Sally Rosser is Senior Project Manager for The Team Building Company. Sally joined us in 2007 and has organised in excess of 1,000 events in that time, so it’s safe to say that Sally knows how to put a project together. We asked Sally to share her top project management tips.
Good preparation can be the key to the successful completion of a project in any field. The time and effort you dedicate to planning at the beginning of a project can really pay off when you use these tips to make sure you are preparing effectively.
1. Set a clear goal at the beginning of your planning phase. Try to make it a SMART one: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
2. Consult all relevant stakeholders during the planning process. The people who will be working on the project may have their own ideas about how your goal should be pursued. They will also be best placed to ensure the plan is useful and achievable.
3. Divide your plan into a series of stages and define what will be delivered at the end of each of these. These milestones will shape your planning and help you to monitor your progress.
4. Break down each stage into a more detailed action plan describing exactly how you intend to produce these deliverables. Your plan should provide clear step by step instructions, but beware planning in too much detail too far in advance. You will have a better idea of how to proceed in the next stage as you finish the preceding one.
5. Put the actions in your plan into the most logical order and finish each step before you start the next. This will ensure that you remain organised.
6. Prepare detailed schedules and budgets. Try to be as realistic as possible and give yourself some leeway in case you need more time or money at some point. Monitor any deviations from your planned budget or schedule so that you can respond quickly to get your project back on track.
7. Assess the problems that could arise during your project. Incorporate tactics for minimizing these risks and backup plans to help you deal with any likely difficulties. Try to schedule the riskiest activities near the beginning of the project so that you avoid wasting effort on work that has to be redone. This will also ensure you have plenty of time to react to any problems.
8. Communicate your plan clearly to all the stakeholders at the beginning and throughout the project. Everyone involved should know what is expected of them at each stage and be kept up to date with progress and any changes to the plan. The communication methods you choose should allow for some two-way communication so that you can receive feedback on the project and how well the plan is working.
9. Accept that your plans may need to change. You should monitor your progress and review your plan as the project progresses, making changes as necessary, and setting out the next stage in more detail as it approaches.
10. Once the project is completed, look back at how your plans developed as you worked. You may be able to identify ways to improve your project planning in the future.
When you ask The Team Building Company to organise your event Sally will oversee its progress, making sure that everything happens exactly when it needs to. You know you’re in safe hands!