A project manager should approach her job as if her name is on the door of the company. She should spend money as if each check written will come out of her own bank account. She should view the product, service and tasks involved to complete the project as if it is her child – totally dependent on her to succeed in life. By taking an ownership attitude, the project manager can develop strategic and achievable goals to make this the most successful year ever.
In the television show, “The Apprentice,” the project manager gets to bring two team members to the boardroom, knowing that someone will be fired. In the real world, the project manager should make it a goal that no one gets fired. The project manager should set a goal for the year to make sure that team members are aware of their tasks and made accountable for fulfilling their tasks. Hold standard monthly one-on-one meetings with team members. Incorporate an open door policy for team members to meet privately to get direction and advice. By holding everyone accountable, the team as a whole will be stronger and have a better chance to fulfill the overarching goals set for the year.
Mandatory Team Progress Meetings
Team members need to be made aware of progress on the project. Mandatory meetings are important to let everyone know what has been done, what needs to be done and areas that need improvement. Meetings are also a great forum to build team spirit and foster collaboration. The project manager should also use meeting as a stage to publicly congratulate individuals on their accomplishments. Members who work off site or in another geographic location can participate via webcam. Installation of an online meeting system should also be a goal for the year if the team does not have this capability.
Projects bring value to organizations when achievements and results can be measured. Take time to assess current methods. Look for new tools and methodologies. For example, find a way to shorten the time gap if it takes to the middle of the second quarter before you have a sales report for the first quarter. That could mean getting a new software system or tightening deadlines for information so the report can be completed earlier. The sooner the team and company managers can review reports, the earlier the team can respond to tasks and take corrective actions to improve results for the next quarter and the overall annual results.
Budget Adherence and Cost Containment
Make your mantra for the year “We will bring this project in under budget.” Put the best minds on your team on the task of developing the project budget. Use a software system that tracks and monitors each and every expenditure. Check your budget every week. Set up parameters that spark alerts as you approach 20, 30 and 40 percent of your annual budget. Share a biweekly or monthly budget report -- void of any confidential financial information -- with everyone on the team. This will help keep team members aware of the importance of containing costs. Cut back on items whenever you can if a line item or unforeseen expenditure comes about. End the year with the project delivered on time and under budget.