Project management is becoming increasingly important in the business world. You will hardly find an industry that does not rely on the skills of project managers to deliver projects successfully. Which is why it’s paramount to remember the basic rules of project management. Here are the 10 commandments of project management to live by.
The 10 Commandments of Project ManagementCarola Moresche, Monday 17 August 2015 | Reading time: unknown
1. You shall not have any other leader before the project manager
Every project must have a leader. The emphasis is on A leader. One, singular. The project manager or leader serves as a kind of nucleus around which the project team revolves. They are the go-to person for the team if there are any problems with the project. The project leader’s job is to make clear and effective decisions, which is essential to the project team’s progress. This is why there must be only one leader.
2. You shall not make insufficient plans
Insufficient plans are a project manager’s worst nightmare. They can lead the project to failure, cause the business to lose a lot of money, time and effort and can, in the worst case scenario, plunge it into ruin. Project plans need to anticipate risks and allow for the project team to react quickly when changes occur.
3. You shall not change the scope in vain
Changes are inevitable, in life as well as in project management. But changes must be managed to avoid so-called ‘scope creeps’ that can quickly cause your project to become bigger than intended and you’ll be unable to adhere to deadlines which can increase the costs.
4. Remember the objective, to keep it holy
Having a goal in front of you that you can work towards motivates people to work more effectively. Every project needs to have clear objectives, but you mustn’t forget to identify milestones. When the project team reaches a milestone it will give them a sense of achievement which will motivate them to put even more effort into achieving the project’s end goal.
5. Honor your budget and your schedule
For a project manager it’s vital to deliver a project on time and within budget, because only then do many executives and customers consider a project a success. Creating a realistic schedule and budget lays the foundation for a project to run effectively and efficiently.
6. You shall not forget to allocate resources
Resource management is a significant aspect of project management. Resources are cost-intensive for a business, which is why the project manager needs to allocate them in an efficient, effective and economic way. Not doing so can cause they whole schedule to delay because the right resources aren’t available when they are needed.
7. You shall not commit the act of ineffective communication
Effective communication is of vital importance for the success of a project. Many projects fail because of ineffective communication. A project manager needs to clearly communicate strategic goals to the stakeholders of the project and make sure that their project team knows what their roles in the project are.
8. You shall not forget to collaborate
Project management is all about people. Which is why teamwork and collaboration are critical for a project’s performance. Only if the whole team works together effectively can they deliver the project successfully. Every person brings unique skills and knowledge that ideally complement each other so they can each contribute to the project.
9. You shall not forget to track metrics
While planning is a key part of project management, it’s not all there is to it. How can you know if your plan was successful? You need to have the appropriate metrics to judge that. These metrics can be effort/cost variance, planned and earned value, customer/user satisfaction etc.
10. You shall not micromanage
This might at first sound contradictory to the first commandment, but being a project manager does not mean that you have to control every little detail. A project manager delegates tasks and then gives the team members the necessary freedom to finish the tasks as they see fit. As long as they finish them successfully and on time, the project manager should not interfere unnecessarily. Micromanaging can be damaging for the project, because the team feels too confined and pressured, preventing them from working productively.