Top 10 Project Management Tips

Changes to either Scope, Time, and Cost will without exception, affect the other two. If there is a change to scope, assess the changes to the schedule and budget. If there is a change in the available budget, assess the impact to scope and schedule.
No project is without risk. Assess risks at the beginning of the project and throughout the project life cycle. Risks must have mitigation plans because, they could and in most cases do, become reality. Be prepared that new risks will present themselves at any time despite the best planning efforts.
In a communication era, there are many methods of communicating with your team and project stakeholders. Find the communication that is most effective (believe it or not, not everyone relies as heavily on e-mail as you might think) and use it carefully. Vary the communication types to ensure that everyone on the team is benefiting. The more important the issue, the more ways it needs to be communicated. It is expensive to bring disparate teams together. It is necessary for project success, but not necessary to bring them face-to-face for every meeting. Use people’s time wisely.
Anyone can request a change to a project. The project manager must write these up as change requests, and obtain sponsor approval to change the project scope (remember the triangle!). Undocumented and unapproved changes in scope can lead to projects getting out of control, a project manager’s worst nightmare!
Plan the project with your team. Projects are a team effort; educate the team on the entire planning process including scope, schedule, budget, resourcing, procurements, etc.

Plan the work; work the plan (sounds simple enough doesn’t it?)

Many companies, forest companies in particular, are running leaner and leaner in terms of resources. Therefore, it is difficult if not impossible to obtain full-time resources for your project. Learn to help out in areas outside of the project management sphere to assist these part-time resources to accomplish their project assignments. And no matter what anyone might tell you, it is virtually impossible to ‘back-fill’ a 25-year Scaling Supervisor or Maintenance Planner; experienced resources are virtually impossible to pull from their ‘day jobs’ full-time for a project; learn to work with part-time resources.
Don’t be a slave to the project scheduling tool. While a Gantt chart may look impressive with 500 tasks, each of which is less than a day in duration, you will spend more time updating the schedule, than you will managing your team and the project.

  • Tasks must produce a measurable result
  • Tasks should be long enough to allow for a mid-point checkup
  • Tasks should be owned by a single individual to either complete or be responsible for its completion
Communicate not only project tasks, but instructions and explanations as well. If you ask a team member to review a Detailed Functional Specifications document, in all likelihood, they won’t have the foggiest idea what you just asked them to do. Explain (several times if necessary), the steps that the project will take, and the importance of each resource’s role in it. Don’t accept silence as equal to understanding.
In multiphase and complex projects, the tendency is to focus on tasks that are producing good results and base the project progress on those ‘winners’. However, it’s the Critical Path tasks (the dependent sequence of tasks that put together, take the longest to complete) that need the most attention, because a slippage in the Critical Path, will without fail, affect your schedule, budget, and scope (remember the triangle). Protect the Critical Path tasks most from schedule slippage and changes in scope.
The Project is not made successful by the Project Manager or any specific team member. Projects are successful because of team efforts and Project Sponsor support. The Project Manager must respect the project, stick to the project goals and objectives and keep the Project Sponsor apprised of any threats to the Project

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