As we see yet another year come and go, I’d like to share my top 10 tips for Project Management.

10. Application projects – ALWAYS add buffer to your schedule

There is one thing consistent on all application projects – Something unexpected will come up for which you haven’t accounted. Give yourself some contingency in your schedule to allow for the unknown to happen.

9. Define your success criteria

This tells you what success looks like, so you know where you’re headed. This also helps you know when you have reached your destination and accomplished your goals.

8. Follow the basics for meeting facilitation

ALWAYS allow five minutes near the end of each meeting for a quick review on “Who is doing what and by when?”.

7. Right-size your project processes

You do NOT always require ALL PM tactics, templates, processes, inputs, and outputs to successfully complete your project. Customize and be flexible to suit the unique needs of each project.

6. Don’t allow your organization to engage in a project without a qualified project manager leading the troops

No matter how small a project is, the project manager keeps the bigger picture in mind while the project team members sink deep into the day-to-day details and tasks (PM = Strategic, Team Members = Tactical).

5. Always have a good plan in place

Don’t start doing the work until the work itself has been planned out. This will save you time and money in the long run.

4. Always be a critical thinker and problem solver

If an issue comes up, think of different ways in order to solve your challenge; don’t just throw in the towel or extend the schedule – Get creative!

3. Don’t manage your project by schedules and timelines

Lead your team through understanding and adapting to their differing personalities, communication styles, and approaches. You will be shocked by the deadlines you are able hit.

2. Operate on a no-surprise philosophy

A project manager is a messenger of facts. Don’t wait till your facts are “red”; start communicating when they are “yellow”. Your stakeholders will appreciate the heads up when something is at risk, instead of when it has already become an issue.

1. Repeat out loud: “It’s not about me, it’s about them”

A project manager’s job is to remove roadblocks for your team members and to get the most out of your team. Lead your project and your team through collaboration, respect, and fun – You will be amazed by the results.

Happy PMing in 2014!!


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