Every modern company aims at increasing effectiveness, however, this pursuit usually comes down to an evaluation of the effectiveness of development of individual employees. The priority, in every case, should be to strengthen and to maintain the effectiv
Every modern company aims at increasing effectiveness, however, this pursuit usually comes down to an evaluation of the effectiveness of development of individual employees. The priority, in every case, should be to strengthen and to maintain the effectiveness of project related activities as a whole. Therefore, managers should make the effects of projects mirror, somewhat automatically, the everyday work of every member of the project team. Regardless of the profile of activity, every project should be well-planned first. Moreover, the planning should be in accordance with the logic of the activity and client capabilities – it should not be based entirely on theory which might be of little use in practice. This article is a description of the process of realizing a model project in a company. It may serve as a kind of guideline for managers. It is worth to emphasize that a well-constructed project plan increases the effectiveness and the quality of work related to a given project.
Three project steps
The first step on the way to realize every project is the organization of a meeting with all the people who are interested in it. This serves as an introduction to planning every project related actions and helps in establishing the aims that these actions are to achieve. At such a meeting, it is imperative to discuss the aims of a project and the expectations of clients. At the same time, it is important to form a project team along with its leader who will supervise all stages of project creation. Every member of the project team should know what is expected of him and what his competences are. A client, who participates in the meeting, should signal his expectations in relation to the project. His ideas should be quite clear and definite in order for the company to have little room for free interpretation. The aims that are established during the first project meeting have to be realistic, i.e., they have to be possible to achieve in a given period of time and in accordance with the available human, capital, and material resources. It would be great if the people who assign a project specified, at least to a certain extent, the rules of its realization and their expectations as to the quality of the final product.
The second step is the analysis of client expectations which should be carried out within the project team. The manager should not personally assign tasks and organize the structure of project realization. If all team members are involved in these actions, they start to identify themselves with the undertaking. The awareness of the aims usually makes employees more eager to work. Fulfilling professional duties without knowing their purpose does not motivate people to work more effectively. The previously prepared plan of work in relation to the project should be available to every interested staff person all the time. Therefore, it is best to create such a plan by means of a computer application and make it available to others. Such a plan has to be implemented into the previously established schedule. Applications designed to plan project related actions make it easy to add changes during the course of work. It is obvious that something totally unexpected can always happen – something that might cripple the whole project. We should foresee such situations and modify our plans immediately if we want our project to be completed on time and if we want it to meet some quality standards. During this step, different stages of project work are completed till it is fully realized.
The last step in project realization is the evaluation of actions. The manager should establish criteria for such an evaluation in order to be able to measure the effectiveness of his team. The verification of effectiveness is important not just in relation to the completed project. It gives clues as to how to prepare for further assignments. If we learn at what point we made our mistakes, we may be able to successfully avoid them in the future. The evaluation of the effectiveness of the team can be prepared by assigning points or by writing a short description. Importantly, the descriptive way makes it possible to indicate the strong and weak sides of employees. The planning sessions of future projects should carefully consider such valuable data in order to increase the overall effectiveness of the whole company.
The mode of managing a project
If the project is to be carried out effectively, certain rules have to be followed. These rules make it possible to finalize project related actions in the face of unpredictable and unfavorable situations that might occur along the way.
Theoreticians used to speak about a recommended way of realizing projects in a company, however, one cannot expect it to work in every possible situation. On the other hand, well-established rules on project management can serve as a solid foundation for project realization. The aim is to establish such project rules that will be independent of the type of project or the character and experience of its manager. Such rules should be flexible and universal if we want to have the ability to adjust them to every possible situation.
If a project is realized without the formulation of some rules – so without a solid basis – managers and team members usually encounter many problems on the way to finishing it. Properly planned tasks combined with well-established project rules lead to effective project realization in the field of business.
It has to be stated that there are several unchangeable rules which usually serve as the basis for the success of a project. These principles should be followed not only during the process of project realization, but also during its initiation, planning, and while monitoring the results of the work of the project team. All rules of project management (so project realization as well) overlap and complement each other; they form a cohesive catalogue of rules of action in relation to projects.
Ten rules of effective project realization
Effective realization of any actions in an enterprise is possible if we approach them realistically. An objective evaluation of the situation allows for more effective shaping of the expectations of team members, managers, and clients as well. A realistic approach to the aims and effects of a project increases the chance of its successful completion. Thanks to such an approach, our client will feel satisfied after receiving the results of our work – he will not be disappointed because we did not meet expectations which were impossible to fulfill from the start.
Rule one – look at everything realistically
Every project should be based on a solid plan which should be followed and which, at the same time, should be possible to accomplish. Aims which are impossible to achieve are bound to cripple the project from the very beginning. If the goals of a project are beyond reach, employees who know about it will work ineffectively and without commitment. Such aims kill motivation.
Rule two – effective planning
We have to establish a disciplined and structured approach to planning future project related actions. It is best to ensure effective communication and best possible relations between team members, and between the client and the team. Proper shaping of expectations of everyone involved in the project is truly an essential element.
Rule three – good management of relations
The critical factor of a project is its team, so the people, because it is difficult to manage them and much depends on their individual preferences and qualities.
Rule four – effective communication
We should shape expectations, manage risks, and deal with problems in such a way as to diligently pursue project realization at a proper level.
Rule five – the identification and the acceptance of uncertainty
We have to accept the fact that nothing is 100% sure.
Rule six – the preparation for changes
Projects are realized under circumstances which often change, therefore, we should adequately prepare for certain unexpected situations in which we might be forced to modify our project plans.
Rule seven – the influence of the project on its surroundings
During the realization of project related activities, we have to take into account other duties and our influence on the surroundings and vice versa.
Rule eight – being objective
We should base everything on facts in every situation. This is the only way in which we can avoid totally needless and destructive conflicts.
Rule nine – a situational approach
We should adjust the style of managing of the project team or the project itself with reference to its requirements. Previously established patterns might not work out well in every situation.
Rule ten – learn from mistakes
All that we accomplished while working on a given project combined with the situations we encountered along the way should help us constantly upgrade our approach to project management.
A realistic approach to project management is something very important, and we have to remember that it is highly dependent on effective planning, and planning should be supported by the management of relations and expectations. A constant pursuit of improvement combined with the ability to learn from mistakes is a path to success during the process of project realization in a company. The success of every action depends on a proper approach to project completion.
There is no doubt that project management is a very difficult and complicated task. It requires much time and effort from managers, members of the project staff, and, sometimes, even those who give the assignment. The commitment of all the people mentioned before makes it possible to effectively realize a project, and, similarly, good management increases the chances of achieving a spectacular success in the end. The process of project realization in a company should be based on realistic ideas and not on wishful thinking of clients or managers. It is always better to pleasantly surprise a client than to disappoint him because we failed to meet goals which were impossible to achieve.