Consistently delivering projects within the planned budget and to the scheduled deadline is always a Project Manager’s ultimate goal. Obviously, saying this is a lot easier than delivering on all your promises. A range of unforeseen obstacles and events can send even the most detailed project plan into disarray. Being able to manage these risks and skilfully deal with the most complex problems are key traits of the best project managers. Read on for our key advice on how to deal with all of this whilst still keeping a hold on your projects finances and timeline.
Scope and plan the entire project
Plan for the unexpected and prepare for uncertainty. At the start of a project identify small milestones throughout the project’s lifecycle where you can take stock and see if things are running to plan. This will enable you to see if you are on track in terms of time and the projects budget. If it doesn’t match your plan then you are able to incorporate the change moving forward and manage the risk to the project. Spotting the problems at your set milestones will allow you to deal with the risks early and before they escalate.
Ensure the project you are planning is right for your company
Conduct a full ROI and cost analysis of the whole project. Align the projects you are taking on with your company’s strategy and ensure that they will benefit you as a business. Keeping your customers happy is, of course, very important but even more so is ensuring that your projects make sense for your bottom line. If you find it difficult and time consuming to work out the true profit margins and costs of your projects then it could be worth investing in a solution, such as Project and Job Costing (PJC) that complements Sage X3 Business Management Solutions which will eliminate the complex project management number crunching.
Communication and feedback
Make sure there is an honest and open flow of information throughout your whole team, from the Board of Directors to your professional services team on the ground and everybody in-between. This will ensure that problems aren’t hidden and identified too late. It will also allow your Project Managers to spot any problems that are consistently occurring, this could signify that there needs to be a change in their project plan templates or a process flow that needs re-evaluating.
A team with the RIGHT skills
The basis for any successful project is to have a prepared team with the right skill set. It is a lot easier to put someone in place with the correct expertise at the start of a project than it is to panic hire someone to fire-fight when it’s already too late. Remember, you get what you pay for. The right people may be more expensive, but that is always cheaper than the costs and larger implications of a failed project.
Analyse and improve
At the end of every project conduct a careful review of how the project lifecycle panned out and where the budget fluctuated from what was expected. When it comes to planning the next project you will know where extra time or resources are needed to make sure this doesn’t happen again. This continuous attitude of improvement will enable every project to be slightly better than the one before.
Managing time effectively, being able to mitigate risk and having the correct resources are key to the success of every project. Ensuring you have defined systems and processes in place to manage the whole lifecycle of the project is the best way to ensure your whole professional services team are working on target. Using a project management solution like PJC enables you to see a detailed financial analyses of a projects costs and revenue, plan multiple projects to a standardized template and take a snapshot of the timeline and finances at any point throughout the projects lifecycle.
Find out more about Project and Job Costing and Sage X3 here or join the webinar: Improving projects efficiency – from budget to execution and insight on 10th November 2015 at 10:00-10:30 GMT.
Mysoft – Sage X3 Business Partner
Founded in 2005, Mysoft is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Sage X3. Based in Fleet, Hampshire we employ a large and highly skilled team of Sage X3 certified consultants, developers and support personnel.