Certain factors come into play for most every decision made throughout the five phases of project management: quality, resources (cost) and time. These guiding elements are, in reality, restrictions that apply to every aspect of a project. Remember that these factors are interrelated meaning that changing one will influence the others. Pushing up the deadline for a project may sacrifice on quality and drive up cost.

When it comes to the planning phase, it can be helpful to break things up, presenting an otherwise extensive project as a list of workable tasks or stages. Smaller tasks are much more motivating to people who are put-off by the daunting enormity of the project as a whole. Phrase things as you would on a CV, starting tasks with verbs.

Project management, as a principle, is designed to perpetuate the manifestation of a client’s idea. When a client approaches a company with a plan, they are expecting that the company can collaborate towards an end goal. At every level and across all industries, successful project management requires group work. Though this seems obvious – a team is characterised by having multiple members – actually working as a team integral. This requires organisation, problem-solving, and respect towards teammates.

Trust your team to do their jobs. The people involved in the project are united in working towards a singular goal. These professionals come with skillsets of their own and are intimately aware of their abilities. Take into account what a person wants to work on rather than the box that they fit into. Allow your team to choose their deadlines. Imposing a deadline will cause undue stress if they don’t feel confident that the work can be done in that time.

Getting team input is very important to ensuring happiness of workers. When people feel valued and heard they are more likely to care about the project and invest more of themselves into the project. However, as important as it is to field team input, at the end of the day there is one project manager.

Before any work is undertaken for a project, the project manager and team must decide whether a project should even begin. Is this project worth the time, money and effort of everyone involved? Will it be a good use of company resources? Is this something you can be proud of? Alternatively, if your team is not well-equipped to complete the project, might be best to pass it along; remember quality is a factor.

People can get so caught up in the tasks and planning of the project once underway that the parameters can easily stretch to add-in mini projects. On the surface this may seem like no big deal, but defining project boundaries will prevent things from going off the rails. The more additional tasks tacked onto the project the more likely it is to close the project with things unfinished.

 Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).
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