Simple Steps to Project Success for the Relative Newbie
By Brad Egeland
If you’re logical, have common sense, can be organized, and aren’t afraid to put your neck on the line when you know or think you’re right and when you’re trying to do the best for the work you are doing, for whom you’re doing it (the project client) and whom you’re doing it with (the project team).
So, if you’re thinking project management as a career and the above seems to fit you then please read on. I want to tell you – in simplified form – what project management really is all about. I’m not claiming to be the best Project Manager in the world…I certainly am not. Nor am I the best PM author in the world, but possibly the most prolific. However, I do prefer to work smarter, not harder because I always have a lot to do in a day managing projects and multiple clients. So, let’s consider a few key concepts to get an aspiring project manager off the ground and on the right track…
Think Certification. Get some training and get certified. If you really want to be a project manager and you want success early and often, get certified. It’s not cheap, but it can be guaranteed so you know you’re not throwing your money away if you don’t pass the first time. Just be sure to go with the right training and the right organization.
Kickoff the project with detail. Plan, prepare for and conduct a kickoff meeting for your project. Whether it’s a $5,000 project or a $50 million project, do this. You won’t be sorry. The project kickoff session – whether it’s a formal face to face meeting with 50 attendees or a conference call with 10 people on the line – sets the stage for everything that happens after. This is your chance to get everyone on the same page with the same expectations of your delivery team and the outcome.
Revise everything at least weekly. Keep the key project materials up to date at least weekly. But doing this – no matter how big or small the project is, you’ll never get far behind and you’ll never be far off track on budget or schedule.
There are some logical best steps to project success. These are just three key concepts… there are many more. But think certification, kickoff the project well, and keep key project information up to date and you will be on the right track.