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How to Take Your Project Management Strategy to the Next Level

How to Take Your Project Management Strategy to the Next Level

Project management is all about taking an idea, a future product or a future service and turning into the product or service it was planned to be.

How can you do this?

You can do this by using various skills such as leadership, communication, planning skills, time management, risk assessment, and negotiation skills. You have to take the idea, the project, and make sure you negotiate the terms of delivery very thoroughly, so unexpected requirements won’t appear along the way.

Then, you need to be able to evaluate it in terms of time and resources. If you are a project manager in the IT industry, you will have to be able to reach an affirmation like this: ‘To be able to deliver this project I will need 6 developers, two quality analysts, one business analyst. They will work on roughly 400 tasks which will be done during 24 sprints.’

Also, a very important aspect of project management is the ability to predict risks, bottlenecks, and, last, but not least, motivate the entire team in order to deliver the project in a timely manner.

If you are already working as a project manager, at least once during your career, you might’ve reached a moment when you thought you need to take your project management strategy to the next level.

During this article, we’ll go through aspects that might help you get over this resistance in your career and turn the situation into a support for the development of your career.

1. Project Delivery Methodology

The project delivery methodology is one of the most important aspects of the project itself because it can make or break your project and career.

Here are the 2 main project methodologies and their best implementations

  • Agile – This project delivery methodology is widespread especially in the tech world. It splits the entire project into ‘biteable’ pieces called Sprints, and they usually last 2 weeks. During these two weeks you set a goal, for example, create a login functionality for your platform, and you take that goal through all project’s lifecycle phases: planning, development/implementation, quality assurance/testing, and deployment/delivering.
  • Waterfall – The waterfall delivery methodology, unlike the agile methodology, goes through one phase of the project’s lifecycle at a time.

A good example of an industry where this delivery methodology is being used is the construction industry. There, you first create the concrete structure, then you structure the floors using bricks, and, in the end, you add all the plumbing and electrical system.

This being said, if you work on projects which can be split into small, independent, subprojects or tasks, the agile project management methodology should be used. On other projects, the waterfall delivery method should be used

2. Create and Plan the Project Together With your Entire Team, Don’t Do It Alone

Very important aspects of project management are communication and planning skills. That’s why right from the beginning of the project you need to use them both. You need to gather your team and plan the project together.

Why? Because every member of your team, be it, developer, tester or business analyst, needs to have an exhaustive view on the project.

For the small-term plans to be efficient, they need to be perfectly aligned with the long term plans. Every brick should be placed in its predefined spot, as defined in the original project planning.

3. Resource Planning and Allocations

Resource planning and allocation refer to the fact that the entire workload should be equally divided across the entire span of the project. Also, during this allocation resource constraints should also be taken into consideration.

For example, if you are using an agile delivery methodology while working on a tech project when your developers are working on a new feature, your testers might have a period of time when the workload is close to none. On the other hand, during the last phases of the project, there will be a lot of pressure on the testers. Only when the features are finished they can be tested, thus a tester’s workload is bigger during the second part of the project.

As a project manager, it’s very important that you are able to predict these periods when the workload is low and the ones when the workload is high, so you can plan the resource usage and allocate them properly. The entire project needs to run smooth, without big differences in terms of workload

3. Costs Distribution

As we already said, the workload of your team will differ during the project because, during development phases, testers tend to have a smaller workload and vice versa. You need to plan these periods from the beginning of your project so that you will be able to calculate de billable hours and create firm cost estimation.

If you have agreed on a final project cost with your client, but by the time you reach its half you already burned the entire budget, you will be in big trouble, my friend. You need to use the proposed and accepted budget to finish the tasks you’ve committed yourself to at the beginning of your project.

Conclusion

If you are a project manager looking to take your project management strategy to the next level, you should take this information into consideration and use it to make your first step forward. Then, using thorough research you can keep on ‘walking’ and boost your career.

As a project manager, is very important to choose the proper project delivery methodology because it can make or break the entire project.

Then, you should plan the entire project together with your team and make sure every member of your team knows the ins and outs of the project.

Last, but not least, you should keep a close eye on resource allocation and the overall costs of your project.

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