Every project is a new challenge for any project manager for that matter. Experience helps but new project often brings along new team, new clients, new bosses and a new problem to solve. The only thing constant is change. So your ability to cope up with new people and new situations becomes very important here.
Project objectives– In the starting the projects objectives are not always clear. PM needs to determine what portions of a project are not clear to the team and other stakeholders and note feedback and questions that come up.
Deadlines – Some time the deadlines imposed are not based upon the estimates or efforts but other factors like end of quarter, budget cycle, boss’s vacation and so on. Some are more compulsive like regulatory compliance or marketing events. In cases where project manager has a choice, the stress of hard project schedules and other project issues needs to be managed with proper expectations management, creative planning, and finding alternative ways.
Managing Risks –Most project plans have risk management sections, which contain the risk data based on the analysis done before start of the project. Further to that, no analysis takes place until a risk event actually occurs and becomes an issue.
Team skills and non performance – Starting with the project manager role, the core set of skills required to accomplish the expected workload needs to be documented and honestly compare each probable team member’s skills. Using this assessment, project managers can facilitate the team towards better performance by imparting external trainings, consultants, and many other ways including augmenting with additional resources.
End users communication – Effective communication of project progress, challenges and issues (only relevant) to end users and other stakes holders is very important for smooth functioning of any project. Teams become so focused on deadlines, deliverables and day-to-day challenges that this important aspect of communication often gets neglected. Regular meetings involving important stakeholders are required, where this information can be exchanged in a well planned manner. These meetings can be used a platform to gather information and timely stakeholder feedback so that there are no surprises when the final product is delivered.
Project communication – Much of the communication and instructions in a project are verbal. They are understood to that moment but the vigor (and details) might get lost as the time passes by. All such communication might be supported by emails and minutes of meetings (MOM) that convey the message with proper context that is needed to comprehend (and execute) them. It will help, if the expectations from the team members are set, right from the beginning. Doing all this will increase the confidence level of team members as they will know what exactly they are expected to do? Project communication plan is another important tool that contains how, when and in what form; you will communicate with your team, client and other stake holders.