Project Management Tips

How can Project Managers get things done practically?

Project managers don’t have superpowers! They can’t say ‘no’ to a project’s responsibility. They are responsible for each and every bit of the success or failure of the project. But, Project managers or leaders are not Gods! They are human beings and prone to make mistakes. They can outrun their capacity by handling multiple tasks at a time. Even if they are supposed to manage multiple tasks, they can be exhausted and miss out on things or complete the task in a haphazard manner. This can obviously cost lakhs and crores of rupees for the project management organization. So, what can be done so that project managers can manage the project in an efficient way? 

Management is, as defined by Harold Koontz, “the art of getting things done through others and with formally organized groups” (Kaehler & Grundei, 2019)

And, managing a project itself means getting things done in a systematic way to accomplish the task. However, getting things done doesn’t ultimately mean to finish up a task only. How effectively it is completed is more important. The best practices of getting things done efficiently are planning, organizing, implementing, executing and controlling the project and the stakeholders involved under it. For project managers, these practices are like life support and without them, a project can go topsy-turvy. From initiation to the completion of a project, these best practices are conducted directly and indirectly. To get things done effectively, a project manager must have the right mindset to manage people professionally and emotionally. From time to time, scholars have been defining management principles and frameworks on how to manage teams, projects, how to communicate with the teams, what are the best practices to accomplish the tasks, so on and so forth. 

Let’s figure out a framework or a strategy for project managers to get things done swiftly. Its 2020 and technologically, we’ve come a very far away compared to twenty years back. There were fewer resources and access to managing teams in a project. There were fewer tools to use for project management. Today, with the easy accessibility and good user interfaces, the tools i.e. software and applications have become a boon for the project management professionals. Hence, one of the best strategies to get things done is using tools and software or technically, ERP that is Enterprise Resource Planning for project management. ERP is a business process management software to integrate applications to manage the operations and functions of the organizations. Due to its centralized and real-time database, functions like human resources, supply chain management, operations, administration and more can be monitored and organized for more productivity and efficiency. With its simple implementation and use, project managers can get things done through ERP effectively. Productivity can be enhanced through accelerated results thus increasing the profitability of the company. 

The next strategy a project leader can implement to get things done is to make a flexible checklist or a plan of action. Even if plans are meant to alter, it’s better than they are on paper. This is an old school method but when the ‘to-do list’ is penned down, it is more likely to be executed. Project managers can imbibe this same habit among their teammates to ‘get things done’ swiftly. The emotional factor also plays its role here. When the vision, mission, and goals are jotted down and are in front of the team members, they are likely to be more determined to accomplish their tasks. While doing so, project managers can play their parts of engagement and timely interaction with their group members to monitor and assess their progress and resolve their difficulties. Project managers cannot solely run the project. What they need to do is, share the vision and expectations of the project. Once, there is clarity of vision, project managers can delegate the authority by allocating the necessary resources and expertise. This can solve the purpose of getting things done!

In addition to a delegation of authority, once the clarity of vision and goals is set, project managers can let the team members plan the tasks as per their skill sets, knowledge and experience. This can help in gaining the trust of the project managers to get things done in a responsible manner. Another highlighted area to get things done is a priority. Prioritizing the tasks to do, according to their urgency, importance, and deadline can be helpful to manage the project constructively. 

In effect of managing the project successfully, the project leader must simplify the work break down structure for the ease of task completion. In other words, if a function is more complex and time-consuming as well as hard to understand, it can be broken down into small tasks and can be delegated accordingly. This can comparatively, make the work to be completed more quickly. Furthermore, project managers can set up quick virtual follow-ups and communicate to track the efficiency of the teammates as well as provide feedback on the responsibilities handled by them. This can also help project leaders to get things done practically.

Getting things done seems easy, but it’s not! When the productivity graph rises higher and the responsibilities are fulfilled within the scope of definition, we can say that ‘getting things done’ is possible without a doubt. 

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