Even small changes in the timeline, scope, or details of a project can spell disaster unless they're carefully accommodated.
  8. Tracking: Do you know the status of every part of your project? Many businesses don't, and are therefore unable to make the key decisions that will ensure success - and prevent disaster. It's equally important to track your budget, deliverables, long-range schedules, and weekly/monthly goals.
  9. Quantifiable results: Have your project objectives been met? Without measurements and quantified results, you might never know! Only by examining thoroughly detailed information can you accurately determine whether (and how effectively) all project objectives have been met.
  10. Continual enhancement: Even in a successful project, there is always room for enhancement. Top project managers are constantly investing in new technology, learning and modeling systems and, most importantly, in people.

Businesses aren't always eager to embrace new approaches. If your company doesn't already have a strong and stable project management model in place, some of these steps can require monumental changes. Even so, there's no better way to ensure project success and to achieve results on time and under budget - two accomplishments that are sure to impress any team of executives or managers.
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