From Our Blog
One of the biggest challenges faced by project managers is completing tasks according to schedule. According to a survey of more than 200 project managers conducted by BULL and Spikes Cavell, the single most common criteria for project failure was missed deadlines, while the main criteria for project success was meeting milestones.
So, what steps can you take to hit project deadlines and increase productivity in the process?
Make Attainable Deadlines
First and foremost, you should make attainable and realistic deadlines for your project. If a task will take a minimum of two months to complete, for instance, set a deadline of at least two months; otherwise, you’ll set yourself up for failure.
Break Up Tasks into Small Increments
You’ll also have an easier time hitting project deadlines by breaking up tasks into smaller increments. After completing one process, you can move on to the next. This helps to prevent “paralysis by analysis,” which occurs when project managers are overburdened with a large task and/or lots of work.
Keep Meetings Focused and On Topic
As a project manager, you’ll probably spend countless hours in meetings – and that’s okay. What’s not okay, however, is allowing these meetings to consume all your time and energy. Prior to conducting a meeting, determine what topics you want to cover and how long it will take. You can then let everyone will be attending the meeting know.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. After all, managing a project isn’t a one-person operation. Sure, the project manager holds a great deal of responsibility, but other members should help out and take some of this burden off your shoulders. Whether you need help with a specific task or the project in general, don’t be afraid to ask team members for assistance.
Keep Everyone Informed
Finally, keep everyone informed about the project and whether you are on track to meet its deadlines. Failure to do could result in conflicting results among team members. Furthermore, by keeping everyone informed, you’ll have an easier time seeking help when you need it most.
These are just a few tips to help hit your project deadlines and increase productivity. The most important thing, however, is to communicate with team members and stakeholders throughout the process. Obtaining frequent status reports will give you a better idea of whether you can hit a deadline. And using this information, you can optimise your approach.